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Olympics gain could be Clare ladies’ loss

Women’s Gaelic Players’ Association (WGPA) executive committee member, Deirdre Murphy, who has played adult camogie for Clare since 1997, has contrasted the way three possible Olympians are treated in their rugby and hockey camps, to their ladies football and camogie experiences. Naomi Carroll is an international hockey player, while Susan Vaughan and Eimear Considine could be part of the Irish Rugby 7s squad at the 2016 Rio Olympics. “If you take Clare, in particular, you have Eimear Considine, Susan Vaughan and Naomi Carroll, who have a realistic chance to take part in the Olympics in rugby and hockey. They are experiencing what all Clare camogie players want to experience with regard to the level of professionalism, the level of care and training,” Murphy said. She says Clare camogie players and footballers would love to train in that type of professional environment. “Look at Máire McGrath, who is just as talented but her experience at inter-county camogie doesn’t compare to what …

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Broad approval for GAA season changes

There has been mixed reaction to the report from the GAA Central Council working group, which proposes the completion of all fixtures in a calendar year. If approved, this will operate from 2016. The report argues that the recommendations will enable counties and provinces to complete their competitions in sufficient time for the All-Ireland Club Championships in junior, intermediate and senior by December. The main recommendations in the report are: – The All-Ireland Club Championship finals, at all grades, be played over a single ‘club weekend’ each December; – On a two-year pilot basis, the All-Ireland hurling and football finals should each be brought forward by one week from their current dates; – All-Ireland final replays should take place on the Saturday immediately after the drawn game; – Provincial championship draws in football and hurling should take place in late August of the competition year; these draws should be structured so that the club champions of counties still involved in …

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Clare fail to match Cork’s sharpness

By Seamus Hayes Cork 2-21 Clare 0-18 A much sharper and hungrier Cork side proved too strong for Clare in the semi-final of the Waterford Crystal senior hurling tournament played before an attendance of 1,369 at Mallow on Saturday. The visitors were outplayed throughout the field in the opening half and found themselves twelve points, 0-7 to 2-13, adrift at half time. The Bannermen did show improved form in the second half but, overall, they can have no complaints with the result as they were well beaten in most areas throughout the seventy minutes. With the start of the Allianz league just two weeks away, Davy Fitzgerald and his management team are sure to be disappointed with this performance. True, it is still very early in the season and there are a lot of players to be considered for places in the side, but there must be some concern after this display. There was little to suggest, in the opening …

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All will become crystal clear in Mallow

Both Clare and Cork are expected to name a mixture of regulars and newcomers on their panels, when they clash at 1pm in the Waterford Crystal semi-final on Saturday in Mallow. Both management teams will be availing of the opportunity to give some of the fringe panel members a chance to impress, as the opening round of the national league approaches. Cork play titleholders Kilkenny in the opening round of the league on Saturday, February 14, while Clare face an away trip to neighbours Galway the following day. In round two, Cork are due to entertain Clare at Pairc Uí Rinn on Saturday, February 21, a fixture that is sure to add to the interest to this weekend’s meeting. In their win over Kerry last week, Cork boss, Jimmy Barry Murphy included regulars, Christopher Joyce, Lorcan McLoughlin, Aidan Walsh, Stephen Moylan and Paudie O’Sullivan from the start, while Daniel Kearney, Patrick Cronin and Seamus Harnady were introduced during the game. …

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Clare dethrone the champions

By Seamus Hayes Clare 0-16 Tipperary 0-15 Clare’s top scorer in recent seasons, Colin Ryan, hit the winning point at Sixmilebridge to send Clare into the semi-final of the 2015 Waterford Crystal senior hurling tournament. The finalists for the past three years produced another close contest when they clashed at O’Garney Park before an attendance of 1,342 on a bright but cold afternoon. In winning, Clare dethroned the holders and set up a semi-final meeting with Cork in Cork next Sunday. It was a win Clare deserved but they nearly let it slip. Four points clear with five minutes remaining, the home side was under a lot of pressure in the closing minutes. Four unanswered points helped the visitors to draw level with a minute remaining before Ryan struck for the winning score. Playing with the aid of the breeze, Tipperary had the better of the early exchanges and raced into a two point lead after five minutes. As the …

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Cusack Park compromise for wheelchair users

AN ad-hoc group, representing Clare people with disabilities, has secured a compromise as regards their seating accommodation in the plans for the upgrade of Cusack Park. In the plans being prepared by the Clare County GAA Board for the revamp of the stand at the county grounds, areas at either end of the stand were initially earmarked to accommodate wheelchair users. However, people with disabilities, who are loyal GAA supporters, were incensed with this proposed positioning, leading to a meeting on Monday night with officials of the county board at which a compromise was reached. Under the new plans presented to the group, wheelchair users will be facilitated with 22 disability accessible seats and 22 seats for carers in a position between the 21m and 50m line on the Cloister side of the stand. In addition to benefiting from covered accommodation, wheelchair users can now look forward to having a much better viewing point on big match days in Cusack …

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Cooney’s goal steers Tulla into Munster semi-final

  St Joseph’s Tulla 1-11; Causeway, Kerry 0-12 St Joseph’s Tulla progressed to the Munster colleges Senior B hurling championship semi-final and a meeting with Coláiste Chríost Rí from Cork, when they overcame the strong challenge presented by a fancied Causeway Community School from Kerry,  in Rathkeale on Friday afternoon. From an early stage, it was a close affair but, in the final analysis, the Clare side were that bit better balanced and this proved decisive. The game’s only goal proved to be a crucial score and it came after just 10 minutes, when Gary Cooney’s powerful strike from the edge of the 13m line beat the Kerry defence. At half time, the winners held a two point advantage, 1-5 to 0-6, but the Kerry side will argue that Darren Chaplin’s effort, six minutes from the interval, should not have been allowed. The umpires disagreed but after consultation, the referee allowed the score. From my position on the sideline, the effort was …

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Understrength Clare to test Tipp

SIXMILEBRIDGE will host the Waterford Crystal senior hurling quarter-final between Clare and Tipperary on Sunday at 2pm. A repeat of last year’s final, which Tipperary won at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, the Premier outfit go into Sunday’s tie with the benefit of a first-round win, as a result of which they will carry the favourites’ tag on Sunday. On Friday, January 9 at Dr Morris Park, a hat-trick of goals from Seamus Callinan helped the holders to a 4-16 to 1-16 win over Mary Immaculate College from Limerick. Callinan, one of the stars of last season, finished that game with a tally of 3-7. Tipperary fielded a relatively strong side in last week’s game, while experimenting in some positions. Paul Curran, Shane McGrath, Conor O’Mahoney, Pádraic Maher, Kieran Bergin, Gearóid Ryan, Patrick Maher, Seamus Callinan and James Woodlock all saw action against the Limerick college and are expected to be in the squad again this week for the clash …

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