Cratloe and Newmarket on Fergus will renew their rivalry in the County
Senior Hurling Quarter Final, drawn in Ennis last night.
The tie which will take place next Saturday will surely top the bill as
one of the most keenly awaited of the first knock out round.
Newmarket under the new management of Bob Enright have been motoring away
nicely this season without much of the fanfare they seemed to attract in
recent years. They still emerged as group winners after three, albeit
narrow, wins over Whitegate, O Callaghans Mills and Tulla.
It’s a sharp contrast to previous years where ‘the Blues’ swept all before
them only to seemingly underperform when it counted most.
This season Newmarket had opened the betting in Clare as favourites to end
their 29 year wait, as they have done for every year since their U21 three
in a row success in the middle of the decade. There is no disputing the
talent within their personnel and notably they have had the better of this
particular duel aswell, defeating Cratloe in the deciding Group game in
2007 by two points, by the minimum in the thrilling Quarter Final of 2008
and more comfortably by eight points in last season’s opening tie.
So despite being in possesion of the Canon Hamilton, it’s ironically
Cratloe who will enter the tie with the score to settle.
The loss of a McInerney will be felt by both outfits. James, a talismatic
centreback for the Blue’s in recent years had just looked like pinning
down his spot on the Clare side before a rupture to a stomach muscle put
him out of hurling for the season while Cratloe will be without the
services of the young and impressive half back Cathal who sustained a hand
injury in a recent challenge.
Even as county champions, for most, Cratloe are coming into the tie under
the radar. The Glory will surely be without the complacency that dogged
their performance against Tubber in the last round. Remember it took the
assistance of other results in the group to qualify. But this after all is
the business end of the championship and previous form goes out the window
for all teams that enetered the hat for the Quarter Finals. Cratloe have
no other injuries worries to report and will be eager to keep their season
running after being unlucky to exit at the Quarter stage of the football
championship last weekend.
Elsewhere in the draw Clooney Quin drew 2008 Champions Clonlara in a
repeat of this stage of the competition last season. The winners from this
tie will play the winners from the Cratloe/Newmarket tie in the Semis.
The other side of the draw sees Sixmilebridge square up to neighbours O
Callaghans Mills while Clarecastle will take on Crusheen.
Time and Venues will be decided later this week.
Ar Aghaidh Linn