It proved a miserable weekend for Cratloe GAA fans. Their talisman Podge Collins suffered a serious knee injury and their side, the county senior hurling champions, were defeated by Ballyea, in the first game of their title defence at Cusack Park on Saturday.
Ballyea enjoyed a two point victory, 0-13 to 0-11, having led by 0-7 to 0-5 at the break.
The county champions, who now face the difficult task of negotiating the losers’ section.
Twenty fours hours earlier, last year’s runners-up Crusheen made no mistake on their first outing, putting in an impressive display to defeat Inagh-Kilnamona 3-18 to 0-16. They led 1-10 to 0-5 at the interval, with Alan Tuohy grabbing their first-half goal. Wing-back Cian Dillon had Crusheen’s second after the break, while Inagh-Kilnamona defender Dermot Lynch gifted them a third in the 50th minute.
2013 champions Sixmilebridge pulled away in the second half, to defeat Ennis’ Éire Óg on Saturday afternoon, by 2-19 to 1-10. Goals by inter-county man Shane Golden lifted the Bridge to victory after they led 0-11 to 1-6 at half time. Thomas Downes goaled for Éire Óg.
Newmarker-on-Fergus relied on a late goal by Colin Ryan to get them over the line against newly promoted Feakle at Sixmilebridge on Saturday - 2-13 to 1-13.
Clarecastle and Clonlara will have to do it all over again as they couldn’t be separated, even after extra-time at Shannon on Saturday. The tie finished with Clarecastle on 2-22 and Clonlara on 1-25.
The score at the end of normal time was 2-17 to 1-20. Kilmaley are also into the winner’s group as a result of a 1-22 to 1-0 triumph over Whitegate in a game played at Sixmilebridge.
Clooney-Quin had a merited victory over neighbours Tulla at Cusack Park yesterday, winning out by 0-18 to 3-5.
Two goals by Tulla full-forward Philip Brennan and a third by Colin Corbett couldn’t avert their team’s inclusion in Tuesday’s losers section draw. Joining Tulla in that draw will be Tubber who succumbed to O’Callaghan’s Mills yesterday, on a final scoreline of 4-18 to 0-15.
The senior and intermediate draws will be made in Clareabbey tomorrow night.