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Hurley and Sliotar

Clare one step from camogie semi-finals

By Seamus Hayes Clare 1-10 Galway 0-8 CLARE moved a step closer to a place in the last four in the National senior camogie league when they defeated All-Ireland champions, Galway in the first of the play-off games at Corofin on Thursday evening. The opening half was a very evenly-matched affair, ending with the sides level at 1-3 to 0-6. Rebecca Hennelly was responsible for five of Galway’s points from frees. Niki Kaiser was magnificent for Clare though and finished with a tally of 1-5. The goal came after Niamh O’Dea offloaded to her after a strong run, the Newmarket on Fergus woman found the net from a tight angle. All star Chloe Morey had her first outing of the season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury last year and she excelled in an outstanding full-back line that also included Máire McGrath and Carol O’Leary. Her long-distance free-taking was right out of the top drawer and she defied her …

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Podge delivers crucial 35 minutes for Clare

INTRODUCED at half time, Podge Collins made an invaluable contribution to Clare’s promotion winning second half display in Creggan. The All-Ireland winning All-Star hurler kicked two crucial points from play and along with players like Shane McGrath, his brother Seán, Ciaran Russell and Dean Ryan, the UL student worked exceptionally hard on and off the ball. Speaking afterwards Podge said that the passion evident in the dressing room inspires him. “You can tell by the way lads talk in the dressing room, before games and at half time, how passionate they are about it. I know it doesn’t sound too glamorous after winning the All-Ireland hurling but it’s absolutely huge, especially in my house. It’ll be a happy house for the night,” he laughed. Collins acknowledged that it took him a few minutes to get up to the pace of the game after his introduction for Jamie Malone. “Coming up to Antrim we didn’t really know what to expect. I’d …

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Footballers dominate possession but kick massive wides tally

DEFENSIVELY Clare produced their best display of the 2014 season, conceding just six points. Given that Clare conceded big scores and soft goals against Tipperary, Carlow and London, tightening up at the back was a definite priority for Paudie Kissane and his coaching team as they prepared for the game in Antrim. In fact the home county scored just three points from play and didn’t score at all until the 35 minute. Of course it must be noted that they were playing into a near storm in that opening half. Another area where Clare did well was on their own kick out, retaining the vast majority of them while they managed to win more than half of Antrim’s second half kick outs. Underlining their physical conditioning Clare definitely had more possession than Antrim, particularly in the second period, when they held possession impressively and ran at the Ulster county. However there are several areas where Clare can improve, most notably …

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Waterford’s strong finish too much for Clare

By Seamus Hayes Waterford 1-13 Clare 0-11 There was heartbreak for the Clare minor hurlers at Cusack Park on Wednesday evening when they went under by five points to All-Ireland champions Waterford in the opening round of the Munster minor championship. Everything pointed to a Clare win when the home side led by three points with just seven minutes remaining However, Waterford fired home three points in two minutes to level with five still to play and Clare were clearly rattled. Substitute Eddie Meaney made a huge impact for Waterford in the remaining time, hitting the lead point with three to play and sealing his team’s victory a minute later with the game’s only goal folowing a defensive error on Clare’s part. Clare must now look to the backdoor route in their search to get back into the title race. They will play Kerry on Wednesday April 23 with the winners of that tie then taking on the loser of …

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Minor hurlers ‘face a huge task’

By Seamus Hayes The Clare team to play All-Ireland champions Waterford in ther opening round of the Munster minor hurling championship at Cusack Park on this Wednesday evening at 6.30 p.m. was named after training on Tuesday. Wolfe Tones will have three members on the team while Sixmilebridge, Clonlara, Inagh-Kilnamona and Kilmaley have two each. “This is a huge task for Clare, the biggest we have faced at this stage of the minor championship for some time. We have only a couple of last year’s panel in the squad while Waterford have a good sprinkling of their All-Ireland winning minor team while they won the All-Ireland under 16 title  two years ago”, Clare manager Eamonn Fennessy said. “Our goal is to give a performance and get these lads ready for the next step”, Fennessy added. The team for this eagerly awaited first round is; Jacob Loughnane(Sixmilebridge); Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona), Seamus Downey (Clonlara), Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones); David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), Dara …

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Clare Champion Cup holders held to a draw

By Seamus Hayes The race for the Clare Champion Cup, senior hurling league, together with the Division 2, 3 and 4 hurling leagues got underway at the weekend. Division 1 A produced two draws with holders Newmarket sharing twenty six points with Crusheen while Inagh-Kilnamona and Clooney-Quin each scored 1-10 in their meeting at Kilnamona. Clarecastle had two points to spare (1-17 to 2-12) over county champions Sixmilebridge while O’Callaghans Mills scored three second half goals on their way to a 3-15 to 0-17 victory over Tubber. In a game which produced some impressive scores, Cratloe were 2-18 to 1-16 winners over Eire Og at the Ennis club’s grounds on Sunday. In division 1 B, Clonlara were easy winners over a Ballyea side that lined out without a number of key players including Tony Kelly and Jack Browne. the final score in this one was 1-21 to 1-3 and there was good news for the Clare senior hurling management as …

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Footballers promoted to division 3

Clare 0-10 Antrim 0-6 A MAGNIFICENT second half display helped Clare to a four point win over Antrim in Creggan on Sunday, ensuring promotion to division 3. Having played division 4 football since 2008 this win was a huge boost to Clare football as it was the county teams fourth recent attempt to secure promotion on the final day of the season. They lost out in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Clare’s second half display was led by excellent performances from half time substitute Podge Collins, who scored two points from play, Shane McGrath, Gary Brennan, along with wing back Ciaran Russell, who had a superb game. Things didn’t look quite so positive at half time though. Clare led 0-4 to 0-2 having played with a very strong breeze at the Antrim venue. Incredibly the game was scoreless until the 19th minute when Martin O’Leary pointed a free. Clare kicked 13 first half wides, while David Tubridy, Seán Collins McGrath added …

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Footballers make one change for crucial tie with Antrim

By Seamus Hayes The Clare football team to face Antrim in this Sunday’s crucial promotion league tie at Creggan, Belfast will show one change in personnel from that which started against Carlow last week. In fact the management team has named the same starting line up as they did for the Carlow game. Shortly before throw in on that occasion Martin McMahon cried off due to injury and he was replaced by Brian Carigg. McMahon is fit again and he returns at corner back to the exclusion of Carigg. Otherwise the team is unchanged from last week and it is; Pierce De Loughrey (Cratloe); Dean Ryan (Eire Og), Kevin Hartnett (Meelick), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry-Ibrickane); Shane Hickey (Kilmurry-Ibrickane), Gordon Kelly (Miltown St. Josephs), Ciaran Russell (Eire Og); Gary Brennan (Clondegad) Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen); Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis), Jamie Malone (Corofin) Sean Collins (Cratloe); Martin O’Leary (Kimihil), David Tubridy (Doonbeg) Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry-Ibrickane).

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