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Footballers well beaten but survive in division 2

Meath 3-19 Clare 1-13 DESPITE an emphatic 12 point loss to Meath in Cusack Park on Sunday, Clare will play division 2 football in 2018. Derry’s defeat of Fermanagh and Down’s draw with Cork, meant that they, along with Clare ended their league campaign on five points. However Clare retained their status based on their superior scoring difference. While Clare played some good football in the first half, following a shaky start, they were comprehensively outplayed after the interval. In fact Meath outscored their 3-10 to 1-5 with wing forward Cillian O’Sullivan putting away two goals while centre back Brian Power added the third for a rampant Royal County. Meath were so much in control they substituted Graham Reilly, who put over 0-6 from play, 15 minutes from time. The winners led 0-9 to 0-8 at half-time, with Reilly and Eamonn Wallace contributing a flurry of superb points. Eoin Cleary did likewise for Clare in the opening half. Slow to …

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Chloe flies the flag for Ireland U-19s

QUILTY girl Chloe Moloney will be a vital member of the Republic of Ireland’s U-19 soccer squad, as they seek to qualify for the European Championships next week. Managed by Dave Connell, all three games will be played at the Markets Field in Limerick in the elite qualifying round. Next Tuesday, Ireland will play Scotland at 7pm, followed by their second group game, against Ukraine, on Thursday, April 6, at the same time. On Sunday, April 9, at 2pm, Ireland will meet Finland in their final group game. This is Chloe’s final year playing at U-19 level and the Peamount United centre-half is hoping that Ireland can top the group. “One team comes out of the group to go to the European finals in Belfast in August. We had two recent friendlies against the Czech Republic in Barcelona. We won the first 3-0 and we lost the second 3-2. We were missing a few because three of our girls were …

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Ennis RFC chase Munster U-18 title

THE meeting of Ennis and Garryowen in the Munster U-18 Cup final on Sunday is the biggest underage match that Ennis has ever played in, according to team coach John Colleran. “It’s the showpiece of Munster rugby at youths level and for a junior club like Ennis, it is massive. It shows the strength of the game at youths level in our club. It has come about as a result of the effort over the years by a lot of volunteers. It’s the culmination of all of that,” said Colleran, who is eagerly looking forward to the final. A coach with the club for more than a decade, Colleran has been involved with this group of players since they were at U-10 level. “One of the reasons I got involved with this group was because my son Jack had taken up the game. As a parent, I was there watching. I said I would like to have the experience of …

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Footballers seeking second league win over Meath

IT IS not too often that a defeated team emerges from any game with their confidence levels enhanced. While a loss is a loss, Clare did play some exceptional football in Newbridge last Sunday. Eoin Cleary gave an exhibition of shooting from play and while he did miss a chance to equalise from a free, he was one of Clare’s standout performers. More impressive than any of their scores was the off-the-shoulder support from players like Cleary, Jamie Malone, Cian O’Dea and Dean Ryan. On several occasions, during the second half in particular, players timed their support run perfectly, so that they broke Kildare tackles without breaking their own stride. Suddenly, they were in space and had time to look up and send decent ball into the inside forwards. The best way to kick quality ball is to use support play to create an opportunity. Kick the ball too early and, have no doubt, it will come back to you …

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Brendan Bugle is struggling with injuries but Clare still have a great chance of winning on Sunday..

Two changes on hurling team

  There are two changes in personnell on the Clare team to face Dublin in Sunday’s relegation play off from that which started against  Waterford last week. Brendan Bugler returns to the starting line up at wing back in place of Jason McCarthy while David Reidy returns to the team and he is named at corner forward in place of Ian Galvin. Otherwise the team is unchanged from last week and it is Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); David McInerney (Tulla), Cian Dillon (Crusheen), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Conor Cleary ( Miltown St. Josephs), David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona); Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge), Tony Kelly (Ballyea); Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Podge Collins (Cratloe), John Conlon (Clonlara); David Reidy (Éire Óg), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones na Sionna), Cathal McInerney (Cratloe); The game throws in at 4p.m. By Seamus Hayes

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Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor.

Hurlers aim to stay in top flight

The quality of games in Division 1A of the National Hurling League has put Clare under pressure in each of their games and, according to selector Jimmy Browne, “ultimately you learn most about yourself when you are under pressure”. Ahead of Sunday’s relegation play-off with Dublin at Cusack Park (throw-in 4pm), he continued, “We have learned a lot this year. We had very good displays against Kilkenny and Tipperary but we did not get the result we wanted and against Waterford for a big chunk of the game. We have a chance to put that back into the mix for Sunday. That is the strength of playing in this league. “The great beauty of playing in this division is that you are testing yourself to the upper limit every day you go out and Sunday is another very important test for us,” added Browne. “We have to perform. There is a lot of importance from a Clare point of view, …

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Heartbreaking defeat for footballers in Newbridge

Kildare 0-18 Clare 1-14 CLARE fell to a heartbreaking one point defeat in Newbridge on Sunday afternoon. Five points down at half-time, they took the game to the home county in the second half, with Shane Brennan scoring a crucial goal. He flicked to the net following a Keelan Sexton angled delivery. Fifteen minutes from time Clare led 1-12 to 0-13 and at that point, the pendulum seemed to be swinging in their direction. However late points from Fionn Dowling and Paul Cribbin swung the result in favour of Cian O’Neill’s team, who are now promoted. Eoin Cleary had an opportunity to equalise from an injury time free but it drifted wide. Unless Clare beat Meath in their final game in Ennis next Sunday, they will need Down and Derry to lose their final league ties, to stave off relegation to division 3. Kildare led 0-11 to 0-6 at half-time, with their midfielder Kevin Feely kicking 0-5 from frees. Clare …

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Clubs assisted by 300 isolated players

APPLICATIONS by close to 300 isolated players formed a large part of discussions at the latest Clare County GAA Board meeting. At the outset of the meeting at Hotel Woodstock in Ennis, secretary Pat Fitzgerald read the applications from adult players. Joe Pender, on behalf of the underage hurling board, and Joe Kelly, on behalf of the underage football board, followed with two further lists of applications. Some adult applications had been dealt with at the February board meeting. After the lists had been presented, Tulla GAA Club delegate Brian Torpey observed that “one club has received assistance from 54 players”. “We don’t want to stop anyone from playing but for those of us that are landlocked [no exclusive football club adjacent], it’s hard. Some stipulations must be introduced. Maybe when a club passes a certain number of isolated players, they must play in A grade competitions,” he suggested. Supporting Torpey, Feakle delegate Mike Daly said, “If we could only …

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