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Crusheen shock Clonlara

By Seamus Hayes Crusheen 0-10 Clonlara 0-8 Championship favourites Clonlara were dumped out of the Clare senior hurling title race at Cusack Park on Saturday evening when fourteen man Crusheen deservingly took the spoils. In a dour struggle, the winners showed the greater hunger for victory and were full value for their win. They were dealt a massive blow just before half time when they had Pat Vaughan dismissed on a straight red card but throughout the second half, they were the ones that looked to have an extra man. Clonlara got the opening two points of the game after which they exchanged points three times before Crusheen levelled at 0-5 each. They swapped points in injury time to leave the half time score at 0-6 each after Clonlara had shot seven wides, five more that the winners. The third quarter produced just two points, both for Crusheen and they went three clear with ten minutes remaining. Despite Clonlara’s best …

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Cathal McInerney opts for football in 2015

CATHAL McInerney has opted to play inter-county football for Clare in 2015. The Cratloe dual player, who was man of the match in Clare’s 2012 All-Ireland U/21 final win over Kilkenny, started one senior hurling championship game for Clare in 2014 when he lined out against Wexford in Cusack Park. He was introduced as a second half substitute against Cork in the Munster championship in Thurles and as a brief blood substitute for John Conlon in Clare’s All-Ireland qualifier replay defeat in Wexford Park. He joins his Cratloe club mates Podge and Seán Collins in opting to play inter-county football next year. Clare will open their division 3 NFL campaign at home to Wexford on February 1. McInerney’s decision comes in a week when Clare senior hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald confirmed that coach Paul Kinnerk, strength and conditioning coach Joe O’Connor and selector Mike Deegan have stepped down from their respective roles. Kelvin Harold will fill the strength and conditioning …

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No major changes to Davy’s backroom team

Changes to the Clare senior hurling management team for 2015 are, according to manager, Davy, Fitzgerald “not major”. Crusheen’s Michael Browne, who led both Tulla (2007) and Crusheen (2010 and 2011) to Clare senior hurling titles, will be joining as a selector, he has confirmed. In addition, he said, “Mike Deegan will move into the role that Mike Browne previously held, so Mike Deegan will still be involved. While Joe O’Connor, who has been with me for five years in Waterford and Clare, will be stepping back, he will still be involved as well. We are not losing Joe or Mike.” The new fitness and conditioning coach is Kelvin Harold, who has spent some time with West Brom, before joining Limerick FC and also having some involvement with Munster Rugb.y Fitzgerald confirmed that Paul Kinnerk will be stepping back this year. He continued, “But we are delighted to announce that he will be with us again in 2016. He has …

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Clare football only for Podge in 2015

The Clare senior hurling management team tried to accommodate the dual player in 2014 but it did not work for either part, player or management, according to Davy Fitzgerald. “This was not the reason why we did not win a Munster or All-Ireland championship; we are well aware of that. However, it was one of many factors”, the manager said on Wednesday evening, when revealing some details of the management structure for the coming season. “Podge Collins informed us a while back that in 2015 he will be playing football only. We have no issue with that except, of course, that we’d love to have him with us. For the coming year we want players on our panel fully committed to Clare hurling. Our goal is to get Clare hurling back to Croke Park in September,” Fitzgerald said. The Clare manager went on to say that the management team had spoken to Podge and explained their position. “We felt Clare …

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Fans turnout to honour u-21 hurlers

By Seamus Hayes Clare hurling fans turned out in big numbers in Ennis this Sunday evening to welcome home the newly crowned All-Ireland under 21 champions. Its the third year in a row that Clare fans have had the opportunity to celebrate All-Ireland success in this grade and there was no hiding the pride of the fans as they marked this historic achievement by the team and  the management. It was a particularly special occasion for seven members of the panel who have been part of all three winning squads. Seadna Morey, Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly, Cathal O’Connell, Peter Duggan, Jamie Shanahan and Aaron Cunningham played significant roles in Saturday’s superb victory over Wexford at Thurles. Joint managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor who have been in charge for all three successes, introduced the players and the backroom team to rousing cheers. They went on to thank their fellow mentors and all members of the backroom team. Earlier Mayor of …

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Fr Frank reflects on life in LA and Clare GAA

FR Frank Cassidy revels in a good long silence. Originally from Cusack Road in Ennis, he represented Clare at centre-forward in the 1953 All-Ireland minor football final in Croke Park. Since then, his life has centred on Los Angeles where Fr Frank has served in eight parishes during his 55-year stint on the west coast. While he can comfortably sit in silence, Fr Cassidy is equally passionate talking about his career as a young dual player or his decades as priest in the US. However his 79-year-old, still radiant, eyes exude life when he talks about his love of meditation. Now retired from active ministry in LA, Fr Frank took up meditation 30 years ago. “I’m talking about being absolutely quiet. Getting to know silence and stillness. There’s no doubt about it, it’s very beneficial. Not alone for a person’s spiritual path but for a person’s physical being,” Fr Cassidy reflected last week, a day prior to returning to the …

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Clare under 21 hurlers make it 3 ina row

By Seamus Hayes Clare 2-20 Wexford 3-11 Nobody said it was going to be easy and it certainly wasn’t but the sheer brilliance and class of Clare saw them create history and win a third successive All-Ireland under 21 hurling title at Semple stadium in Thurles on Saturday evening. The defending champions and competition favourites were made fight every inch of the way by a Wexford that never gave up but each time the threatened to hit the front, Clare stepped up a gear and none more so that Colm Galvin and Tony Kelly who fired over some magnificent points in the closing minutes. Two Wexford goals in as many minutes inside the final ten, had the big Wexford following in full voice but Clare captain Kelly and Colm Galvin replied with some outstanding points to seal a truly wonderful win, Clare’s fourth in six years at this level Wexford made their intentions clear from the throw in and immediately …

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Clare hurlers have ambitious streak

THE U-21 hurlers and management team are an ambitious bunch, according to joint team manager Gerry O’Connor. “We are very ambitious and we set ourselves ambitious goals at the start of the season. Number one was to win the first game in the Munster championship, get to the final and win that, get to an All-Ireland final and try and win that. That’s why we are here on a Sunday evening, getting everybody back in to assess their injuries and get a recovery programme in place. The management team met over the weekend to plan how to put a performance together that will beat Wexford,” he said at last week’s press evening. Clare have analysed the Wexford and Galway semi-final to death, O’Connor points out. “We have also watched the Dublin v Wexford U-21 Leinster final. Wexford have strengths and weaknesses. They have two very obvious strengths, they have conceded very little goals and the one against Galway was the …

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