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Clare beaten by injury time goal in McGrath Cup final

Cork 3-13 Clare 3-12 AN injury time goal from Cork’s Stephen Sherlock helped the home county to a dramatic McGrath Cup final win in Mallow on Saturday afternoon. Clare have not won the McGrath Cup since 2008 and looked very likely to win the 2018 tournament, when they led by four points, six minutes from time. However Cork threw everything at Clare in the closing minutes and Sherlock’s goal won it for Ronan McCarthy’s team in a game played in front of an attendance of 691. Clare were very slow to settle and trailed by 10 points, 2-8 to 0-4, four minutes before half-time. Eimhin Courtney and Conor Finnucane were the only Clare scorers in the opening half half, with the Éire Óg man scoring both of his points from play. However a Keelan Sexton goal, just before half-time, gave some hope to Clare, who started the second half superbly. Cork goalkeeper Mark White made a couple of second half …

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Footballers off to a winning start in McGrath Cup

Clare 2-18 Waterford 1-9 ON Saturday in Meelick, 10 Clare footballers started their first game for the county and while Waterford deteriorated as the season opening McGrath Cup game wore on, several Clare players suggested that they will definitely be of help in adding depth to the league and championship panel. When the game was a contest in the opening half, Eimhin Courtney was superb, kicking 0-4 from play and moving impressively. In the opposite corner of the full forward line, Conor Finnucane also demonstrated his ability and if both can keep that up, they will definitely be viable options as will full forward, Gearóid O’Brien. All three would definitely add something either from the start, against better opposition or in the last 20 minutes. That’s exactly what Clare are looking for. Other who looked the part, albeit against limited opposition, included Alan Sweeney, Darragh Bohannan and Aaron Fitzgerald at centre-back, while Killian Roche was very solid in goals, under …

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Neighbours contest Clare Champion Cup Final

TO many GAA followers in the county, the championship semi-final meeting of arch rivals Sixmilebridge and Newmarket was the game of the year, so it’s not surprising that there is a lot of interest in Saturday’s Clare Champion Cup final between the two sides. Even though it is too late in the season to be playing such games, the attractiveness of the pairing should ensure a big crowd in Clonlara for 1pm. After almost two months without a competitive fixture, Newmarket accounted for Kilmaley in the semi-final of the league two weeks ago. Their opponents in the final haven’t had a competitive outing since they bowed out of the Munster club championship last month at the semi-final stage, going down by a point to Ballygunner from Waterford. When the teams clashed in the championship, Sixmilebridge won 3-17 to 2-18, and went on to claim the county title. For much of that game, a draw looked the likely result. The ’Bridge …

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A special day for Kilmaley parish

SINCE the introduction of the provincial and All-Ireland club championships across all grades, their popularity has grown enormously and one of the main reasons for this is that they provide players with the opportunity to represent their parishes at the highest level, while playing beside their best friends and family members. Kilmaley have that opportunity this week when brothers and cousins will line up side by side as the Clare intermediate hurling champions face their Cork counterparts Kanturk in the procvincial club finals in The Gaerl grounds, Limerick at 2pm. Kilmaley will be led by team captain Colin McGuane, who will have his brother Aidan as a team mate, while family members will be in the stand supporting the team and will include their father Noel, a member of the team that brought the Canon Hamilton Trophy to the parish for the first time in 1985. “The club is a real family affair and that makes it more special, as …

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Injury worries for the ‘Bridge

Clare senior hurling champions Sixmilebridge could hardly have asked for a stiffer test in the Munster Club semi-final than a meeting with their Waterford counterparts, Ballygunner, at Walsh Park but they will travel with strong support this Sunday for the game. Na Piarsaigh from Limerick or Blackrock from Cork will provide the opposition in the final. This will be Ballygunner’s eighth consecutive week in championship action. Last week, the Waterford side delivered, arguably, their best display when overcoming Thurles Sarsfields in a quarter-final tie that needed extra time. That performance showed their determination to do well in this championship. Sixmilebridge have injury concerns hanging over captain, Paidi Fitzpatrick and fellow defender, Caimin Morey. Fitzpatrick suffered a broken finger in the drawn final with Clooney-Quin. Following treatment, he played in the replay but he suffered further damage to the hand, making him an extremely doubtful starter for Sunday. A final decision on whether or not he will play will not be …

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Kilmurry Ibrickane are champions for 15th time

Kilmurry Ibrickane 1-14 Clondegad 0-14 KILMURRY Ibrickane are Clare senior football champions for the 15th time, following their victory over first time finalists, Clondegad in Cusack Park, on Sunday afternoon. Played in front of an attendance of 4,916 the game was tactical and restricted in the first half, following which the Aidan Moloney managed two in a row champions led 0-6 to 0-4. The game opened up considerably in the second half with the sides kicking 19 scores between them. However the crucial one was the green flag raised by Kilmurry substitute Peter O’Dwyer, who was put through by fellow substitute Noel Downes. O’Dwyer, who was later red carded, along with Clonegad’s Joe Neylon, slotted home the goal, which put Kilmurry into a 1-13 to 0-13 lead. O’Dwyer also scored the winning point in Kilmurry’s semi-final win over Cratloe. Clondegad did not give up and in fact they pressed Kilmurry hard over the remaining 14 minutes, which included nine minutes …

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Sam Represents Ireland at World MMA Championship

AN avid sportsman in his formative years, Sam Slater tried every sport available to him in the small-town rural setting, where he grew up in East Clare. He tried traditional sports, like hurling, rugby and soccer, which was his main sport, but having discovered mixed martial arts by playing a computer game, he thought this sport was too good to be true. “We were on a holiday in the UK for three weeks and me and my brother were playing UFC 2009 Undisputed on X-Box and we were loving it. There were loads of little real video clips but we were saying that it couldn’t be real – it’s probably like pro wrestling, it’s not real. We did a bit of research and we realised this sport is actually real, so, from then, I had to try it. I was just 15 at the time and living in East Clare so there was nowhere to try mixed martial arts (MMA),” …

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Second half Mayo goals put paid to Clare

Mayo 2-14 Clare 0-13 AT half-time a huge shock looked on but Clare were outscored 2-8 to 0-5 in the second half of their third round All-Ireland qualifier game against Mayo in Ennis on Saturday. The O’Connor brothers, Cillian and Diarmuid, buried two early second half goals and from there, Mayo were in control. In front of an attendance of 11,576 in Cusack Park, Clare led 0-8 to 0-6 after 35 minutes. They made an electric start and led 0-6 to 0-1 after 19 minutes. Andy Moran, who put over 0-3 from play in the first half, kicked the games opening score in the first minute but Clare racked up 0-6 in a pulsating spell. Mayo were also dealt a very early setback when Donal Vaughan was black carded for a tackle on Gary Brennan in the fourth minute. Brennan was one of Clare’s point scores in that period, while Eoin Cleary, David Tubridy, Keelan Sexton and Jamie Malone also …

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