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A whistle calls for 30 new refs

CLARE referees are getting old and their representative association in the county is very keen to recruit up to 30 new whistlers for an upcoming training course. There are 39 active referees currently, with 70% of them over 40 and 10% over 60. Inter-county referees Rory Hickey and Rory McGann are adamant that a new injection of younger folk in black is imperative, with just five referees aged under 30. “We’re getting older. Clubs might be sick of looking at us but there is no one else. In Clare, we have an older demographic in our referees’ association. We need to be pumping new people into it,” Rory Hickey told The Clare Champion this week. Hickey has been refereeing since 2000 and has taken charge of seven county finals, while Rory McGann took charge of the 2016 drawn hurling final. Both are aiming to make it back to the list of inter-county referees this year and will know this weekend, …

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Limerick prove too strong in league final

Limerick 0-16 Clare 0-10 The manner in which Clare were outhurled by their great rivals Limerick in this afternoon’s Co-op superstores Munster league final at the gaelic grounds will give players and management alike plenty food for thought before they begin their league campaign in two weeks time. Just one point, and that from a free, in thirty five minutes is a major cause for concern as is the fact that Clare registered a total of sixteen wides during the course of a tie in which Limerick dominated the physical exchanges throughout. Played before an attendance of 3,209, the winners, beaten finalists in this competition last year, dominated for most of the tie At the end of the first half in which the sides were level twice, the new champions led by two points, 0-8 to 0-6. Clare enjoyed their best spell in the opening minutes of the second half when they scored three unanswered points to lead for the …

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Real Madrid star with Clare name

COUNTY Clare is the homeland of the Maloney name and derivations of that name. Molowny is, I presume, one of these? If it is, and I suspect it undoubtedly is, it is rarely seen these days in County Clare, nor in Ireland. It is, however, a famous name in the Canary Islands, but more of that anon. Census records between 1847 and 1863 record only five households in Ireland who registered under the name Molowny. The name seems to have died out in Ireland, with perhaps people changing it to the more common Moloney form. Yet, by some strange set of circumstances, the largest number of people bearing the name Molowny in the world reside in Spain. There are 150 registered Molownys, most of them residing in the Canary Islands, with a few families in Madrid. By sheer accident, I discovered a connection between one particular Molowny and Real Madrid Football Club. I was having a coffee one morning in …

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Is Simon heading for Croker?

THE surprise announcement on Monday last by the chief executive of Munster GAA, Simon Moroney, that he will step down from the post in May, has fuelled speculation that he will be the association’s next director general. Paraic Duffy, the GAA’s ard stiúrthóir is to leave his position at the end of March and, this week, the closing date for applications for the post was extended by two weeks. Ennis man Moroney was first appointed to the position of Munster Council secretary in 2004, when he replaced Donie Nealon. He resigned from the post in 2008 but he returned to the position in 2013, when he agreed to take on the role for nine months initially. “This became one year and after that year, I agreed with the then management committee to do up to five years, one year at a time. I have really enjoyed the last five years and when I finish up on May 6, I will have served just …

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Shannonside deby hurling final

Beaten by a point by Cork in last year’s final, Limerick will be keen to go a step further and capture the Munster Senior Hurling League title. While Cork followers were ultimately disappointed when the side didn’t go on to contest the All-Ireland decider, patrons will point to the fact that following their Munster league win, they won the Munster championship title, beating Clare in the final. This statistic is something that will not have escaped either Clare or Limerick. In the overall picture, winning the Munster league isn’t a priority but both Clare and Limerick have used the competition to give game-time to players. Many will argue that both sides have used a greater number of regulars than other counties currently competing in their respective provincial leagues, so it’s reasonable to assume that both will name fairly strong line-up for Sunday’s final. Clare and Limerick clashes tend to be lively affairs, whether it be a challenge, provincial, national league …

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Early goals give Clare the upperhand

Clare 4-17 Cork 0-18 A comfortable eleven point win over title holders Cork has earned Clare a place in the final of the Co-op Superstores Munster senior hurling league where they will play their neighbours and great rivals Limerick Three goals in the opening quarter sent Clare on their way to this merited win, their second in a week (they easily accounted for Kerry last week) and with Limerick also scoring their second win of the campaign both have sealed their places in the final. The teams were due to meet in the third round next week with the final scheduled for a week later but I understand that both are keen to go ahead with the final this coming weekend and its expected that this will be confirmed by the Munster council in the next day or two. While they weren’t in action this weekend, Clare senior footballers are through to the McGrath cup final where they will meet …

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Hurling team shows ten changes

The Clare senior hurling team to play Cork tomorrow in round 2 of the Munster league shows ten changes to the starting line up from that which faced Kerry last week Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona) replaces Donal Tuohy in goal, Eoin Quirke (Whitegate) and team captain Patrick O’Connor (Tubber) come in for Jack Browne and Rory Hayes in the corner back positions while David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) and Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge) are named aright and left wing back respectively in place of Diarmuid Ryan and Mikey O’Malley. David Reidy makes way for Colm Galvin (Clonlara) at midfield while Colm’s brother Ian Galvin comes in for clubmate John Conlon at wing forward, Cratloe’s Billy Connors will make his debut at corner forward in a line completed by Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin) and Conor McGrath (Cratloe) and this trio replace last week’s full forward line of Cathal O’Connell, Shane O’Donnell and Gary Cooney. Cork have also made a number of changes from the side which …

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Killaloe trainer celebrates first Grade 1 success

A KILLALOE horse trainer received a late Christmas present when Poetic Rhythm helped him to land his first Grade 1 winner. Fergal O’Brien was thrilled when his horse crowned what has been a terrific year for him by winning the Betfred Challow Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday. O’Brien, who used to be head lad to Nigel Twiston-Davies and now rents his old second yard, has sent out 46 winners this season, the vast majority ridden by Paddy Brennan from Ardrahan. Having broken his seasonal-best tally back in April, along with claiming a maiden Grade 2 winner at Sandown in February, the Naunton handler celebrated another landmark achievement as the six-year-old came out on top in a thrilling renewal. After chasing down long-time leader Mulcahys Hill, the 15/8 favourite forged on over the last in the hands of Paddy Brennan, before repelling the late fightback from the Warren Greatrex-trained runner by a short head. It was a close-run thing at the …

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