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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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Inagh-Kilnamona minors bridge 8 year gap

Inagh-Kilnamona 1-14 Kilmaley 1-10 Inagh-Kilnamona bridged a nine year gap when they captured the minor A hurling championship at the expense of their neighbours and great rivals Kilmaley at Cusack Park this Saturday afternoon. In a game played in very difficult weather conditions of bitterly cold and heavy rain showers, they dominated in the key areas. They led by two points at half time having played against the breeze and by the three quarter stage they had pushed their lead out to eight points and looked set for a comfortable win. Kilmaley then hit a purple patch and they scored 1-3 without reply to move to within two points of the winners with six minutes to play. The winners were clearly under pressure at this stage and with two minutes remaining they conceded a penalty. Goalkeeper Ronan Callinan came up to take the free but his effort was turned behind by his opposite number Eugene Foudy. Top scorer and the …

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A winning start for Oscar Traynor champions

Clare 6 West Cork 2 Oscar Traynor title holders Clare have made winning start in defence of the title when they overcame West Cork at Frank Healy park this Saturday evening. The home side got off to a great start and were three goals to the good by the fourteenth minute which left the visitors with a huge task on their hands Irish junior international Eoin Hayes opened the scoring after just four minutes an dhe doubled the home side’s advantage in the eleventh minute after he was put through by Eoin Hayes. Hayes then turned provided as his break created the opening which saw Gary O’Connell score the home side’s third Twenty minutes later Hayes was involved again as he created the opportunity which led to Dave McCarthy finding the net. West Cork, to their credit, didn’t drop their heads and they hit back two minutes after McCarthy’s strike for a John Kelly goal and this left the score …

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Clondegad manager calm amid final fervour

A veteran of Clondegad’s 1997 Junior B Championship win, Mikey Hehir is a manager with significant experience behind him. Now in his second stint at the helm of Clondegad, prior to that he managed Ballyea for three years. From Drumquin in Ballynacally, Hehir won two junior championships with Clondegad and played in two losing intermediate finals, before succumbing to a knee injury, having had an initial operation at 15. “Eventually the knee gave way. Every year it was getting harder and harder to come back. I started not making the team, so I got involved with the hurlers in Ballyea as a coach, about seven or eight years ago. As that year progressed, I ended up falling into the manager’s role. We had three relegation battles, one final and two semi-finals. We won two U-21 B in that period and the following year, when Robbie Hogan, Raymond O’Connor and Donal Kelly came in, they won the U-21 A. It was …

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Kilmurry should shade intriguing final

HAVING never played a senior championship game against each other, 14-times champions Kilmurry-Ibrickane will face Clondegad in the 2017 Clare County Championship final at 3pm, with the Ballynacally-based men in black and red seeking their first title. Kilmurry won the 2015 Cusack Cup final when the clubs met, while their last championship meeting was the 2011 intermediate final, when Clondegad beat Kilmurry’s second team to achieve senior status. Clondegad have played seven games in reaching Sunday’s final, including replays against Lissycasey and Doonbeg. In total they have played 380 minutes of football, with 14 players contributing to their 5-75 tally. Podge McMahon, with 2-20 (0-11f), is marginally their top scorer ahead of Gary Brennan with 1-22 (1-13f), while Tony Kelly has put over 0-10 from play, followed by Eoin Donnellan on 0-9. Clondegad have conceded 4-55. The only games they did not concede a goal in was against Kilkee in the first round and Doonbeg in the quarter-final replay. Sixteen …

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Cusack resigns as Clare hurling coach

Donal Og Cusack has stepped down from his role as coach to the Clare senior hurling team. The Cork man made the announcement on his twitter page earlier this evening when he also confirmed that he has stepped down from his role with Sport Ireland with immediate effect. The announcement was expected and had been predicted for the past week. In the wake of his admission that he wrote a character reference for former Irish times journalist Tom Humphries who pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation and defilement, speculation that Cusack was to step down from his role as coach to the Clare senior hurlers had been rife. The former All-Ireland winning Cork hurling goalkeeper, in a statement on Twitter at the weekend, apologised “for any hurt caused”. “I absolutely condemn the crimes he has committed. I cannot begin to imagine the terrible suffering of the victim. I apologise for any hurt or offence caused by my action. My intention was …

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Title number 13 for Sixmilebridge

Sixmilebridge 1-20 Clooney-Quin 1-14 Sixmilebridge are tonight celebrating a third Clare senior title in five years when they proved too strong for Clooney-Quin in the Clare senior hurling final replay. Before an attendance of 5,892, up by just over three hundred from the previous week’a drawn decider, they showed improved form and deservingly captured the Canon Hamilton trophy for the thirteenth occasion in this the anniversary of their first win which was achieved back in 1977. A sharper and hungrier Sixmilebridge made no mistake on this occasion and emerged as deserving winners on a day when veteran Niall Gilligan captured his sixth success. The All-Ireland medal winner with Clare in 1997 was in the starting line up this afternoon from the start and he made a valuable contribution to the team’s victory. According to Clooney-Quin mentor Dave Barry “They were just stronger than us. They won an awful lot of ruck ball and that was pure power. Once you are …

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