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Tones to overcome Clondegad as fixture pile-up looms

THE losers of the Clondegad v Wolfe Tones second round losers game on Sunday in Clarecastle will have to face into playing a relegation semi-final against Liscannor. That stark fact will be to the forefront of both clubs thinking ahead of Sunday’s game, which has been held up for several weeks. Wolfe Tones cited the absence of Aaron Cunningham, due to his senior hurling commitments, as the reason why they couldn’t play, while at a county board meeting earlier this summer, Clondegad pointed to the fact that Tony Kelly and Paul Flanagan are also tied up with the senior hurlers. Clondegad lost their first round game to Éire Óg while Wolfe Tones were comprehensively beaten by Kilkee. It’s difficult to predict a winner given that neither club has any recent form line to go on. However, Wolfe Tones have more experience of playing senior football and perhaps that might edge the result in their favour. The prize for the winners …

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Magnificent Clare can up it another notch

SO did Clare leave it behind them? Emphatically, no. The sight of Domhnall O’Donovan on his back, while all around him Clare men, women and children were leaping into the Dublin skyline illustrates the depth of courage and mettle that has been drilled into this panel of Clare men. Had there been a chink of self-doubt or self-pity, Cork would have Liam McCarthy with them this week in the southern capital. In a game largely ruled by Clare, Cork led just the once. That they did so, a minute and a half into a mere two minutes of injury time, underlines the perilous precipice on which Clare stood. Eighteen months of work was imploding before their disbelieving eyes, while decades of regret loomed. Had Cork clung on to their one-point lead, they would have snaffled a 31st All-Ireland title that they did not earn. If they win the replay, at least they will probably have to hurl for longer and …

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Clare make one change

  THERE  is one change in personnel on the Clare under-21 hurling team from the side which started against Galway for Saturday’s All-Ireland final clash with Antrim. Cathal Malone retains his place at wing forward in place of Aaron Cunningham. The Ennistymon man replaced Cunningham when the Wolfe Tones player suffered a hamstring injury in the semi-final. Cunningham is named among the substitutes. The Clare team is: Ronan Taaffe (Tubber); Paul Flanagan (Ballyea) captain, David McInerney (Tulla), Jack Browne (Ballyea); Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge), Alan O’Neill (St Joseph’s) Stephen O’Halloran (Clarecastle); Colm Galvin (Cratloe), Tony Kelly (Ballyea); Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin), Paudge Collins (Cratloe), Cathal Malone (Ennistymon); Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg) Davy O’Halloran (Éire Óg). Subs: Keith Hogan (Clooney-Quin), Niall Arthur (Inagh-Kilnamona), Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones), Jarlath Colleran (St Joseph’s) Enda Boyce (Cratloe), Mikey O’Neill (Kilmaley), Kevin Lynch (Sixmilebridge), Darragh Corry (Tulla) and Daire Keane (Kilmaley). Seamus Hayes

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Anger as football reverts to seeded draw

AT a meeting of the Munster GAA Council  in Limerick on Thursday, a proposal from the Provincial Competitions Control Committee (CCC) to change the format to a seeded draw for the 2014 Munster senior football championship was adopted. This means that the 2014 format will keep the 2013 finalists, Cork and Kerry, at opposite sides of the draw. The CCC  proposed a change back to the seeded draw and this was seconded by Cork. Tipperary proposed that Cork and Kerry get byes to the semi-finals, with the remaining four counties, Clare, Limerick, Waterford and Tipperary playing off for the other two semi-final spots after which the semi-final pairings would be decided by means of an open draw. The proposal to revert to the seeded draw was carried by six votes to three. Each County has one representative on the CCC while the officers with the exception of the full time officials (secretary and assistant secretary) are also allowed to vote. …

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Clare make one change

  THERE  is one change in personnel on the Clare under-21 hurling team from the side which started against Galway for Saturday’s All-Ireland final clash with Antrim. Cathal Malone retains his place at wing forward in place of Aaron Cunningham. The Ennistymon man replaced Cunningham when the Wolfe Tones player suffered a hamstring injury in the semi-final. Cunningham is named among the substitutes. The Clare team is: Ronan Taaffe (Tubber); Paul Flanagan (Ballyea) captain, David McInerney (Tulla), Jack Browne (Ballyea); Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge), Alan O’Neill (St Joseph’s) Stephen O’Halloran (Clarecastle); Colm Galvin (Cratloe), Tony Kelly (Ballyea); Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin), Paudge Collins (Cratloe), Cathal Malone (Ennistymon); Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg) Davy O’Halloran (Éire Óg). Subs: Keith Hogan (Clooney-Quin), Niall Arthur (Inagh-Kilnamona), Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones), Jarlath Colleran (St Joseph’s) Enda Boyce (Cratloe), Mikey O’Neill (Kilmaley), Kevin Lynch (Sixmilebridge), Darragh Corry (Tulla) and Daire Keane (Kilmaley). Seamus Hayes

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Fixtures dilemma

By Seamus Hayes LAST Sunday’s All-Ireland senior hurling draw has left the county’s domestic fixtures schedule in turmoil. Paying tribute to the county senior squad and the management under Davy Fitzgerald, county board chairman Michael McDonagh told a special meeting of Clare GAA on Tuesday night, “We have a plan but it will mean sacrifices and if these aren’t made then there is a different dilemna. We can get there”. Padraic Boland, a member of the committee that drew up the masters fixture plan back in February, told delegates that completing the domestic competitions in time for the provincial championship depends on which clubs progress and on co-operation. “It has to be taken round by round and clubs will have to accept short notice,” he added. County secretary Pat Fitzgerald noted, “Every game will have to be played to a conclusion. It will take a lot of sacrifices if we are to meet the deadline. With the senior hurling, our …

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Horgan dismisses idea that occasion got to Cork

MOST people watching the All-Ireland felt Clare were clearly the better team, but Cork’s top scorer got a little tetchy with journalists on the subject following the game. “We got three goals; ye’re criticising us all year for not getting goals, we get three and ye’re saying they’re better than us. What are ye on about like?” Pa Horgan asked with a laugh. An unfortunate reporter asked the Glen Rovers forward if the occasion had got to Cork and was met with a fairly blunt dismissal. “Why’s that? We were up by a point boy, how did it get to us? We were two seconds away from winning an All-Ireland; I don’t know what ye’re blowing on about really.” Horgan did acknowledge that things were not looking good during the second half, with Clare streaking away from the Rebels. “With about 15 or 20 minutes to go I thought it was going to be tough enough for us. They were …

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Honan feels squad can do better

WHILE Clare were the better team last Sunday, Darach Honan said the squad are capable of more. “We definitely have the potential to be better again. We’ve played better in the past and I think there are definitely things to work on and we will work on them over the next few weeks.” The towering full-forward said Domhnall Donovan’s point was the highlight of the afternoon. “Cronin got a great goal but that point from Domhnall Donovan is the one thing that sticks out in everyone’s mind. It was a great score when I was sure the game was gone. It was a great score so fair f**ks to him.” He acknowledged that he hadn’t that much faith when his clubmate got on the ball. “I wasn’t 100% confident. [Laughing] But I was just delighted to see it going over.” Honan felt it would take him a few days to get his head around the draw. “It’ll be a weird …

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