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Cratloe edge closer to historic double

By Seamus Hayes Cratloe 0-14 Crusheen 0-6 Cratloe’s dream to be the senior hurling and football champions of Clare in 2014 is very much alive. A comfortable win over Crusheen in the hurling decider this afternoon means that they are just one win away from achieving what Ennis Dals did way back in 1914. Victory over Eire Og in the football final next Sunday will not only see them retain the Jack Daly cup which they won for the first time last year, it will confirm their place as the kingpins of senior hurling and football in Clare While the hurling final won ‘t be remembered as one of the better finals, there can be no disputing the merit of Cratloe’s victory, In winning the Canon Hamilton trophy for the second time (they won their inaugural title in 2009), they justified favouritism on a day when they led from the start. Two points ahead inside the opening minute, they dominated …

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Vaughan’s red card rescinded

Crusheen’s chances of winning the Clare senior hurling title have received a massive boost with the news that one of their key players, Pat Vaughan, is available for the game. The former Clare captain was dismissed on a straight red card by match olfficial Ambrose Heagney, a minute before the end of the first half, in their semi-final with Clonlara. Dismissal on a straight red card carries an automatic one match ban at the same grade and in the same competition. Vaughan and Crusheen requested a hearing and on Monday night they put their case to the county hearings committee. On Tuesday morning they were informed that the red card had been rescinded. “We are pleased with the decision as we believe that it wasn’t a red card in the first place”, Crusheen manager, John Carmody said on Tuesday. Vaughan has played a central role in the club’s progress to this final and he was also a key figure when …

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Eleven Clare players nominated for team of the year

Eleven Clare hurlers have been nominated for this year’s U-21 Team of the Year Awards, which will be broadcast live from Croke Park on Saturday, October 11 on TG4. In addition, two players from the Clare team that won three-in-a-row All-Ireland titles, are also nominated for the Player of the Year Award. Colm Galvin has been nominated for the award for the second successive year, while he is joined by Aaron Cunningham and Wexford star Conor McDonald on the three man list. A Player of the Year from the ‘B’ championship will also be announced as part of the live broadcast. Five players who were named on the inaugural Team of the Year in 2013 are again in line to be honoured. Clare trio, Seadhna Morey, Colm Galvin and Tony Kelly, who won both the senior and young player of the year award for 2013, are looking to add this honour to the All-Ireland medals they won following their win …

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Cratloe and Éire Óg to contest senior football final

Champions Cratloe and Éire Óg will contest the final of the Clare senior football championship following their semi-final victories over Cooraclare and Kilmurry-Ibrickane respectively. Their final clash will be a repeat of the opening round which Cratloe won by three points, 2-12 to 1-12. Coincidentally, both sides had winning margins of four points at the weekend. On Saturday in Kilmihil, Eire Og were always in control in their clash with Kilmurry-Ibrickane and emerged 0-14 to 1-7 winners, with the West Clare side’s goal coming in injury time. Kilmurry-Ibrickane finished that game with thirteen men after Shane Hickey and Evan Talty were sent off while, earlier, Odran O’Dwyer picked up a black card which ended his involvement in the game. The early exchanges of Sunday’s semi-final at Cusack Park was evenly fought but, gradually, Cratloe got the upperhand and emerged with a 0-12 to 0-8 win. This result keeps the South Clare side’s dream of winning both the senior hurling and …

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Kennedy points the way for Kilmaley

By Seamus Hayes Kilmaley 1-13 Feakle-Killanena 0-13 Kilmaley are the minor A hurling champions for the third time in six years, thanks to a merited one goal victory over Feakle-Killanena at Cusack Park on Saturday afternoon. Appearing in the final for the third year in a row, they bounced back from last year’s loss to win back the title they last held in 2012. The game’s only goal proved to be a crucial score and it came five minutes before the break when the elusive Sean O’Loughlin found the net The winners went into the game with a full squad available and this meant that Sean Kennedy who missed the semi-final was back in the side. He emerged as the game’s top scorer with 0-11 to his credit, ten coming from placed balls. This was one of a number of key performances for the winners. At the other end of the pitch, goalkeeper Conan Fitzgerald was outstanding, producing three particularly …

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Golden boots for Peter and Declan

TWO Clare players were among Ireland’s seven-a-side soccer team to take gold at the Special Olympics European Summer Games held in Antwerp, Belgium last weekend. Peter Kavanagh from Ennis and Declan O’Dwyer from Kilkishen performed extremely well, with Peter being named man of the match, having scored a hat-trick in the final against Israel. They won the game 4-0. This is the first time that Ireland has participated in the seven-a-side event. It previously participated in 11-a-side and five-a-side but this is the first time they have achieved gold at European or World Games. In addition to this, they also took a Fair Play Award in recognition of their exemplary conduct on the pitch. Declan participated in three games on the first two days of the championship but got injured and had to sit out the remaining games from Tuesday onwards. Nevertheless, he was an important cog playing in defence and also on the forward line during those games. Team …

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Ennis duo head for World Games in LA

Ennis Special Olympics Golf Club members, Paul Kirrane with his partner, Pat Rutherford , who compete in the nine-hole Alternate Shot Event, have been selected for the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles in 2015, as part of the Irish team. Paul and Pat, who won gold in this event at the National Games in Limerick in June, were absolutely thrilled with their selection. On hearing he was on the team for Los Angeles, Paul said, “There are no words to describe how happy I am”. The Irish squad will have 89 athletes across 13 sports. They will be supported by coaching, medical and management staff, bringing the total group to 128. The World Games are the flagship of the Special Olympics movement and, in Los Angeles, there will be 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators. The Special Olympics World Games, being staged from July 25 to August …

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McGrath’s hat trick too much for Magpies

By Seamus Hayes Cratloe 4-15 Clarecastle 1-19 A contribution of 3-4 from All star Conor McGrath helped Cratloe to seal a place in the final of the Clare senior hurling championship when they overcame the challenge presented by Clarecastle at sun splashed Cusack Park on Sunday evening. McGrath struck for the first of his goals in the fifth minute and he repeated the feat two minutes from the break to help his team to a six point half time advantage, 2-11 to 1-8. Clarecastle had the better of the third quarter exchanges and closed the gap to two points entering the final quarter. Cratloe struck for their third goal twelve minutes from the end and McGrath was the provided on this occasion picking out Podge Collins with a tremendous pass and the centre forward made no mistake. Two minutes later Clarecastle’s Jamie Coughlan was picking the ball out of the net again after McGrath punished some slack defending to fire …

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