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Clare and Limerick face-off in Thurles

A NUMBER of cross-overs between Clare and Limerick makes this Sunday’s Munster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final in Thurles even more exciting than usual. Paul Kinnerk, such a central figure in much of the success Clare enjoyed at provincial and national U-21 and senior levels in the past half-dozen years, is now the Limerick coach. Their physical trainer is Joe O’Connor, who trained Clare’s All-Ireland winning team in 2013 under manager Davy Fitzgerald. If that wasn’t enough, there is the involvement of Wolfe Tones clubman from Shannon, Alan Cunningham as part of the Limerick backroom team. He played a key role in the success achieved by Limerick city club Na Piarsaigh in winning the Munster and All-Ireland club titles and is still part of the Limerick city club’s backroom team. On Sunday, the former Clare player and coach finds himself in the opposite camp to his son Aaron, who is a key member of the Clare panel and likely to feature …

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Hayes’s strike keeps Traynor title in Clare

Clare League 1 Inisowen league 0 An Eoin Hayes strike in the third minute of the second half helped Clare to soccer history at Maginn park in Buncrana this afternoon. In winning, Clare retained this inter league title for the first time in their history on a day when Hayes’ fellow Irish international Stephen Kelly was named as the team manager. Kelly was outstanding in a magnificent defence which dominated, particularly in the final ten minutes when they were under huge pressure as the home side piled on pressure in search of an equaliser The second half was particularly entertaining with chances at both ends. Three minutes after the resumption Dave McCarthy created the opening and Eoin Hayes, as he has done so often in recent seasons, applied the finish, shooting low to the corner. Defending champions Clare received a timely boost to their chances of retaining the title when Avenue United’s Colin Smyth passed a late fitness test which …

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Banner to claim 24th championship win over Limerick

IN what will be the counties’ 40th Munster championship meeting, Clare will be looking for their 24th win over Limerick on Sunday when the teams meet for the third year-in-a-row. If Clare win, it will be their fourth successive championship win over Limerick, who operated in Division 4 of the National Football League this season, while Clare played in Division 2. While the Banner County retained their league status, one issue encountered was lack of impact from the bench. Clare made 31 substitutions during the league but none of them managed a score in any of the seven games. At times, Clare were without some key players, which weakened their options on the bench. The fact they have a full panel to pick from this weekend should mean that Clare will have players who can come in and impact the game in the closing 20 minutes. Although Clare were the only county in the entire league to score a goal …

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Garrihy looking forward to Oscar showdown

FACING Inishowen in Sunday’s Oscar Traynor decider is the final Clare manager Donie Garrihy wanted last year. “We were up there, we watched them beat Galway in Deacy Park and they won well. They are very passionate players. We watched them against the Leinster Senior League. They had an man sent off and Leinster Senior League caught them in the last five minutes. I was on the pitch afterwards with Denis Hynes and I shook hands with Inishowen manager Denis O’Brien, whom I admire very much. I said ‘we are so disappointed’. We were looking forward to playing the final there; it’s such a brilliant pitch.” The Doolin man added, “We went on and won the final and there were great celebrations followed by a civic reception, which was brilliant. It fills you with pride but you must keep your feet on the ground as well. The target again this year was to get out of the group. It was …

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Champions Ballyea make a winning start

Champions Ballyea made a winning start to the 2017 Clare senior hurling championship when they accounted for Wolfe Tones at Cusack Park this Sunday. At the end of a well contested first half they led by the odd point in eleven, 0-6 to 0-5. In the opening ten minutes of the second half each side added two points to their half time tallies before the title holders stretched their lead to three points by the three quarter stage. Wolfe Tones closed the gap to the minimum again but the crucial score came seven minutes from time when Tony Kelly burst through for the game’s only goal which helped his side to a 1-16 to 0-12 victory. Goals from Eimhin Courtney, David Reidy and Shane O’Donnell helped Eire Og to a comfortable victory over O’Callaghans Mills at Shannon. Courtney’s goal separated the sides at half time when the score was 1-10 to 0-10 and the Ennis side went on to hold …

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Brendan Bugle is struggling with injuries but Clare still have a great chance of winning on Sunday..

Whitegate shock Cratloe as race for Canon Hamilton begins

Whitegate’s one point win over Cratloe in the opening round of the Clare senior hurling championship is the big talking point in Clare hurling circles this Saturday evening. While there was speculation in the lead up to the tie, played at Dr, Daly park in Tulla, as to how it might go, Cratloe remained the favourites to get their campaign off to a wining start. Substitute Eoin Patterson proved to be the East Clare side’s hero as he struck for their fourth goal which came at the death. Cratloe started well and held an early four point lead but then Whitegate got the upperhand and when the half time whistle sounded they were 3-5 to 0-9 in front. The teams exchanged points on a number of occasions in the third quarter before Cratloe battled back and edged into the lead after some good scores from Shane Gleeson, Conor McGrath and Podge Collins. They looked to have secured victory until Patterson …

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Can Ballyea keep the silverware?

The race to find a new home for the Canon Hamilton Trophy will begin in earnest this weekend, with eight games down for decision. Eight first round games in the intermediate championship will also take place. While all 16 teams will still be in the title race come Sunday evening, an opening round victory will mean the threat of relegation will have been eliminated. Introduced two years ago, one of the eight first-round losers will be relegated to the intermediate grade for next season. The same format applies to the intermediate championship this year. Following the first round, the eight winners will be drawn against each other and the eight losers will also be drawn to face each other, with the four losers here battling it out in a relegation play-off. At least one of last year’s semi-finalists will find themselves in the losers’ round, as first round games see Clonlara, beaten finalists for the past two years, take on …

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Newmarket Celtic make more history

Newmarket Celtic A 2 Bridge United A 1 Two goals in a minute midway through the second half helped Newmarket to an historic sixth Clare junior cup title in a row when they overcame Bridge United at sun splashed Frank Healy park in Doora this Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first half, the defending champions found themselves in arrears five minutes after the break when Terry Lenihan got the vital touch and his looping header beat Rob Shire in the Newmarket goal. They had a chance to double their advantage seven minutes later but Derek Fahy’s effort flew wide of the target. While there was a touch of luck about Newmarket’s equaliser when Bridge defender Darren Murphy saw his attempted headed clearance end up in the net over the advancing Paul Tuohy, credit must go to Newmarket substitute Cathal Hayes who pressurised their defence The cheering had barely died down when the holders hit the front. They won a free …

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