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Turbo Julie to fly in Oaks

THIS weekend’s National Coursing meeting at Clonmel is expected to attract a big Clare contingent. Noticeable for the 2014 meeting is the amount of qualifiers that have changed hands, among them being Blueview Barney, a Derby runner and Turbo Julie in the Oaks, both now trained by Clareman Pat Curtin. The Derby runner is now known as Roquefort Barney (Murtys Gang-Foxhall Rio) and is owned by the Windfarm syndicate of Pat Curtin, Michael Eustace, Ennis, and Galway men Gerry Hughes and Jonathan Newell. Bred by Damian McHugh, the Kilcreevin-Ballymoate qualifier is drawn in the third quarter and comes up against the Borrisoleigh qualifier, Cuban Ando, in the first round. The name of Wheres Cranny (Murtys Blaze- Rock Music) went into the Derby draw in Clonmel on Sunday night and he came out of the hat in the second quarter against the Edenderry qualifier Central Investor, owned by Brendan Duffy, Derry. However, because of a toe injury a big doubt hangs over …

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Tragic death of young sportsman

ONE of East Clare’s leading young sportsmen died in a traffic accident on the M7, near Roscrea on Sunday night.  Eighteen-year-old Barry Nash from Tobarnagoth, Scariff was a noted  hurler and handball player, excelling in both codes. Barry was an All-Ireland and world champion in handball and a key member the Scariff senior hurling side. A brother of international handballer, Diarmuid, Barry was travelling back to college in Dublin with three friends, when the accident happened. Barry’s death has caused great sadness in the East Clare community. He reposed at his home and his funeral mass will take place at Scariff Church on Thursday, after which he will be buried at the New Cemetery, Moynoe.        

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29 teams compete for U-21 titles

By Seamus Hayes TWENTY-nine  teams will compete for three U-21 hurling championship titles in Clare in 2014. The draw for the A, B and C competitions was made at Clare GAA headquarters in Clareabbey on Monday evening and threw up some interesting pairings. Fellow parishioners Clarecastle and Ballyea will meet in a quarter final tie in the race for the A title. Another interesting quarter final clash should ensue when Kilmaley take on neighbours Inagh-Kilnamona. In all, there will be ten teams in the race for the A title with thirteen battling it out for the B crown leaving six to compete for the C title. The first games in all grades will take place on the weekend of March 1 and 2. The pairings are: U-21 A—Clonlara v O’C. Mills/Bodyke with the winners to play Newmarket in the quarter final; Clooney-Quin play Eire Og with the winners to play Sixmilebridge; Inagh-Kilnamona v Kilmaley and Clarecastle v Ballyea. U-21 B—Byes …

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All so easy for Clare

By Seamus Hayes Clare 2-28   UCC 1-4 WATERFORD Crystal senior hurling tournament title holders, Clare had an easy passage to the 2014 final when they played UCC at O’Garney Park in Sixmilebridge on Sunday. With the 2013 All-Ireland senior hurling championship top scorer, Colin Ryan, contributing 1-12 the Banner side easily booked a place in the final where they will play either Tipperary or University of Limerick. This semi-final, scheduled for Nenagh, was postponed due to the inclement weather conditions. The Newmarket-on-Fergus man was in sparkling form, as Clare recorded a facile victory over UCC in a game played in difficult weather conditions. Showing ten changes from the side which comfortably overcame Limerick in the previous week’s quarter final, the holders included nine of their All-Ireland winning line up in their starting team for Sunday’s game. Despite playing against the wind in the first half, Clare were well on the way to the final by the end of the …

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Flannan’s double hopes blown away

By Seamus Hayes St Mary’s Charleville 1-5  St Flannan’s 0-4 A WEEK after making history by winning the Munster senior A colleges camogie championship title for the first time, St Flannan’s bid for another first died at windswept Newmarket-on-Fergus. With a number of the history-making senior side in their line up, St Flannan’s took on St Mary’s Charleville in the junior A decider at Fr Murphy Park but, despite a strong performance in very difficult weather conditions, they had to give best to the visitors The winners defended superbly when playing against the strong breeze in the second half and this proved decisive on the day when they failed to register a score in the second period. The Charleville outfit elected to play with the breeze in the opening half and for the opening twenty minutes there was nothing between the sides. With the teams level at 0-2 each with ten minutes remaining in the half, things looked good for …

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Valerie president-elect of ILGU

By Seamus Hayes WELL-known Ennis golfer Valerie Hassett has been appointed president-elect of the Irish Ladies Golfing Union. She will take over as president in January 2015 when current president, Mary McKenna, will have completed her two-year term. Valerie is currently lady president at Lahinch Golf Club and her appointment is well deserved, following a successful career as player, official and administrator. She is a past captain of both Lahinch and Ennis golf clubs. After being introduced to the game by her parents on summer holidays in Skerries, Valerie’s love for the game grew under the expert tuition of Bill Kinsella Snr. She was a regular on the nationwide tour of Ladies’ championships and Scratch Cups and represented Munster at inter-provincial level for 25 years before retiring in 1999. She made her senior ladies’ international debut in 2003 and represented Ireland for a further seven years. A past team captain of the Irish International Girls’ team in the late 80s, …

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Micko doesn’t rule out return to club scene

LAST week Mick O’Dwyer revealed that he had definitely occupied his last inter-county sideline. The eight time All-Ireland winning Kerry manager, who also managed Kildare and Laois to Leinster titles, guided Clare in 2013. It turned out to be his last inter-county job. “We were a bit unlucky,” Micko said this week of his year with Clare. “We lost a lot of our players to injury. Even Gary Brennan, who’d be one of the best players in the country, he struggled all year. We tried to play him full forward in the finish and he was the mainstay of our team. There was about four or five other top class players in Clare that weren’t able to perform last year. But we went to the last game in the league and if we had beaten Limerick we’d have gone up. So we were there or thereabouts,” the four time All-Ireland winning Kerry footballer told The Clare Champion this week. He …

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Girls take centre stage at Flannan’s

St Flannan’s, Ennis 4-9 Laurel Hill, Limerick 0-8 ST Flannan’s College, long known for the prowess of its hurling teams, added a new dimension to their sporting achievements on Saturday afternoon. The senior camogie team are in the limelight following their Munster Colleges A title victory, a first for the school. A solid defence, the ability to take scores when needed, plus outstanding goalkeeping by Doireann Murphy, saw St Flannan’s in control throughout and return from Ballybricken/Bohermore GAA grounds with the silverware. With the underfoot conditions soft, St Flannan’s opened the scoring in the fourth minute through midfielder Aoife Keane. Laurel Hill’s Kate Mulqueen levelled matters when she converted a free just over a minute later. St Flannan’s won the resulting puckout and with the ball laid off to Amie Wiley, the Clarecastle youngster made no mistake as she split the posts to grab the lead for the Ennis school, a lead that was not relinquished. Aoibhean Malone raised the …

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