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Footballers beat Cork in league for first time in 23 years

Clare 2-11 Cork 0-9 AN outstanding second half display, during which Clare outscored Cork 1-9 to 0-4, helped the home county to their first league win over Cork in 23 years. The game was played in sometimes very challenging conditions in front of a crowd of 985 people in Cusack Park. Clare are now joint second with Galway in the division 2 table, on five points after four games. They are just a point behind leaders Kildare. Clare captain Martin McMahon felt that the panel of players were honest with each other following last weeks defeat to Galway in Salthill. “We worked really hard this week at training. We went back to basics and really got stuck into each other. Tactics were right today and everyone just worked as hard as they could,” the Kilmurry Ibrickane man said. “Today we said that we were going to try and keep it nice and tight. I think our forwards worked really hard. …

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Olympian visits Ennis Tri Club

LAST week, Ennis Triathlon Club hosted triathlon Olympian Bryan Keane, who participated in a club training day and launched the club’s 2017 race event calendar, consisting of a duathlon on Sunday, March 26 and the iTri Triathlon on July 22. Bryan Keane represented Ireland in the triathlon at the Rio Olympics in 2016 after making a comeback from a potentially career-ending injury he suffered when he was knocked from his bike while out training. Following two years of rehabilitation, Keane came back to his best and became the first Irish man to stand on a World Cup podium. He has risen up the rankings throughout the past number of seasons and qualified for the Rio Olympics along with the world’s top 50 triathletes. Bryan also represented Ireland in cycling and running in his early career. The focus of the training day and event launch was to provide an insight into the philosophy of multi-sport training for the club members, who …

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Footballers must meet Cork with intensity

FOLLOWING their three league defeats in 2016, all away from home, Clare won their subsequent games. Their reaction to those losses is why they are currently playing Division 2 football. A similar reaction is now required if Clare are to avoid a struggle to hold their current status. Outside of the panel and management, very few Clare people expected them to beat Galway in Salthill last Sunday. However, there was a definite expectation that Clare would compete hard for the hour and 10 minutes and, at the very least, push Galway. That did not happen, which was the most disappointing aspect of their display. In most of their league and championship games, over the last three seasons in particular, Clare have brought an honesty of effort to the field. Whatever the result, that effort level has not often dipped. It did last Sunday, though. Their tackling, tracking, support play, decision making when in possession and a cutting desire to win …

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Clare make two changes for trip to Tipp

There are two changes in personnell to the Clare team for Sunday’s hurling league round three date with Tipperary in Thurles from that which started against Kilkenny in their last outing. Inagh-Kilnamona’s Patrick Kelly takes over in goals from Donal Tuohy while Cathal McInerney, following his impressive showing in the victory over Kilkenny when he was introduced, takes over at corner forward for the injured Shane O’Donnell. Tulla’s David McInerney, recently returned from overseas is named amongst the substitutes as is Ian Galvin, younger brother of Colm. Ian missed last season ‘s club and county action due to a cruciate knee injury. Sunday’s game in Semple stadium will get underway at 3p.m. The team is Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona); Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Cian Dillon (Crusheen), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Conor Cleary (Miltown, St. Josephs), Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge); David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), David Reidy (Éire Óg); Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), John Conlon (Clonlara); Podge Collins (Cratloe), Aron Shanagher …

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O’Connor hoping to start before NHL ends

TUBBER’S Pat O’Connor, who was recently appointed as the Clare senior hurling captain for 2017, is keeping his fingers crossed that he will manage some game time before Clare’s participation in the 2017 league ends. Speaking to The Clare Champion this week, he paid tribute to the physios and medical team at Santry. “I am hoping to play some bit before the league ends but, realistically, getting up to the pace required, the time frame might be a bit too soon.” He continued, “At this stage, I have little or no pain. I am back into full gym and I can swing a hurley. The next step is to get into contact. Realistically, I will be looking at the Clare Champion Cup to get back to sharpness.” The All-Ireland medal winner from 2013 said being appointed Clare captain is a “massive honour”. “I was nearly the last to find out, as I couldn’t make training that evening. It was a …

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Clare fall flat away to Galway

Galway 3-13 Clare 1-11 THE Clare footballers were emphatically beaten by Galway in Salthill on Sunday afternoon, in what was their first defeat of the 2017 NFL division 2 league season. In a game dominated by an exceptionally strong wind and torrential second half rain, Clare conceded three goals, having let in none in their opening games against Derry and Down. Goals from Eamon Brannigan and Shane Walsh helped Galway to build a 2-8 to 0-5 interval advantage. Too often Galway players broke from deep with no Clare player tracking. Clare needed to start the second half with a couple of scores but instead Johnny Heaney and Barry McHugh pointed for Galway, who now led by 11 points. A Keelan Sexton goal, set up by Cian O’Dea, gave Clare brief hope but nine second half wides, cost them. Clare did miss some decent goal scoring opportunities, while goalkeeper Joe Hayes made a couple of excellent saves. “We had goal chances …

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Keenan is king of the ring

Martin Keenan, who won his first Irish title three years ago in the colours of Ennis Boxing Club, hit the headlines on Friday night in the National Stadium when he captured the Irish Elite Super-heavyweight title in style, to etch his name in Clare’s sporting history. It was a big surprise for the unranked, unheralded Ennis lad, who went from strength to strength in these championships and totally upset the odds that were stacked against him from the outset three weeks ago. He is the first Clare fighter to reach the podium since James Clancy won the heavyweight title back in the 1990s for Kilfenora, with Ennis boxing legend Ollie Markham in his corner. Keenan took a 4-1 split decision over Thomas Carty from the Glasnevin club in a torrid battle, after recovering from an indifferent first round, in which he found Carty’s southpaw reach virtually impenetrable. He was off-target with his usually devastating right-hand shots to the head but …

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Conor Ryan out for season

ALL-Ireland winning senior hurling centre-back Conor Ryan is taking a year out of the game on medical advice. Speaking to The Clare Champion, he said, “Unfortunately, this is not something that I want to do. It’s a decision forced upon me. Hurling and football is a huge part of my life and I have put playing above all else. To step away is extremely difficult.” Joint Clare senior hurling team manager Gerry O’Connor confirmed, “We have asked him to join the analysis team and he probably will take up that offer. He is an integral part of our group. He has addressed the group and explained his position. He is a top-class guy. He is a loss to the team but, thankfully, he won’t be a loss to the group. “The return of Davy Mac [McInerney] softens the blow a little but it will take at least two or three weeks to re-integrate himself into training and we will take …

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