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Clare footballers aim for 70-minute effort

THE absence of captain Gary Brennan and half-forward Seán Collins has hampered Clare’s panel depth, as they aim for a first league win over Galway since 1995. Both were substituted against Down on February 12, carrying hamstring injuries and neither have recovered, while Brennan is also focusing on preparing for Ballyea’s All-Ireland club final against either Cuala or Slaughtneil. The Clare Champion understands that Ballyea panellists Pearse Lillis, David Egan and Shane Brennan will be available to the footballers this Sunday. “Gary or Seán haven’t trained since we played Down. Both of them came off injured, so I wouldn’t expect to see either of them this week, or maybe not for the Cork game either. Cathal and Kevin Harnett were the two lads with injury concerns going into the Down game. Both of them have got another few weeks under their belts and they are grand,” Clare selector David O’Brien confirmed. Galway are also on three points, having drawn with …

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St Anne’s seek football breakthrough

ST Anne’s Killaloe will be hoping to make history on Saturday by winning a Munster senior football title for the first time. Coming from a traditional hurling area, St Anne’s have surprised many by getting to the final with a team that includes just six players who play regular club football. Not surprisingly, they will carry the underdogs’ tag against Boherbue Community School from Cork, with the throw-in time scheduled for 12.30pm at Ballyagran. Managed by teachers John Gleeson (Ballina) and Raymond Murray, who hails from Mountbellew in Galway, a final decision on the line-up will not be made until shortly before throw-in, as they await a fitness report on Liam Harte, who missed the semi-final due to injury. According to Gleeson, Harte’s chances of playing are 50/50. Harte’s brother Colin is the team captain and he will fill the centre-back position. Others that the Killaloe side will be looking to as they seek to bring home Corn Sheáin Uí …

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St Joseph’s chase a third Munster title

ON Saturday, St Joseph’s Spanish Point will attempt to win a third Munster colleges title. They will play St Augustine’s College, Dungarvan in Bansha at 12.30pm, as they seek to add to Munster titles won in 1983 and 1995. Four clubs, St Joseph’s Miltown, Kilmurry-Ibrickane, Cooraclare and Doonbeg supply players to the panel, many of whom were part of last year’s team that was beaten in the U-16½ Munster final. St Joseph’s beat Beara from Cork in the first round, Miltown Castlemaine (Kerry), Douglas (Cork) and Causeway Comprehensive (Kerry) to reach the final. St Joseph’s are managed and coached by Paul Reidy (Kilmihil), John O’Sullivan (Miltown), Cathal Crowe (Ennistymon) and Paul Dillon (Doonbeg). Two years ago, the school won the Clare U-15 competition and last year won in Clare U-16½, while they lost the Munster final to Kenmare. Fourteen of the current team are eligible again next year. “We didn’t expect to go on this sort of run but we …

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Magnificent Clare trounce Kilkenny

Clare 2-19 Kilkenny 0-12 What a difference a week makes. Those of us, and there were quite a few, who feared the worst on Sunday after witnessing the disappointing seven point loss to Cork in the opening round a week earlier were treated to a thrilling performance which resulted in a thirteen point win over Kilkenny at Cusack park this afternoon. Its a result that few could have forseen but it was fully merited. Unlike the opening round eight days earlier, Clare’s hunger for victory was a key ingredient in this win. They dictated matters from the throw in and they had hit Kilkenny for 1-3 without reply after just four minutes. The gap was seven points inClare’s favour at the end of the first quarter and its fair to say that Kilkenny never looked like they might get back into contention. The half backs who had been in great difficulty against Cork, excelled this afternoon. Indeed, the entire defence …

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Clare need improved display to tame Cats

TWO years ago, Clare and Kilkenny finished up at the bottom of Division 1A in the hurling league, which led to them playing off to determine who would make the drop to 1B. That situation, which saw Kilkenny surviving in the top flight thanks to a one-point win, is sure to be recalled this week as the counties meet in this season’s competition. It may only be Round 2 of the 2017 competition but both suffered defeat in their first outing last weekend, which means there is a little more urgency about getting points on the board this weekend. Of the two, Kilkenny were the more impressive last week, running their neighbours Waterford to a point at Nowlan Park. Clare, on the other hand, were a good bit off the standard required in their clash with Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn and will need to show a much-improved performance if they are to trouble the Noresiders at Cusack Park on …

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Hurling team shows three changes in personnel

The Clare team to play Kilkenny in round 2 of the National Hurling League on Sunday shows three changes in personnell and some positional switches from the side which lost to Cork in last week’s opening round. Ballyea du0 Tony Kelly and Jack Browne are now available due to their club’s preparations for the upcoming All-Ireland final while Shane Golden has been omitted. Into the starting line up come Oisin O’Brien at corner back, David Fitzgerald at midfield and Aaron Cunningham at wing forward. David Reidy switches to midfield while John Conlon moves to full forward. All-Ireland wining captain from 2013, Pat Donnellan, is named amongst the substitutes having missed all of last season due to a cruciate knee injury. Sunday’s game at Cusack Park will throw in at 2p.m The team, which will be captained by Cian Dillon from full back,  is Donal Tuohy (Crusheen); Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Cian Dillon (Crusheen),  Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Conor Cleary (Miltown St. …

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O’Gorman cup gets underway

The tenth annual O’Gorman cup senior football tournament will get underway on Saturday next, February 25. Ten teams will take part and they are divided into two groups of five which means that all participants will have a minimum of four games. The competition will be played on a home and away basis with the final going ahead in Doonbeg as Doonbeg GAA host the tournament. In group 1 next week St. Josephs (Doora-Barefield) will entertain Cooraclare and Ennistymon will have home advantage against Miltown with O’Currys having a bye. In group 2.St. Breckans will play Kilrush and Kilmihil will entertain competition title holders Lissycasey while Doonbeg have a bye. Current members of the Clare senior football panel cannot play in this competition Round 2 is set for March 4.

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Club fixtures a priority for Frost

The five-way  battle for the 39th presidency of the GAA will be decided at 2017 Congress in Croke Park on February 25. Peter O’Connell spoke to Clare candidate Robert Frost about his vision for the role if he wins. POC: Are you enjoying the election battle? RF: I’ve fought many a campaign and this is the toughest campaign I’ve fought. I’m enjoying it and it’s a great honour to to be even nominated for the position. I’ve been involved in the GAA all my life. I was secretary of my own club, O’Callaghan’s Mills, at 17 years of age. I was involved in the Clare County Board and Munster Council, so the natural progression for me was to contest the presidency. When your opportunity comes, you take your opportunity. POC: You have been a GAA administrator for almost 50 years! RF: Near enough. I was secretary of my club for 10 years in the 1970s. Then I got involved in …

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