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Cookie’s monsters unhinge defensive O’Curry’s

by Seamus Hayes Kilmurry-Ibrickane 0-8 O’Curry’s 0-6 COUNTY champions, Kilmurry-Ibrickane struggled to break down O’Curry’s blanket defensive approach in Doonbeg last Saturday. The 2012 intermediate champions set out to defend in depth and while that approach kept them in the game, the fact that they only kicked one second-half score, from Eoin Troy, cost them the chance of a stunning win. For most of the 60 minutes, O’Curry’s defensive tackling was disciplined and effective. They held up the man in the tackle and when they did concede scoreable frees, Ian McInerney and Mark (Cookie) McCarthy kicked first-half wides, which they would have expected to put over without a second thought. Crucially though, McCarthy kicked a brace of superb long-range second-half points for Kilmurry, while their last point was a 45-yard free from the same player. Those scores underlined that the most effective way to break down O’Curry’s massed defensive numbers was to kick scores from distance. McCarthy and substitute Seamus …

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First-half goals win it for Kilrush

By Peter O’Connell Kilrush 2-11 Kilkee 0-7 A LIGHTNING start helped Kilrush into the quarter-final of the senior football championship. After less than seven minutes, the 2012 county semi-finalists led 2-1 to 0-0, following neat goal finishes from Chris Dixon and Rory O’Connor. The winners led 2-4 to 0-2 at half-time and while their level dipped appreciably in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, they were never in real danger of being reeled in by Kilkee. Kilrush’s ploy of using corner-forward Jack Browne in a free outfield role worked very well, as the Kilrush youngster picked up plenty of possession and used it intelligently. It was Browne’s lovely cross-field pass, changing the direction of play, which set up corner-back Niall Clancy for a nicely taken left-footed point. Dixon scored Kilrush’s first goal in the fourth minute, his finishing resembling that of Robin Van Persie. The ball broke to the Kilrush midfielder, after a Stephen Sweeney shot was blocked. …

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Memorable night for Newmarket GAA

A NIGHT of celebration in honour of the Newmarket hurling team of the early ’60s, many of whom went on to become household names on the inter-county scene, was held last Friday night at The Inn at Dromoland. County champions 50 years ago in 1963, they went on to achieve the first of a number of three-in-a-row successes as they dominated the hurling scene throughout the ’60s and ’70s. Val Arthur introduced the players, some of whom had returned to their native parish from Dublin, Tipperary and Waterford, recalling highlights from their contribution to the club’s successes on the playing fields. A special souvenir booklet produced for the occasion noted, “The 1960s was a decade of great change. Shannon Airport was developing as an international airport and the Shannon Industrial Estate was expanding rapidly. For the parish of Newmarket, this was a huge bonus as employment was now readily available.” Club chairman Pat Keogh made presentations to the players involved. …

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Young rider award for Tom

One of the big achievements from a Clare perspective was that of Tom Foley, Clonlara, winning the young rider award. There were 278 temporary stables at the Showgrounds and most horse yards in the Clare area were full to capacity. Ennis Rugby Club was home to 48 showjumping families who have living facilities in their horse lorries throughout the four-day event. Local riders were also in the ribbons, with results in the finals on Sunday are listed below. 128cm – U-10 80cm: 4. Paula Williams’ PARC Sassy Brassy (Rhys Williams). 128cm – 1.10cm: 6. Paula Williams’ PARC Kicking it (Rhys Williams). 138cm – 1.20cm: 1. Heidi Dunn’s Drumaclan Flight (Robbie Clancy); 6. Castlequarter Stables Clona Prince (Conor Mc Mahon). 148cm – 1.10cm: 3. Martin Power’s Flash Bobby (Hannah Power). 148cm – 90cm: 3. Linda Gallagher’s Ballybrody King (John Gallagher); 6. Jo McMahon’s Sandy Sweet (Della Daly). 128cm – 1m: 4. Kevin Reidy’s Tattygar Dexter (Jack Reidy). 138cm – 1m: 2. …

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Forristal final defeat for U-14 hurlers

IT was a busy weekend for Clare underage hurling sides, with games taking place in Waterford, Cork, Tipperary and Clarecastle. For the first time in a number of years, Clare contested the Tony Forristal U-14A final in Waterford. Clare hurling followers will be hoping that the final result won’t be repeated this weekend in the All-Ireland senior final. Cork captured the Forristal title with a comfortable 3-9 to 0-5 win. Clare started the campaign with a 2-7 to 1-5 victory over the hosts and followed with a win over Limerick on a 2-7 to 2-4 scoreline. In a high-scoring semi-final, Clare were 7-9 to 3-10 winners over Antrim but had to give best to a slicker Cork outfit in the final. In the U-14B competition, also played in Waterford, for the Sonny Walsh Trophy, Clare lost their opening game to Waterford, 1-7 to 2-7. They followed this up with a 2-9 to 3-4 win over Galway, before going out of …

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Sean’s the leader of the band

AS the scramble for All-Ireland hurling final tickets continues, 16-year-old, Sean McCaw has no worries about gaining admission to Croke Park for the big game. The Dublin-born teenager will have a special role in the drama of the occasion. A member of the Artane Boys Band, Sean will make his debut as the drum major and will lead the famous band in the traditional parade and playing of the National Anthem. Living in Artane, Sean has been with the band since he was eight and joined the band proper at the age of 12. “Sean usually plays the trumpet but the drum major is on a trip to Lourdes and Sean has been given that role for the All-Ireland final,” his father Jimmy, who hails from Ennistymon, told The Clare Champion. Jimmy is a member of the teaching staff at Brunswick Street in Dublin. The McCaw name is synonymous with Ennistymon where Sean’s grandfather, the late Joe, spent many years …

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Clare fans are expected to turnout in large numbers to welcome the Clare hurlers home watch Clare V Galway in the Under 21 Semi Final.Pic Arthur Ellis.

O’Connell goal put Clare in driving seat

Clare 1-16 Galway 0-7 A BLISTERING start to the second half, which saw them score 1-5 in 10 minutes, paved the way for a comfortable Clare victory over Galway in the All-Ireland U-21 hurling semi-final at Thurles last Saturday evening. Starting the second half just two points adrift, Galway held high hopes of dethroning the All-Ireland champions but Clare stepped up the pace and by the midpoint of the half, the holders were well on the way to a second successive final. The all-important goal came three minutes after the resumption and was scored by Cathal O’Connell, one of the stars in this latest victory for Clare. Indeed, such was Clare’s dominance in the second half that with 10 minutes remaining, they were able to call ashore senior star Podge Collins and then replaced two more members of the senior team, Colm Galvin and Tony Kelly, ahead of the upcoming senior final clash with Cork. An injury to Aaron Cunningham …

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Clares Alan O'Neill battles with Galways Jonathan Glynn in The Under 21 Hurling Semi Final at Semple Stadium Thurles on saturday Evening.Pic Arthur Ellis.

‘Phenomenal’ second-half performance

Clare’s joint manager Gerry O’Connor described the second-half performance by Clare as “phenomenal”. “The way it transpired was exactly as we had predicted. We reckoned the first half would be really low scoring, a real and out and out dog fight and that’s exactly how it turned out,” he said. According to the Éire Óg clubman, “Donal [Moloney] said to the lads at half-time, in the most positive way possible, that they needed to move up a gear. The second-half performance was just phenomenal, the running off the ball, the support play. Alan O’Neill at centre-back was awesome, to be fair to him. Peter Duggan started winning puck-outs but Tots’ [Cathal O’Connell] movement off Peter Duggan was phenomenal.” “We have been on the road with these guys for four years now. That was the 2010 minor team. We have such a passionate affinity with them that it’s unbelievable. We had a team meeting with the guys on Monday before this …

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