Champions Crusheen crashed out of the Clare SHC when Inagh-Kilnamona beat them in Saturday’s quarter-final at Cusack Park, Ennis on a scoreline of 4-10 to 1-17.
In a thrilling finish, three in-a-row chasing Crusheen, missed late chances to equalise when Pat Vaughan and Jamie Fitzgibbon failed to find the target.
Inagh-Kilnamona’s Niall Arthur landed his side’s insurance score, a pointed free, at the very end of a tense and entertaining contest.
The champions led 0-12 to 2-5 at the interval after Arthur and full-forward Cathal Lafferty goaled in the 5th and 10th minutes, respectively.
Within seven minutes of the restart, the winners struck two more goals from Conor Tierney and Lafferty again, before Crusheen struck back with Fitzgibbon netting. The sides were level three more times before substitute Shane Griffin fired Inagh-Kilnamona ahead in the 55th minute and they remained in front in a thrilling finale.
Newmarket-on Fergus became the first club to reach the last four, when they defeated Tubber 1-12 to 0-8 in a last eight game played at Clarecastle on Saturday.
The "Blues", hurling with the aid of a stiff breeze in the first half, led 0-8 to 0-3 at the break. A goal by Anthony Kilmartin in the second period helped them to march forward in a quest for a title last won 31 years ago.
They face 2008 champions Clonlara at the penultimate stage of the title-race in a fortnight. At Sixmilebridge on Saturday, the South-East Clare outfit ran out 0-11 to 1-5 winners over O’Callaghan’s Mills.
Wind assisted in the opening half, the Mills held a 1-4 to 0-5 advantage at the half-time break with Conor Cooney providing the game’s only goal. But a man-of-the-match performance by inter-county star Nicky O’Connell for Clon plus some fine scores by his brother Cathal and Colm Galvin, ensured that O’Callaghan’s Mills were held to just one score, a Gary Neville point, after the break.
Inagh-Kilnamona will have to wait to find out who their semi-final opponents will be, as Cratloe and Kilmaley drew 16 points a piece at Clarecastle on Saturday.
Cratloe, the 2009 champions, with Conor Ryan and Sean Collins dominant at midfield, led 0-10 to 0-8 at half-time. But eventually, a John Cabey equalising score for Kilmaley, forced the tie to a replay.
Meanwhile, in the senior football championship yesterday, Doonbeg advance to the semi-final with a 2-8 to 1-9 win over Éire Óg Ennis, in a replay. The West Clare club face St. Joseph’s Doora-Barefield for a place in the county final. Meanwhile, in the County IFC decider on Saturday, O’Curry’s defeated Kilmihil by 2-6 to 1-8.