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Neighbours battles for Cusack Cup honours

WHILE playing a Cusack Cup final on the last Sunday in November might not enthuse too many people, the fact that seven in-a-row seeking Kilmurry-Ibrickane are playing Miltown adds significant interest to the game. Ironically the last club, other than Kilmurry, to win the Cusack Cup was Miltown in 2010. Throw in the fact that they are the only Clare club to beat Kilmurry in the last two years in league or championship and it’s clear that Sunday’s final could be interesting, whatever the weather or the time of year. Kilmurry will be without Michael Hogan, who was red-carded in last Sunday’s semi-final win over Doonbeg, while Darragh Sexton is unlikely to be fit. He has not featured since picking up an injury in the county final on October 29. Another aspect that neither Kilmurry or Miltown will have forgotten is their play-off game in Doonbeg on September 30. Miltown won that game relatively easily, 2-13 to 0-12. It meant …

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Extra time heartbreak for Kilmaley

Kanturk, Cork 1-23 Kilmaley 0-25 A cracking Munster intermediate club hurling championship final ended in a heartbreaking one point defeat for Clare champions Kilmaley at the Gaelic grounds in Limerick this afternoon after extra time. Six points adrift midway through the second half, Kilmaley put in a superb final quarter which saw them take a one point lead with a minute of normal time remaining only for the Cork side to battle back for a merited equaliser. It was tit for tat throughout the extra time which ended with a 60m free for Kilmaley drifting wide of the upright. As with any game that is so tight, there are plenty of talking points and these include two efforts by Kilmaley, one of which was signalled as a point, both been given as wide after some confusion and consultation amongst the officials. Arguably the biggest talking point came at the death when a Kanturk official went on to the field and …

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A special day for Kilmaley parish

SINCE the introduction of the provincial and All-Ireland club championships across all grades, their popularity has grown enormously and one of the main reasons for this is that they provide players with the opportunity to represent their parishes at the highest level, while playing beside their best friends and family members. Kilmaley have that opportunity this week when brothers and cousins will line up side by side as the Clare intermediate hurling champions face their Cork counterparts Kanturk in the procvincial club finals in The Gaerl grounds, Limerick at 2pm. Kilmaley will be led by team captain Colin McGuane, who will have his brother Aidan as a team mate, while family members will be in the stand supporting the team and will include their father Noel, a member of the team that brought the Canon Hamilton Trophy to the parish for the first time in 1985. “The club is a real family affair and that makes it more special, as …

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Inagh-Kilnamona’s second half fightback just fails

Burgess-Duharra, Tipperary 2-10 Inagh-Kilnamona 1-10 A powerful second half performance from Clare champions Inagh-Kilnamona wasn’t enough to dethrone the Munster title holders Burgess-Duharra in the Provincial senior club camogie championship final played in very difficult weather conditions at the gaelic grounds in Limerick this Saturday afternoon. Playing in the final for the first time, Inagh-Kilnamona could hardly have got a worse start as they found themselves four points down after just three minutes. The experienced Eimear McDonnell pointed in the first minute before the Clare champions defence failed to deal with a Jenny Grace delivery from a 55m free and the ball ended up in the net. It’s an indication of the way Inagh-Kilnamona have improved over the past year that they came storming back and Amy Keating landed three points in four minutes before the title holders struck for their second goal which full forward Amy Kennedy, later named as the player of the game, scored. The winners full …

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Lafferty sisters all set for Munster camogie final

GIVEN that one of the Lafferty sisters is an accountant and the other teaches maths, when they calculated how long they have been hitting a sliotar, their findings stunned them. Both will have central roles to play for Inagh-Kilnamona in Saturday’s Munster senior club camogie final against Tipperary champions, Burgess-Duharra, in the Gaelic Grounds at 2pm. Siobhán, who is part of the finance team at Zagg International in Shannon, is team captain at full-back, while Fiona started at full-forward in their semi-final win over Inniscarra from Cork. Their mother, Margaret, has been ever present since they first swung a hurley. “The first time I was involved, we went to Ruan for an U-11 blitz. She was in charge of that team and she has been doing it since,” Siobhán said. “You’re fairly old now so,” Fiona butted in. “Thanks for getting that out there. I’m 30, so I guess that’s 20 years of Margaret being involved,” Siobhán surmised. Fiona had …

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New coach for Clare senior hurlers

Galway man Gavin Keary is the new Clare senior hurling coach. A player with Loughrea up to last year, he was introduced to the Clare players at training on Saturday. He replaces Donal Og Cusack who stepped down from the post just under two weeks ago. In the past two weeks a number of people were interviewed for the post before Keary, a member of the Galway minor backroom team for the past two years and manager of the Irish under 21 shinty team this year was chosen by joint managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor. While all three outgoing inter county Clare hurling managers were re-appointed at a recent board meeting, there will, it is understood, be changes to all teams. Under 21 boss John Carmody has to replace Kevin O’Grady and Colin Lynch, joint coaches of the 2017 team as both have stepped down. There is speculation that minor (under 17 this year) boss Sean Doyle is also …

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A bridge too far for Clare champions

Ballygunner, Waterford 1-18 Sixmilebridge 1-17 Sixmilebridge’s dream of contesting the Munster senior club hurling final ended at Walsh park in Waterford this afternoon when they went under by the minimum margin to a fancied Waterford side, Ballygunner/ It was a heartbreaking defeat for the Clare champions who, when the review the game, will reflect on missed chances and on whether or not they could have made changes which would have benefited the team. As reported last week, the Clare champions went into this game without their injured captain Paidi Fitzpatrick and while he took part in the team pre match warm up on the pitch, he played no part in the game. His absence was a blow to the team’s hopes of progressing to the final. What was mainly a crossfield breeze helped the visitors in the opening half but they finished the half strongly to led by five points, 0-11 to 0-6, when the half time whistle sounded. Their …

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Injury worries for the ‘Bridge

Clare senior hurling champions Sixmilebridge could hardly have asked for a stiffer test in the Munster Club semi-final than a meeting with their Waterford counterparts, Ballygunner, at Walsh Park but they will travel with strong support this Sunday for the game. Na Piarsaigh from Limerick or Blackrock from Cork will provide the opposition in the final. This will be Ballygunner’s eighth consecutive week in championship action. Last week, the Waterford side delivered, arguably, their best display when overcoming Thurles Sarsfields in a quarter-final tie that needed extra time. That performance showed their determination to do well in this championship. Sixmilebridge have injury concerns hanging over captain, Paidi Fitzpatrick and fellow defender, Caimin Morey. Fitzpatrick suffered a broken finger in the drawn final with Clooney-Quin. Following treatment, he played in the replay but he suffered further damage to the hand, making him an extremely doubtful starter for Sunday. A final decision on whether or not he will play will not be …

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