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Camogie showdown with Galway

Clare senior manager Tricia O’Grady admits this weekend’s clash with Galway in the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship is “one of the biggest games this group have faced”. “We know that it’s win or our season is over. They gave us a right licking in the league, a right trouncing. They probably are a more experienced side than Kilkenny but they haven’t delivered on that,” said the Newmarket woman. Asked if earning a draw against All-Ireland champions Kilkenny has put extra pressure on the team, she answered, “We know we have it in us to compete with the best. Consistency has been our problem. In any given year, we have taken a scalp but we need to do this on a consistent basis and that’s where the pressure is”. O’Grady and her backroom team must plan without defender Amy Barrett for Saturday’s vital clash. Barrett picked up a hand injury in the game with Kilkenny, which rules her out. Clare must …

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Changes on senior and minor hurling teams

There are three changes in personnell on the Clare team to play Tipperary in the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter final at Pairc Ui Caoimh on Saturday from that which lost to Cork in the Provincial final two weeks ago As expected, injury has ruled full back David McInerney out of the team while both Oisin O’Brien and Aron Shanagher have been omitted from the side which started against Cork. In fact Shanagher has failed to find a place in the match day twenty six. Crusheen’s Cian Dillon returns to the starting line up and he has been named at corner back with team captain Pat O’Connor taking over at full back in place of the injured McInerney. Seadna Morey reverts from wing to corner back in place of Oisin O’Brien and Jamie Shanahan is named at wing back. The other change sees Aaron Cunningham from Wolfe Tones named at full forward in place of his clubmate Aron Shanagher. Into the …

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Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor.

A do or die game in Pairc Uí Chaoimh

CLARE and Tipperary both know Saturday could be their last outing for the 2017 season. “It’s a do or die game for both. We feel we have a huge amount we can improve upon from our last performance, in terms of our defence set-up, our puck-out strategy, our shot selection from the middle third and our decision-making as a whole,” joint team manager Gerry O’Connor said ahead of the panel’s second last training session. “Ultimately, if you look at the amount of scoring opportunities we created against Cork, they were significant and we didn’t take a high enough percentage of them,” he added. He conceded that David McInerney’s chances of playing are slim. “At best, his chance is 50-50. Right now we are considering him as unavailable. Anything else will be a bonus. We will know more following training.” McInerney is the only serious injury worry. “There are the usual knocks and bruises following our game in training on Sunday …

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Belief erodes further that hurlers have it

Comment WHO dreamed up, implemented and then didn’t change Clare’s puck-out strategy? Why did Clare seemingly set out to stop Cork and neglect to concentrate more fully on playing their own game? Why was Tony Kelly left on penalties and why was Oisin O’Brien started on Alan Cadogan, when surely Seadna Morey was the man for that job? These and a few other questions abounded on Sunday evening and Monday morning as the dwindling Clare hurling public digested what had just happened in Thurles. Since winning the 2013 All-Ireland title, Clare have beaten Limerick and Laois (both twice) and Offaly in championship hurling. Any time they have met a top tier county, including Cork, Galway or Waterford, they have not cut it. Repeatedly this panel have shown that they are not as good as people in this county thought. Their 2013 win must now be consigned to the ‘lucky, flash in the pan’ category and while their All-Ireland medal cannot …

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Collins must remain in charge

While there were no formal announcements made as to the future, the vibes are strong that manager Colm Collins and some senior players will call time on their involvement with the county senior squad for next season. After Saturday’s defeat, the Cratloe club man said, “I have four years done and they must be getting sick of me but this evening is not the time to talk about that. We will take a bit of time.” There is concern amongst members of the squad that, after four years in charge, he will not seek another term, despite acknowledging on Saturday that “a lot of things are going well and there is more in Clare. There’s a fantastic bunch of players there but that’s no consolation this evening”. When a team bows out of a championship, there is always speculation as to who might call time on their inter-county careers and, this week, it’s no different for the Clare footballers. Gordon …

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All so easy for Limerick

Limerick 1-28 Clare 1-15 Disappointing times for Clare GAA followers continued at the Gaelic grounds in Limerick this evening when the county’s under 21 hurlers were comprehensively beaten by Limerick in the Provincial semi-final. The writing was on the wall from an early stages as the home side dominated all the key areas. By half time they were nine points clear, 1-14 to 1-5 and Clare were fortunate that they were not much further behind at this stage as Limerick has failed to convert four clear goal chances in the first half Limerick went into the game as strong favourites and the writing was on the wall early as they took a commanding lead after just ten minutes. When Clare hit five unanswered points inside the first ten minutes of the second half to cut the winner’s lead to five points, Clare supporters in the official attendance of 5,577 held out hopes of a rally. However, it wasn’t to be …

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Under 21 hurling team named

The Clare team to play Limerick in the Munster under 21 hurling championship semi-final was named after training this Monday evening and it includes David Fitzgerald, Aron Shanagher and Jason McCarthy who played in the Munster senior final loss to Cork on Sunday. the match takes place on Wednesday evening at the gaelic grounds in Limerick with the throw in at 7.30p.m The team is Killian Nugent (O’Callaghan’s Mills); Ciaran Cooney (O’Callaghan’s Mills), Dara Walsh (Éire Óg), Conor O’Halloran (Éire Óg); Con Smyth (Feakle), David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones); Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona), Michael O’Malley (Kilmaley); Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones), Ian Galvin (Clonlara), Brian Cahill (Kilmaley); Colin Corbett (Tulla), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), Billy Connors (Cratloe) Subs:Dan Vaughan (Tulla), Michael Moloney (Éire Óg), Michael O’Shea (Smith O’Brien’s), Padraic O’Loughlin (Clonlara), Cathal Noonan (Killanena), Jack Cunningham (Wolfe Tones), Darren Chaplin (Broadford), Ronan Monahan (Tubber), Evan McMahon (Feakle)

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U-21 hurlers’ face neighbours

Since Clare made the breakthrough in winning their first provincial U-21 hurling title in 2009, Banner teams have dominated the championship. They have won four of the last eight titles, including three-in-a-row in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Next Wednesday’s semi-final tie between Clare and Shannonside rivals Limerick will take place at the Gaelic Grounds, the first meeting of the counties at this level since the final of 2015, when Limerick were victorious. This year’s manager, John Carmody, is happy that there is no pressure heading into next week’s game. “A number of the players involved this year were in the team that suffered a big defeat in Waterford last year and they will want to atone for that. We are playing the All-Ireland favorites in their own back yard and we are confident that the players will perform and express themselves on the evening,” commented the Kilmaley man. “There is a huge rivalry between the counties and form goes out …

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Sharper Cork too good for Clare

Cork 1-25 Clare 1-20 A sharper Cork sent Clare hurling fans home disappointed from Semple stadium in Thurles this Sunday afternoon as they captured the Munster senior title for the first time in three years. The result completed a very very disappointing day for Clare hurling and a disappointing weekend for Clare GAA. Beaten in the ladies intermediate football final on Saturday, Clare were then dumped out of the All-Ireland championship when beaten by Mayo leaving fans making the journey to Thurles hoping for a change in fortunes. All is not lost however and both minor and senior hurlers now face All-Ireland quarter final ties in two weeks time, the minors against Ulster opposition and the seniors against either Tipperary or Waterford. Before an attendance of 45,558, the game started at a very lively pace and the teams exchanged points three times before the twelfth minute when Cork struck for an Alan Cadogan goal after the cork corner forward had …

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Hartness impressed with Clare’s pool of talent

THE achievement of winning three All-Irelands at U-21 level and an All-Ireland senior title in five years “is phenomenal”, according to Cork selector Pat Hartnett. The Midleton man, who helped Cork to championship glory in 1984 and 1986, argues that Clare has “a serious pool of talent” and “are big time favourites for Sunday’s game”. Given Cork’s absence from the roll of honour in recent years, is there pressure on them to win this title? “There is no pressure in our view,” was the dentist’s response. “We played Clare a number of weeks ago behind closed doors. They are as good as we have met this year, they were scintillating on the night. They are big time favourites for Sunday. It’s up to management team to work with the tools they are given. Three All-Irelands in five years is phenomenal. Look, a blind man knows when the sun is shining,” he added. Regarding the 2013 All-Ireland final, he noted it …

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