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Big names set to return to challenge Tipp

CLARE won’t name the starting line-up for Sunday’s crucial hurling league clash with Tipperary until nearer match time but it’s expected that Tony Kelly, David McInerney and Conor McGrath will all make their first competitive starts of the season. The inclusion of all three will strengthen Clare’s chances of getting their first win of the campaign. It’s also likely that experienced Brendan Bugler and Pat Donnellan will revert to defensive duties for this one, after spells at midfield and wing-forward respectively. Indeed, there is speculation that Clare might revert to using a sweeper, with Donnellan filling the role that he did with great success during the 2013 championship campaign. Ahead of this week’s eagerly-awaited tie, there is a doubt about the fitness of Colin Ryan. The Newmarket man picked up a leg injury in the Cork match and didn’t train last week. A final decision on his fitness will be made nearer match time. McInerney is likely to be named …

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Superb second half wins it for Clare

(Peter O’Connell) Clare 0-22 Sligo 1-13 TRAILING by 0-5 to 0-0 after 14 minutes and 0-10 to 0-4 down eight minutes before half-time, Clare staged an excellent recovery in winning their second game of the division 3 NFL. Now on two points from three games, Clare play Tipperary on Saturday in Thurles in round four. Sligo meanwhile are now bottom of division 3, not having picked up a point yet. [doptg id=”48″]Scoring ten evenly split points from play between them, Pat Burke and Shane McGrath put over an array of superb points for Clare, while Shane Hickey also pointed three from play. Clare only got going late in the first half when, backed by a strong breeze, Sligo were six points ahead. However come the interval the Yeats County team were just 0-11 to 0-9 ahead. Adrian Marren and David Kelly were exceptionally dangerous for Sligo for much of that opening half. Clare didn’t match Sligo’s zest for most of …

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Clare face Sligo in must win Ennis clash

AS Clare prepare for their third league game of 2015 in Cusack Park on Sunday, they do so in the knowledge that if they are to avoid fighting relegation, this is a must win game. Sligo are in even more dire need of the points following defeats to Limerick and Fermanagh. In losing to Louth, Clare simply spilled possession much too often. Although they played decent football in the opening half, once Louth gained in confidence and stepped it up, Clare were left floundering. Losing Ciaran Russell to a black card and Cathal O’Connor to injury, adversely affected Clare. They had to move Shane McGrath to midfield and Shane Hickey to wing back, which resulted in their attack becoming unbalanced while they couldn’t win sufficient primary ball in the middle of the field. Not scoring in the last 27 minutes is a reflection of Clare’s second half display which if replicated this weekend, will lead to certain defeat. Clare must …

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Two changes to football team for Sligo visit

By Seamus Hayes There are two changes in personnell to the Clare senior football team for Sunday’s clash with Sligo from the side which lost to Louth in Drogheda  two weeks ago. Kevin Hartnett, selected to play at full back in the opening tie against Wexford but who was forced to withdraw after picking up an ankle injury in the warm up before that tie, has recovered and he returns at full back to the exclusion of Stephen Collins. Podge Collins also missed the Wexford game due to injury but he was introduced against Louth and he will start on Sunday. He replaces David Tubridy who suffered an injury in training this week. The team is; Joe Hayes; Martin McMahon, Kevin Hartnett, Dean Ryan; Jamie Malone, Gordon Kelly, Ciaran Russell; Gary Brennan (capt) Cathal O’Connor; Sean Collins, Shane Hickey, Shane McGrath; Podge Collins, Shane Brennan, Pat Burke

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Kayleigh takes to the ring for Ireland

Kilfenora welterweight Kayleigh McCormack, a recent silver medalist in the Ladies Elite National Boxing Championships, makes a second international appearance against Ukraine on Saturday night. McCormack, who is a second year student in Thurles IT, boxed against Sweden on Saturday week last and although she lost out on points to Agnes Alexiusson, she was outstanding in the final round of a torrid four-round battle. Kayleigh feels the experience garnered against the Swede will bolster her chances against Nila Lupska, the reigning Ukranian welterweight champion. Ennis club coach, Sean Carrig, was a judge in the 2013 European Championships in Budapest and remembers the Ukranian boxing there. He was impressed with her ringcraft and skill but he feels the power-punching Kilfenora girl will push Lupska all the way. The Ukranian team will box in Edenderry and in the National Stadium on this tour, which they are using as a warm-up for the upcoming world championships to be held in Kazakstan in September. …

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A feast of hurling at LIT

After much back-and-forth over the past week, the concluding stages of the Fitzgibbon Cup (Third Level A Hurling Championship) start this Friday at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT). The decision of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick to appeal, after IT Carlow had won its appeal and were re-instated last week, led to the postponement of two quarter-finals to Tuesday of this week. IT Carlow had beaten Mary Immaculate College to win a quarter-final place but they were subsequently removed from the competition when the ruling authority decided they had included an illegal player. The Leinster college successfully appealed that decision to get back into the competition but the remaining two quarter-finals remained in doubt right up to Tuesday morning, after Mary Immaculate decided to take their case to the DRA, whose decision to uphold Carlow’s position was confirmed a few hours before the quarter-final took place at the Limerick college venue. Following their win on Tuesday, LIT manager Davy Fitzgerald called …

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A first All-Ireland senior final date for St Flannan’s

By Seamus Hayes St Flannan’s 2-4  Presentation, Kilkenny 1-5 There were a number of outstanding individual displays in an all round impressive team performance as St Flannan’s qualified for a first ever All-Ireland senior camogie final appearance when overcoming Presentation from Kilkenny at Clarecastle on Thursday afternoon. In the final they will play Seamount, Kinvara or Magherafelt from Derry, who replay their semi-final this weekend. [doptg id=”47″]In Thursday’s replay, the Ennis school laid the foundations for the victory with a superb defensive display. Aoife Keane was outstanding at centre-back, while the full-back trio of Aleisha Malone, Emma O’Connell and Carol Browne also excelled. The decision to deploy corner-forward Laoise Ryan in a sweeper role was also a key factor for the Ennis team. Elsewhere, Sinead Quinn and Aoibheann Malone excelled and caused huge problems for the visitors. In very cold conditions, a swirling wind made matters more difficult for the players and it was clear from an early stage that …

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Tulla bridge 34 year gap

By Seamus Hayes St. Josephs, Tulla 1-16 CBC, Cork 1-14 (after extra time) A thirty four year gap was bridged at Ballyagran on Saturday when St. Josephs, Tulla won the Munster colleges senior B hurling title for only the second time in their history. In difficult conditions the East Clare side put in a tremendous performance to overcome Christian Brothers College from Cork in a tie which required extra time to separate the sides. The Cork side got off to a great start and were five points clear after just eleven minutes, 1-3 to 0-1 and things didn’t look good for Tulla. However, thanks to the accuracy of freetaker Brian Fahy, they fought back and drew level by the twenty second minute at 0-6 to 1-3 before the Cork side went on to hold a two point advantage, 1-6 to 0-7, at the interval. Defences dominated in the third quarter which was scoreless. Inside the final quarter Tulla hit three …

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