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A first Clare Champion cup title for Cratloe

By Seamus Hayes Cratloe 2-10 Clonlara 2-8 Cratloe completed another double in what has already been an historic year for the club when the senior hurlers won their first ever Clare Champion cup (senior hurling league) title on Saturday. A two point win over their neighbours Clonlara brought the curtain down on the club’s most successful year even and completed the senior hurling league and championship double for the club. It was a most entertaining contest played in cold conditions which made hurling difficult for all involved. O’Garney park in Sixmilebridge was in tremendous condition for this attractive fixture which saw the sides level on six occasions. For much of the game a draw looked the likely outcome but Cratloe s truck a decìsive blow in the 59th minute when Conor McGrath fired home their second goal. At the end of an evenly contested first half the sides went to the dressing room with 1-4 each on the scoreboard. Podge …

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Cratloe to hoist Clare Champion Cup

From an early stage in the 2014 county hurling season, it was predicted that Cratloe and Clonlara would contest the Clare championship final, provided they remained on opposite sides of the draw. While the draw ensured that was the case, Crusheen instead managed to dump Clonlara out of the race at the semi-final stage. After the championship, the Clare Champion Cup (senior league) is the next most important competition. Winners of the Canon Hamilton trophy, Cratloe have never won the league title. Clonlara’s last success was in 2009, when they won the title for only the second time, having won their first a year earlier, when they also won the championship. It is certainly not the best time of the year to be playing the final of such a prestigious competition but both Cratloe and Clonlara will want to win the title and the prize-money that goes with it, courtesy of sponsors, The Clare Champion. The final will take place …

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Ennistymon CBS make hurling history

Bonfires blazed across North Clare on Tuesday evening, after Ennistymon CBS made history by capturing a first-ever hurling title for the school. A comprehensive 2-15  to 0-2 win over Mercy Mounthawk from Tralee saw the North Clare team capture the senior D crown and Corn Sean Uí hAnragain trophy at Neville Park in Rathkeale. Following a thrilling one-point win over Crescent Comprehensive in the semi-final, the North Clare outfit travelled to the Limerick venue on Tuesday as favourites. They were well on their way to making history at half-time, when they held a 1-7 to 0-2 lead, after playing against the wind. With Jason McCarthy in sparkling form at centre-forward and control held at midfield, thanks to the efforts of Simon Ralph and Keelan Sexton, the Tara Rynne-managed side dictated matters from the start. The winners took the lead in the second minute when Sean Garrihy pointed and they followed with a brace from Jason McCarthy (one from a free) …

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Council seeks more details on Cusack Park plans

CLARE County Council is seeking further information from Clare County GAA Board on the proposed €2.5m redevelopment of the Southern Stand at Cusack Park, following three separate submissions on facilities for disabled fans. The county board applied for planning permission on October 30 to remove the existing roof of the Southern Stand, erect a new roof complete with camera box accommodation and rear access stairs, and to build a new toilet block adjacent to the stand. An application was also submitted for a new turnstiles block and boundary wall. Clare County Council has now written to the county board to say that, “concerns remain regarding the provision of adequate disabled access and viewing points within the proposed development,” and has requested an access statement which, “demonstrates how the proposal in its current format provides for the requirements of Universal Design” – [the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest …

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Marty is Clare person of the year

A WELL-known personality, who has presented high-profile sports events all over the world for RTÉ will be honoured by Muintir an Chláir, the Clare Association in Dublin, early in the new year. Marty Morrissey, who has just returned from the Ireland versus Australia International Rules clash in Perth, Australia, has accepted the association’s nomination to be their Clare Person of the Year for 2015. He will be presented with his award at the association’s annual dinner dance in the Clyde Court Hotel, (the former Berkeley Court) in Ballsbridge on Saturday, January 31. A big attendance is expected. Also honoured on the same night will be Seamus Mac Mathuna, originally from Gower, Cooraclare, who will receive the association’s Hall of Fame award for 2015. For years he has been an influential figure in promoting Irish music and song and the Irish language. Born in Mallow and brought up in New York, Marty returned to Ireland with his parents to live in …

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Extra time disappointment for Cratloe…again

By Seamus Hayes Kilmallock 1-32 Cratloe 3-18 In a cracking Munster club senior hurling championship final at the Gaelic grounds in Limerick on Sunday, a physically stronger Kilmallock dominated extra time to claim the title at the expense of Clare champions, Cratloe. Before an attendance of 6,365, the champions of the neighbouring Shannonside counties produced a truly marvellous contest, recording some magnificent scores in the process. It was anybody’s game in normal time as play switched from end to end with both sides looking like winners at different times. In extra time, Kilmallock dominated and deservingly captured the honours but an eight point winning margin is rather flattering. The Limerick side’s captain Graeme Mulcahy gave his side the lead after just ten seconds but Cratloe dominated the next ten minutes, scoring 1-2 without reply and they could have had another two goals and a couple of points in that period. Kilmallock grew in confidence as the half progressed and when …

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Cratloe ‘a shining example to all clubs’

CRATLOE are “a shining example to all clubs because of how much they value the club scene” is the view of Kilmallock manager and former Clare hurler, Ger O’Loughlin. “I have the utmost respect for the lads from Clare. When I needed lads to answer the call during my time at Clare manager, they responded and they were still in their teens. They have come on so well. “It will be a huge task for us to overcome the game they play, as there are so many areas they could beat you in. It will be a huge obstacle for us,” said the Clarecastle man, who helped his club win the Munster title in 1997. O’Loughlin continued, “When we set out this year, the primary target was to win the Limerick title. It’s not easy to get out of Limerick, as there are four or five strong contenders. We were absolutely delighted to get through that campaign and we had …

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Iconic Lohan backs committed Cratloe

THE presence of Brian Lohan on the Cratloe training field, dressing room and sideline is one that adds solidity and steel to the Clare champions’ set-up. You get the feeling that when Lohan talks, his words are taken on board. That’s simply because of what he achieved on the hurling field and how he went about it. Many of the Cratloe players won’t remember 1995 or 1997 but what happened and Lohan’s role in that will be well known to them. More pertinently, Lohan, along with fellow coach, Alan Neville, has what everyone in Cratloe wants on Sunday, a Munster club medal.That’s a medal the Shannon man, who lives in Cratloe, says he values more now than he did in 1996, when Wolfe Tones ruled Munster. “As you live longer, it gets more important. It wasn’t that big a deal when you were playing but the longer you’re retired, the more important it becomes. It was the same when we …

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