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Unchanged Clare to face Limerick

The Clare team to face Limerick in round 2 of the hurling qualifiers is unchanged from that which lined out against Laois in Cusack park last week.  Pat Kelly and Conor McGrath both missed last week’s game due to injury and they are still unavailable while Conor Ryan is also ruled out. The team is  Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Pat O’Connor (Tubber), Cian Dillon (Crusheen); Jack Browne (Ballyea), Conor Cleary (Miltown St. Josephs), Brendan Bugler (Whitegate); David McInerney (Tulla), David Reidy (Éire Óg); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), Podge Collins (Cratloe), Tony Kelly (Ballyea); John Conlon (Clonlara) Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones). The game throws in at 7p.m. at Thurles on this Saturday evening where it is the third game on a programme that commences at 3p.m. with the meeting of Cork and Limerick in the football qualifier. At 5p.m. Cork will take on Wexford in the hurling qualifier. Meanwhile Eire Og’s Dean Ryan is a major doubt for Sunday’s football qualifier clash with Laois at Cusack Park at …

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Clare footballers must improve

IN the aftermath of Clare’s 2-23 to 0-17 Munster Championship semi-final defeat to Kerry in Killarney on June 12, the concession of two goals in the opening five minutes was highlighted as central to Clare’s compliant demise. Those goals were a massive set-back and sucked confidence from Clare. The fact that they managed to kick 0-17 was seen as an impressive total and while it was a decent return, contained within that statistic is a worrying figure. The starting six forwards kicked just 0-3 from play between them in 70 minutes of football. David Tubridy, Eoin Cleary and Podge Collins put over a point each. If they are to get beyond Laois on Sunday, the Clare forwards must up that return considerably. On the plus side Pearse Lillis, who came on for the black-carded Podge Collins seven minutes before half-time, kicked three superb points from play, while Gary Brennan and Cathal O’Connor put over 0-3 between them from midfield. The …

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Do or die in Shannonside hurling derby

Three of the players that filled key positions when Clare ensured promotion to division 1 A at the expense of Limerick as the end of March will play no part in Saturday’s qualifier meeting of the Shannonside neighbours at Thurles. Conor McGrath, Conor Ryan and Pat Kelly are all out of action due to injury. McGrath, one of the game’s leading forwards, contributed 0-5 from play in that game and his absence is certainly a blow to clare hopes of beinhg involved in the latter stages of the championship. Both McGrath and Kelly are keeping their fingers crossed that they will be ready for quarter final action on July 25 as is Ryan but the defender/midfielder may have to wait a little longer b efore he is ready to return to action. “Limerick won ‘t be afraid of us. It’s do or die now. We know the great young talent that they have. They have only been beaten three times …

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The victorious Clare intermediate hurlers at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Wednesday evening. Photograph Arthur Ellis.

Clare intermediate hurlers shine in extra-time battle

Clare 1-26 Limerick 2-18 CLARE bridged a five-year gap when they were crowned Munster intermediate hurling champions at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Wednesday evening. The game saw good scores, bad misses and sending-offs but, after extra time, Clare emerged as deserving winners and Shane McGrath accepted the cup from provincial council chairman Cork’s Jerry O’Sullivan. Clare dominated the extra time, showing greater levels of fitness and they now look forward to an All-Ireland final date against the Leinster champions, Wexford or Kilkenny, who clash next week. The All-Ireland final is set for early August. With a big sprinkling of U-21s in their line-up, there will be concern as to how much this tie will have taken out of Clare ahead of their eagerly awaited Munster U-21 Championship semi-final date with Waterford next week. Clare survived the final 20 minutes of normal time being a man short, after Dara Walsh picked up two yellow cards in the space of …

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Clare’s championship dream shattered

Limerick 1-13 Clare 0-9 Clare’s hopes of getting to the knock out stage in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie championship are all but gone following a third successive defeat in this season’s championship race. At Cusack Park on Saturday, a strong first half showing by visitors Limerick steered the visitors to their second win of the campaign and left Clare pointless at the bottom of the table. Niamh Mulcahy was the Limerick hero, contributing all but three points of their total. Throughout the hour she proved a handful for Clare. While there is no disputing the merit of Limerick’s win, Clare were, clearly, annoyed with a number of referee John McDonagh’s decisions over the course of the hour. The Galway based official who hails from Liscannor clearly annoyed Clare officials and followers with some of his decisions, not least the sending off of team captain Orlaith Duggan on a second yellow card. Having played with the aid of a …

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Laois no match for Clare

Clare 5-32 Laois 0-12 While anything other than a comfortable Clare win in this first round hurling championship qualifier would have been a big surprise, few would have predicted that their winning margin over Laois would have been so great. The fact that thirty five points separated the teams is sure to lead to more debate as to what teams should be allowed into this competition. For the official attendance of 5,518, there was little to cheer about as the result was clear from a very early stage. Clare’s determination to get back to winning ways after their Munster championship exit was evident from the outset and once they took control, they dominated throughout the field. Indeed it’s fair to say that their winning margin could have been greater such was their dominance on an evening when Laois goalie Enda Rowland denied Clare at least three further goals There was little between the sides in the opening quarter at the …

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Clare make four changes for Laois tie

The Clare team to face Laois in the opening round of the senior hurling qualifiers shows four changes in personell from that which started against Waterford in the Munster semi-final four weeks ago. Into the starting line up come Andrew Fahy, Jack Browne, David McInerney and Aron Shanagher and they will replace Patrick Kelly (injured), David Fitzgerald, Darach Honan and Conor McGrath(injured). The inclusion of David McInerney is a huge boost as it wasn’t expected. The Tulla man has been out of action due to a back injury for the past three months and wasn’t expected to return at this time. He has been named as midfield partner to David Reidy and all involved will be keeping their fingers crossed that he will come through the game without suffering a recurrence of the injury which has kept him out of action for so long. The team named for duty is Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Pat O’Connor (Tubber), Cian …

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Clare wary of Laois challenge

LAOIS senior hurlers may not have had a great season to date but Clare selector Louis Mulqueen believes the Midlanders will travel to Clare this Saturday determined to overcome the home side in Round 1 of the hurling qualifiers. “Laois were here in Clare last weekend and they trained in Cusack Park on Sunday morning, which suggests that they are not just coming down here on Saturday to make up the numbers,” selector Louis Mulqueen said. “Galway struggled against them in the championship last year. Clare are the favourites to succeed on Saturday but Laois have shown in modern times that they can match the best, so it’s not a foregone conclusion that Clare will win on Saturday.” Over the last decade, Clare have been made to fight all the way for victory over Laois, when the sides have clashed in both league and championship. Laois have struggled this season and did poorly in both the league and championship. Mulqueen …

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