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Awards on the double for ‘Champion sports coverage

THE Clare Champion’s coverage of Community Games activities was recognised at the national annual general meeting which was held in Westport in Mayo at the weekend. In the Provincial media section, the Clare Champion captured third prize. Sports editor, Seamus Hayes received the award from the organisation’s president, Gerry Davenport. The public relations officer of the Clare organisation, Mary Phelan from Sixmilebridge received an award for her work in that role. Over 200 volunteers descended on the Mayo town where keynote speaker, Kieran Mulvey, chairperson of the Irish Sports Council, praised the HSE Community Games for being a “nursery of sporting talent” in Ireland today. “The HSE Community Games is a shining star in Ireland today and the Irish Sports Council are proud to be associated with this nursery of sporting talent. This year, the HSE Community Games received funding of €260,000 from the ISC (Irish Sports Council) and €25,000 from Women in Sport and we consider this to be …

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O’Leary does the business in London

FIFTEEN minutes into Sunday’s game in Ruislip, London corner-back Philip Butler was met with the curly finger. He had been beaten to virtually every ball by his 19-year-old opponent, who was playing just his third national league game for Clare. To date, Kilmihil’s Martin O’Leary, who scored 0-4, has been one of Clare’s most potent forwards in the 2014 campaign. He attributes this to the quality and guidance of the more experienced players around him. “They’ve been around the block. The likes of Tubs [David Tubridy] inside in the full-forward line, his movement is unbelievable and then we have the likes of Gary [Brennan] kicking in the ball. If you make it stick, take on your man,” is how he put it after Clare’s second league win of the new season. Clare introduced five subs, including a couple of U-21s and a few old stagers. “There’s a good mix. We had two young lads in Jamie [Malone] and Jack [O’Dea] …

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McMahon cites personal targets as added motivation

WINNING was the primary aim but each Clare footballer had personal targets in mind when they left the Crown Hotel in Cricklewood on Sunday morning. Putting two points on the board was the priority but knowing that, individually, they had covered the requisite ground and put in an acceptable amount of tackles was at the back of every player’s mind. “We said coming over that it was more of a test of how honest we were going to be, rather than just going over playing London. Every day what we try to do is set our own goals. If we can match them, then more than likely we’ll come out on top. It’s not a case of who you’re playing anymore, it’s more trying to beat what you aim for yourself,” Clare corner-back Martin McMahon told The Clare Champion in Ruislip. “We’ve two good lads there on stats and at the end of the day, stats don’t lie. If you …

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Dublin backlash too much for Clare

Dublin 2-17 Clare 0-17 AHEAD of round 2 of the Allianz Hurling League, Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald warned of a backlash from Dublin following their thirteen point defeat at the hands of Galway in round 1. His fears were realised at Parnell Park this Sunday when the Leinster champions of 2013, managed by former Clare captain, Anthony Daly, proved too strong for the All-Ireland champions and deservingly came out on top. After two rounds of the league, all six participating teams have recorded one win each and its interesting to note that the home team has won on each occasion. These results suggests that the outcome of the league will be in doubt right to the final day An outstanding performance from the half back trio of Shane Durkin, Liam Rushe and Michael Carton proved too much for the Bannermen who were chasing the game from the outset. While the foundations for this win were laid in the half back …

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Hey ref, it’s for charity

A REQUEST made to members of the national GAA referees panel to highlight an awareness of cancer Clare referee Rory Hickey had his head shaved at the Éire Óg clubhouse. “Back in the autumn, the members of the national referees group were asked to do something to heighten an awareness of cancer. Some of the lads participated in a fundraiser in November and others are doing their project now,” the Ennis man told The Clare Champion. “In conjunction with Micheál Malone from D Barber shop in Francis Street, we decided to participate in a shave and dye project,” explained the Éire Óg GAA clubman, who had his head dyed on Monday last. At Thursday’s event, Rory and Micheál completed the project. “Unfortunately, everyone we speak to has a cancer-related story. Even in our own club, we have had some cancer-related losses over the years,” said Rory, adding that he lost an uncle to cancer in the not too distant past. …

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First half goals key for Clare

By Peter O’Connell Clare 2-14 London 1-8 FIRST half goals from Enda Coughlan and Gary Brennan were pivotal in steering Clare to the top of the division 4 table in Ruislip on Sunday afternoon. Playing with a strong first half breeze the goals helped Clare into a 2-7 to 1-3 half time lead. Martin O’Leary kicked two first half points for the winners, with Podge Collins, Shane McGrath, Dean Ryan, David Tubridy and Gary Brennan also pointing. However Clare conceded a soft first half goal when a Lorcan Mulvey shot deceived Clare goalkeeper Pierce Deloughrey and full back Gordon Kelly. With a stiff breeze in their face Clare outscored London 0-7 to 0-5 in the second half. Martin O’Leary and Shane McGrath put over a brace apiece, while Podge Collins, Tubridy and Sean Collins added a point each. This was a decent display from Clare who introduced Alan Clohessy, Rory Donnelly and debutante Jack O’Dea to the 2014 league. Their …

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From point to point in Killaloe

POINT-to-point action returns to the county this weekend with the East Clare Harriers’ hosting their annual meeting on the Flynn family lands at Garranboy, Killaloe. Always a well-supported fixture, Sunday’s meeting kicks off at 1pm with a six-year-old mares’ maiden and this will be followed by a winners’ race. The third event is a five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden while half an hour later runners will go to post for an older geldings’ maiden. The penultimate contest is an older mares’ maiden while a competitive mares’ open will close the card. Stamina will be at a premium on Sunday over what is an undulating, but fair track which will certainly take a bit of getting given the inclement weather we have experienced over the past few weeks. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s fixture, East Clare Hunt point-to-point secretary Gerry English revealed: “We are all set for a great day’s racing. The course is in tip-top shape and we are lucky that …

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Foley appointed Munster Head Coach

KILLALOE man Anthony Foley will take over as Munster Rugby head coach from July 1. He is currently serving as forwards coach under Rob Penney whom he will replace in the role. Foley has signed a two year contract that will keep him at the province until June 2016. The Clare man, who was capped 62 times for Ireland and 201 times for Munster, retired from playing at the end of the 2007/08 season. He joined the Munster backroom staff in July 2008 as technical advisor and assistant coach for defence. Since then he has held the position of head coach with both the Munster U-20s and Munster’s British & Irish Cup squad that reached the inaugural B&I Cup final in May 2010. He moved on to his current position, Munster Rugby forwards coach, at the start of the 2011/12 season. Additionally, the 40-year-old has experience at national level as the forwards and head coach for the Ireland Wolfhounds and …

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