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Banner captain hoping for a memorable birthday

IF Banner Ladies are to become the first Clare club since Cooraclare in 1996 to win the Munster A senior ladies title, team captain Niamh O’Dea will have a key role to play. The Kilfenora girl and third-year UL maths and PE student has scored 3-17 in her last three games. Her 1-11 county-final tally helped Banner Ladies to an easy win over Liscannor, while O’Dea put away 2-2 in last weekend’s Munster B final win over Ballymacarbry from Waterford. Ironically, Cooraclare defeated the same club in a thrilling Munster final 17 years ago, winning 4-10 to 2-15 after extra time. It is Cork opposition who stand in the Banner’s way on Saturday in Kilmallock. It won’t be to the forefront of Niamh’s thinking until at least 4pm on provincial final day but if the Clare champions win, she will particularly enjoy her 20th birthday celebrations. “It’d be a good birthday present, wouldn’t it?” she laughed. She is confident the …

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Banner girls chasing Munster A glory

BANNER Ladies will take on St Val’s from Cork in Saturday’s Munster A final. The game will throw-in at 2.45pm in Kilmallock. If the Clare and Munster B champions win, it will be a second provincial A title for a Clare club at senior level. Cooraclare won this title in 1996. For several years, the Banner Ladies have successfully represented Clare ladies football, securing Division 1 and Division 2 national Féile titles, as well as underage and senior All-Ireland and Munster sevens accolades. They have beaten teams including Kerry’s Southern Gaels; Dublin’s Foxrock/Cabinteely, Ballyboden St Enda’s and Kilmacud Crokes; Galway’s Corofin and Salthill/Knocknacarra; Cork’s Fermoy and Aghada. They beat St Val’s previously at Munster Sevens level so should hold no fear in facing their much-vaunted Cork opponents. Hopefully another Rebel scalp can be annexed by a Clare side in this tremendous year for Gaelic sport in the county.

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Cratloe take on Cooraclare in championship

By Peter O’Connell BEFORE they head for Sunday’s senior football second round game against Cratloe in Gurteen at 1pm, Cooraclare might have to indulge in some football recognition trials. Will they recognise a size five football when they see one? Cooraclare have played just one championship match this year, defeating Kilrush in Labasheeda on August 3. Since then, they have played no competitive football at all. Cratloe haven’t played any senior football either since beating Kilmurry Ibrickane in their opening championship fixture. Of course, they have hardly been able to lay down their hurleys for more than a day or two, with six Cratloe players part of Clare’s All-Ireland senior winning panel, with Podge Collins and Enda Boyce also in the All-Ireland U-21 winning squad. Throw in two rounds of senior club hurling over the last two weekends and an U-21 Football Championship fixture on Monday of this week and it’s fairly clear that Cratloe haven’t been idle. Whether they …

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Kilrush complex in the running for sports grant

CLARE County Council has identified a proposed sports complex in Kilrush as the county’s primary candidate for a possible €58,882 grant from a new initiative called Sport Nation. Kilrush town manager Anne Haugh revealed details of the grant application at last week’s town council meeting. Kilrush Town Council had previously and unsuccessfully applied for funding, under the Sports Capital Grant, for the Cooraclare Road sports complex. Details of the proposed complex were first announced at a Kilrush Town Council meeting in June 2011. The complex is to be located on the Cooraclare Road, where the ESB Moneypoint sports facilities are situated and on adjoining land owned by the Department of Education. At the 2011 meeting, Kilrush Town Council heard that 12 months of talks had culminated in a lease agreement between the council and landowners, the ESB and Department of Education. If the current funding application is successful, it could kick-start the complex, which has yet to receive sufficient public …

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County board back-tracks on bizarre decision

A bizarre fixtures wrangle, involving Kilmaley and Tulla GAA Clubs, was resolved on Wednesday afternoon following an emergency meeting of the Clare GAA Fixtures Committee. After their 5-12 to 0-20 defeat to Tulla in Sunday’s Group 1 Senior Hurling Championship fixture, Kilmaley left Clarecastle believing they had finished third in the group, while Tulla were convinced they had finished bottom, on scoring difference. Tubber, Kilmaley and Tulla all finished on two points in the group, which was topped by Newmarket. Tubber qualified for Sunday’s quarter-final against Sixmilebridge on the basis that they had the best scoring difference of the three tied clubs. Based on scoring difference, Kilmaley were third and Tulla fourth. This system has applied for the last number of seasons in both the county hurling and football championships. The Clare Champion learned that the basis for a decision made on Monday was that by virtue of making the last eight on scoring difference, Tubber were removed from the …

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Quarter final pairings decided

By Seamus Hayes A huge weekend is in the offing for hurling fans in Clare with all four quarter finals in the senior championship listed for decision. The pairings were decided at a meeting at GAA headquarters in Clareabbey on Monday evening. Champions Newmarket will face Inagh-Kilnamona. The 2011 winners Crusheen will come up against Ballyea, Sixmilebridge will face Tubber and Clonlara will take on O’Callaghans Mills. All four games are expected to take place on Sunday and venues and times will be finalised at a meeting of the Clare CCC on Tuesday evening. The football championship resumes on Sunday also with Cratloe taking on Cooraclare for the right to face Kilrush in a quarter final game on Sunday week. The losers of Sunday’s game will play Clondegad on Sunday week for the right to go forward to play Doonbeg in the remaining quarter final.  

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Surprise as Cratloe bow out

By Seamus Hayes The first shock in the 2013 senior hurling championship came in round three  when Cratloe, one of the favourites for the title, made their exit. A draw with Crusheen (0-16 each) ended their hopes of making it to the play offs. The South East Clare side led for much of this tie but Pat Vaughan converted a 30m free in the final minute to tie the contest for the third time. The result sparked off great celebrations in Clarecastle  where Inagh-Kilnamona had just recorded a twelve point win (2-19 to 1-10) over St. Josephs. That victory allied to Cratloe’s loss sent the mid Clare outfit into the quarter finals. Sixmilebridge recorded a two point win, 1-18 to 3-10, over Clonlara, a result that send both teams into the last eight, with Sixmilebridge taking top spot in the group because of their victory over their South East Clare opponents. This group also produced a surprise result with Clooney-Quin recording a …

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Rampant Miltown regain senior status

By Peter O’Connell St Joseph’ Miltown 3-15 Kilmihil 0-9 A YEAR after losing their senior status for the first time, Miltown Malbay is again home to a senior club. The club regained their status with a fluent, attacking display of open football, which cut through Kilmihil, particularly in the second half. Yet there is a but – a big one. The injury-time dismissal of Graham Kelly, on a straight red, cast an unwarranted shadow over his side’s display. Ironically, he had played with discipline and control up to that point. Kelly was red-carded following an incident with Mark Coughlan, while the Miltown centre-back also became embroiled in a short altercation with Mark O’Connell seconds later. Miltown were 12 points up and less than a minute of normal time remained when Kelly was dismissed. The only other card issued by referee Pat Cosgrove was a yellow to Kilmihil midfielder Timmy Ryan. Aside from the red card, the game was devoid of …

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