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Feakle’s Donnellan flying high over ‘unbelievable buzz’ in the parish

THE run of the parish’s hurlers has shortened the winter in Feakle and Oisín Donnellan has really enjoyed the atmosphere. “In the last few weeks there has been an unbelievable buzz around the parish. Everyone is looking forward to it, just wishing you the best of luck and all that. It’s a real community thing,” he says. A graduate of NUI Galway, further study may be on the horizon for Donnellan in the future. “I said I’d give myself a years break and see what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure whether I’d go back and do a Masters or not. I’ll start think about that after the hurling finishes.” At the moment he is working in Clare Fruit and Veg in Ennis and at times there is a lot of hurling talk on the premises. “I’m on the shelves and at the tills and all of that. It was good, we had a good bit of banter the …

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Feakle ready for their date with destiny

FEAKLE are on the cusp of creating history as they face into their first ever Munster final this Sunday, taking on Charleville of Cork in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Feakle last won a senior county title in 1988 but lost their Munster semi-final to Waterford side Mount Sion. Thirty years later, Feakle made no mistake with an authoritative display against a Waterford side when they beat Clonea by nine points. Feakle is far from a massive parish but supporters flocked in their droves from East Clare to Fraher Field in Dungarvan and Gary Guilfoyle paid tribute to those who did. “I think they outnumbered the Clonea crowd by two to one. The whole place has been buzzing for the last few weeks, since before the semi-final. We are even getting crowds at training now,” Gary said. The name Guilfoyle is synonymous with hurling in Clare and in Feakle. But bad luck with injuries and the name Guilfoyle also go …

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Feakle one step away from a Munster final

AFTER realising their primary goal, of getting back to senior in their first attempt, Feakle now embark on the provincial journey that so many Clare teams have enjoyed success in down through the years. After last years relegation, Val Donnellan’s men bounced straight back up to the first tier of Clare hurling in emphatic style, coming out the right side of it, 0-27 to 0-16 against Tubber in the Clare intermediate final. Next up for the east Clare team is a trip to Waterford on Saturday. They will face off against Clonea, with the Rathgormack based side having seen off Limerick champions, Garryspillane in the Munster quarter-final, 1-25 to 1-10 in Faher field last Sunday. The Waterford men come into this one in imperious form, averaging 2-19 in their nine outings to date. Feakle will definitely be missing one starter from their victory over Tubber. Ger Hanrahan won’t be participating as he is in New York for the fixture, while …

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Ballyea aim to gun down Waterford champions

TWO weeks after winning just their second Canon Hamilton, Ballyea travel to Waterford on Sunday at 1.30pm, looking for a performance that can stun favourites Ballygunner in the Munster club semi-final. Sunday’s encounter promises to go right to the wire, providing both teams perform to their capabilities. A big performance from Tony Kelly will be required for Ballyea yet again, although players like Brandon O’Connell and Martin O’Leary were superb in the county final. More of the same will be required on Sunday along with big performances from Gary Brennan and Jack Browne. The unerring accuracy of free taker Niall Deasy will also play a pivotal role in Ballyea’s performance in Waterford as the 2016 Munster champions seek to conquer Munster again. Deasy has a superb record from placed balls and that has been pivotal to their unexpected 2018 championship success. Ballyea will also have to keep an eye on their oppositions centre forward, Pauric Mahony. The 26-year-old tallied 25 …

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Magnificent Miltown are champions for 14th time

St Joseph’s Miltown 0-14 Ennistymon 0-8 ST Joseph’s Miltown are county football champions for the 14th time, following a superb second half display in the 2018 county final in Cusack Park. Miltown won their last senior championship in 2015 and tied down Jack Daly for 2018 when they outscored Ennistymon 0-8 to 0-4 in the second half, having led by two points at the interval. The big difference between the sides was Miltown’s ability to score from play. Six of their players combined to kick their 0-10 tally from play. In contrast only Joe Dowling, who fought manfully and Joey Rouine raised white flags from play for Ennistymon, who showed great heart throughout. Following a frenetic first half, Miltown led 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time. Ennistymon’s kick out strategy caused problems for Miltown in the opening quarter and that helped them into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead by the 11th minute. Joe Dowling kicked three of Ennistymon’s first half points …

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Magnificent Ballyea dig deep to win it

Ballyea 1-20 Cratloe 1-14 BALLYEA turned in a sensational second half performance to win the 2018 Clare senior hurling title in Cusack Park on Sunday. Seven points down in the opening minute of the second half the 2016 Clare and Munster champions outscored Cratloe 1-8 to 0-0 from the 37th minute with Martin O’Leary burying the crucial goal four minutes from time, when Ballyea intercepted a short puck out. Played in front of a crowd of 7,040 people, Ballyea showed immense heart and courage to recover from a 1-10 to 0-9 deficit, having played with the wind. Cratloe looked very sharp in the first half with Billy Connors and Cathal McInerney particularly potent in the full forward line. They looked to be in a great position at half-time but were completely outplayed for most of the second half as Ballyea significantly upped their game, while Cratloe wilted. Niall Deasy was selected as man of the match while he also won …

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Portumna clinch Irish Mixed Foursomes

Portumna landed the Irish Mixed Foursomes in dramatic fashion when Damien Burke holed the winning putt at the second extra hole. Burke partnered Mary McElroy to victory in the decisive match, which went to the 20th, sinking a crucial five-footer to seal the winning point against the Ulster champions, Ballybofey & Stranorlar for a 3-2 win. This was a second green pennant for the club, who had previously won the Irish Mixed Foursomes at Bandon in 2009 In the final Portumna’s James McLoughlin (0) and Rachel Madden (22) beat T Griffen (8) and M McHugh (15) 5&3; Ger Lynch (6) and Bernie Kilmartin (19) beat F Wilson (10) and D Devaney (11) 4&3; Damien Burke (4) and Mary McElroy (17) beat J McMenamin (8) and S Maloney (18) 20th; P Cahalan (12) and A Fahey (13) lost to E Bradley (14) and M McConnell (10) 3&2; G Brehony (14) and M Kelly (13) lost to S Carlin (10) and J …

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Off the Fence with Fergie O’Loughlin

This week The Clare Champion hurling columnist asks why two leading referees were sitting in the stand at last weekends senior quarter-finals. I WAS in Cusack Park on Saturday evening. Sitting across from me were Rory McGann and Rory Hickey. They are the two best referees in the county but they were sitting above in the stand. Somebody needs to explain why they weren’t refereeing any of the four senior hurling quarter-finals at the weekend. It’s a no brainer for me that these lads had to be refereeing a couple of those games. Somebody has to stand up and explain why neither of them were. We saw a situation last year where the referees stuck together when Ambrose Heagney got the county final. None of them wanted to make themselves available to do the line or the fourth official’s role because they felt hard done by with the appointment. Now, we have a situation where two referees are being left …

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