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Another five star show by Tony Kelly

  Ballyea 4-18 Thurles Sarsfields 2-22 A contribution of 1-10 from Tony Kelly was one of many highlights as newly crowned Clare senior hurling champions Ballyea caused a major shock when knocking Thurles Sarsfields from Tipperary out of the Provincial title race at Cusack Park yesterday. The result led to wild scenes of celebration at the end of a tremendous contest which required extra time to produce a result Seven days after their first ever Clare senior title win, Ballyea came from being seven points in arrears with eight minutes to go to force extra time in a tremendously exciting and hugely entertaining contest played before an official attendance of 2,413 in dry but cold conditions. Ballyea had heroes throughout the field as they turned this game on its head in the final quarter which culminated with a Gary Brennan goal, worthy of any stage, which led to extra time There were outstanding displays throughout the team for the winners …

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Bonfires blaze throughout Ballyea after historic first title win

Ballyea 2-14 Clonlara 1-14 Bonfires are blazing across Ballyea this Sunday evening after history was made at Cusack Park in the afternoon when Ballyea won the Clare senior hurling championship title for the first time. [data-ps-embed-type=slideshow] > iframe {position: absolute;top: 0;left: 0;} _psEmbed(“http://photos.clarechampion.ie”); In a replayed final they were the stronger team and fully deserved their win over favourites Clonlara on a day when they were never headed. A man of the match performance from Niall Deasy who scored 1-3 together with outstanding displays from Clare football captain Gary Brennan and inter county hurlers Jack Browne, Paul Flanagan, Gearoid O’Connell and Tony Kelly were key ingredients in this victory. First half goals from Gary Brennan and Niall Deasy helped the new champions to lead at the break on a score of 2-5 to 0-8 and while Clonlara fought back to level eleven minutes into the second half when their captain John Conlon found the net, Ballyea simply refused to fold. …

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Winning start for Oscar Traynor champions

Clare League 2 Galway League 1 Oscar Traynor champions Clare made a winning start in defence of the title when they came from behind to record a merited 2-1 win over Galway at Frank Healy park in Doora this evening. [data-ps-embed-type=slideshow] > iframe {position: absolute;top: 0;left: 0;} _psEmbed(“http://photos.clarechampion.ie”); The visitors started brightly and their early play suggested that they might win this one. A superb strike from Jason Molloy as early as the sixth minute game them the lead but Clare showed that they have gained from their success last season and they fought back in impressive style. A foul on Eoin Hayes resulted in a free  just outside the area and Dave McCarthy found the corner of the net to tie up the scores after fourteen minutes. The winning goal was a score worthy of any game at any level. Team captain Stephen Kelly, who was outstanding throughout, won possession in his own defence and having beaten two opponents …

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Clare’s defence of Oscar Traynor title begins

FRANK Healy Park in Doora will be the venue on Saturday evening at 5pm for the opening game in this season’s Oscar Traynor Cup. Clare will begin the defence of the title, won impressively last year, when they take on Galway with a side that will be drawn from a panel similar to that which won the title. The sides met last year in Eamonn Deacy Park in Galway, where they played a 1-1 draw. Clare are again be under the management of Donie Garrihy and his backroom team of David Russell and Denis Hynes. “There is no talk about defending titles or achieving back-to-back successes. This is a new campaign and we have some new players. This is the first game in a four-team group and Galway will be difficult opponents. There will be an extra bit of pressure on because we are playing at home. Because we are the title holders, all will be wanting to take a …

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Down to homework from drawn hurling final

I don’t know if Ballyea or Clonlara mentors attended the senior football final replay at Cusack Park last Sunday but if they did, they are sure to have noticed that Kilmurry-Ibrickane learned more from the drawn game and that the changes they made to their line-up were key to their victory. The hurling management teams know both sides have room for improvement. What changes, if any, they will make could well be the key to unlocking the opposition this time around. Ballyea will have at least one change in personnel now that full-forward Eoghan Donnellan has been ruled out due to injury. At least one change to their forward line-up was expected anyhow, after Martin O’Leary’s impressive showing in the second half of the drawn game, following his introduction at half-time. If Ballyea are to win, there will have to be a big improvement from their forward line, which managed just one point between the starting six in the drawn …

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Kilmurry face 17th Munster club game

Kilmurry Ibrickane will host Dr Crokes from Killarney in Quilty at 1pm on Sunday in the Munster club Football Championship quarter-final, a repeat of similar fixtures in 2011 and 2012. Beaten 0-12 to 0-9 five years ago, Kilmurry were very unlucky to lose 2-8 to 0-13 just 12 months later in West Clare, largely thanks to two superb saves from Crokes goalkeeper David Moloney. At one stage the Kerry club led by eight points but Kilmurry battled their way back manfully. On October 16, Crokes defeated Kenmare District by 2-16 to 1-12 in the Kerry county final, setting up this tie against the Clare champions. “We’ll enjoy tonight and Monday but we intend to get back preparing for Sunday fairly quickly. “We have a small bit of history with Dr Crokes over a few years. We’d be hoping to give a good account of ourselves. I think we have the players to be able to match these teams. We won’t …

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Gary Pallister and Denis Irwin with Peter Boyle, centre, at the Clare Manchester United Supporters Club night at The Auburn Lodge Hotel, Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly

Man United legends captivate Clare audience

YOU could not imagine sitting Denis Irwin and Pete Boyle at a table together and for them to be still talking long into the night hours later. Irwin’s quiet man image doesn’t tally with Boyle’s propensity to break into a Manchester United themed song at any time of the day or night. Irwin, who played for United for 12 years, Gary Pallister and Boyle, a legendary fan, were guests of the Clare branch of the Manchester United Supporters Club at the Auburn Lodge Hotel, Ennis last Saturday. Up to 300 people attended the insightful and entertaining evening, with United fanatic Boyle acting as master of ceremonies. At one point, Irwin told a story about a pre-season tour of the Isle of Man, long before he joined United. He returned to the team hotel at 3am, following a night out but was unlucky to meet his then manager emerging from the hotel bar. Irwin revealed that the lesson he gleaned from …

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Mick Bohan resigns as Clare football coach

CLARE senior football coach Mick Bohan has resigned from his position after just one year in the role. In a statement issued today by Clare GAA, “family reasons” are cited for his vacating the post. Bohan will be replaced by Alan Flynn who guided Galway to an U/21 All-Ireland in 2013. Next season will be the fourth successive year in which Clare have had a different coach. Paudie Kissane, Ephie Fitzgerald, Mick Bohan and now Alan Flynn have filled the role since Colm Collins was appointed to the managers job in 2014. In 2016 the Clare footballers were promoted to division 2 of the NFL and made the last eight of the All-Ireland championship. In the Clare GAA statement, it was confirmed that Mick Bohan “will continue in his role with the under-age development programme in Clare”.

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