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Can Ballyea keep the silverware?

The race to find a new home for the Canon Hamilton Trophy will begin in earnest this weekend, with eight games down for decision. Eight first round games in the intermediate championship will also take place. While all 16 teams will still be in the title race come Sunday evening, an opening round victory will mean the threat of relegation will have been eliminated. Introduced two years ago, one of the eight first-round losers will be relegated to the intermediate grade for next season. The same format applies to the intermediate championship this year. Following the first round, the eight winners will be drawn against each other and the eight losers will also be drawn to face each other, with the four losers here battling it out in a relegation play-off. At least one of last year’s semi-finalists will find themselves in the losers’ round, as first round games see Clonlara, beaten finalists for the past two years, take on …

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Newmarket Celtic make more history

Newmarket Celtic A 2 Bridge United A 1 Two goals in a minute midway through the second half helped Newmarket to an historic sixth Clare junior cup title in a row when they overcame Bridge United at sun splashed Frank Healy park in Doora this Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first half, the defending champions found themselves in arrears five minutes after the break when Terry Lenihan got the vital touch and his looping header beat Rob Shire in the Newmarket goal. They had a chance to double their advantage seven minutes later but Derek Fahy’s effort flew wide of the target. While there was a touch of luck about Newmarket’s equaliser when Bridge defender Darren Murphy saw his attempted headed clearance end up in the net over the advancing Paul Tuohy, credit must go to Newmarket substitute Cathal Hayes who pressurised their defence The cheering had barely died down when the holders hit the front. They won a free …

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Clare completely focused on Limerick

Clare minor football selector Eamon Keane is hopeful that a number of key players will be fit and available to take on Limerick next Wednesday evening. The Shannon Gaels clubman views the game as an equal opportunity for both counties to reach a Munster final and secure a place in the last eight of the All-Ireland series, whether they win or lose the final. “Jack Sheedy (St Breckan’s) suffered a dead leg and Colin McNeilus (Clondegad) injured his shoulder against Tipperary. Joe Miniter (Kilrush) picked up a slight injury at training. We’re hoping that they will be ready,” he said. Clare are well aware that Limerick will view this game as a clear path to what will be the last minor football final. “Limerick will see it as a big opportunity as well, particularly when it’s a home game for them. They’ll put everything into it and I’m sure they’ll be ready for us. We’re really just taking this game …

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Newmarket bid for six in-a-row

CUP final day is always a special occasion in Clare. Adding to the excitement ahead of this Sunday’s Clare Junior Cup final is the fact that holders Newmarket Celtic are not just seeking to retain the title but to be crowned cup champions for a record sixth year in-a-row. Standing between them and that achievement are their neighbours and great rivals Bridge United, who have some close to beating them on a number of occasions in recent years only to come up short on most of those occasions. Two years ago, these clubs met in the cup final, when many of those who will line out this week were in opposition. Last year, Bridge United put in a massive effort to win the Premier League title, only to be pipped on the final day by Newmarket, who were retaining the title. This year, Newmarket lost out on final day, when they went down to Shannon Town, having led by two …

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A big test for Clare camogie

For the sixth year-in-a-row, Clare begin their Munster Senior Camogie Championship campaign against Cork. On Sunday the Banner side will travel to the Cork camogie grounds to take on the Leesiders at 3pm. The same counties will also meet in the curtain-raiser, the first round of the junior championship. If Clare’s task wasn’t hard enough, they face into Sunday’s game without team captain Orlaith Duggan, who is out with an achilles injury. Acknowledging that it is a huge task, Clare manager Trish O’Grady noted, “Cork have been at the business end of both the Munster and All-Ireland championships for the last number of years. They were beaten in the recent league final and they won’t have been happy with their performance on that occasion, so they will be targeting an improved display this week”. Apart from Duggan, Clare expect to have a full strength squad at their disposal. A number of the team that helped Clare get to the All-Ireland …

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Avenue United claim youths cup title

Avenue United 5 St. Pats 2 Avenue United were crowned Clare youths cup soccer champions at Frank Healy park this Friday evening when they recorded a 5-2 victory over St. Pats The win completed a particularly successful week for Gavin Cooney who scored two goals for the winners on his way to picking up the man of the match award just forty eight hours after helping the Clare minor footballers qualify for the Provincial semi-final when he was their top scorer with a haul of 0-5 in their win over Tipperary. Cooney’s involvement in this evenings cup final surprised St.Pats followers as they lined out without four members of the Clare minor football squad who are part of their panel. The minor footballers trained on Friday evening. The game was forty minutes old before the opening goal was registered and it was St. Pats who took the lead when Danny Clancy drilled the ball low to the corner of the …

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Gavin Cooney (left) scored five points for Clare.

Clare minor footballers into Munster semi-final

Clare 0-10 Tipperary 0-5 Clare may have progressed to the semi-final of the Munster Minor Football Championship at Cusack Park on Wednesday evening but anyone from Limerick watching the game would not have been too frightened by what they saw. Clare will meet the Shannonsiders in the semi-final on Wednesday, May 10 at the Gaelic Grounds at 7pm. Cork will play Kerry in the other semi-final at Pairc Uí Rinn on the same evening. That Clare deserved their victory over Tipperary is not in question but it was a poor contest, riddled with 46 frees, while the Banner men did not get a score from play until the 40th minute. Clare dominated the exchanges but they struggled to turn this into scores. Full-forward Gavin Cooney was the game’s top scorer with 0-5, three from play in the second half. Indeed, the Éire Óg clubman was the county’s only scorer from play. Clare hit the front in the opening minute when …

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Junior hurling and football draws

The draws for the junior B and C hurling championships and the junior B football championship were made at a meeting of Clare GAA in Clareabbey this Tuesday evening. Fifteen teams will compete for the B hurling title and they have been divided into four groups, three of four and one of three, from which the top two in each will go on to contest the quarter finals. Eight teams will compete for the junior B football title and they are divided into two groups of four. The junior C hurling championship is a knock out competition in which there will be nine teams. The details are Junior B football; Group 1;–Shannon Gaels, Coolmeen, Clarecastle, Kilmihil Group 2; Doonbeg, St. Breckans, Clonbony, Banner Junior B hurling Group 1; Tulla, Eire Og, St. Josephs, Whitegate; Group 2; Feakle, Smith O’Briens, Tubber, Sixmilebridge; Group 3; Inagh-Kilnamona, Parteen, Newmarket, Scariff; Group 4; Kilmaley, Wolfe Tones, Clarecastle Junior C hurling Preliminary round; A-St. Josephs …

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