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Winning start for Clare hurlers

Clare 2-24 Kerry 1-15 Clare have made a winning start under new management duo Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor, beating Kerry in the Munster hurling league at Austin Stack park in Tralee. Kerry were well in contention for over three quarters of this tie but the visitors pulled away in the closing minutes and eight unanswered points sealed a merited victory over a Kerry side that showed some great skill in the opening half. Clare’s sharpness helped them to a four point lead at half time when the score was 1-12 to 0-11. Kerry led briefly after eight minutes when the score was 0-3 to 0-2 but Clare hit the next five points while conceding one to open a four point lead. They were five up after twenty minutes but the home side fought back and hit four in a row to level the tie at 0-10 each on the half hour mark, the levelling score coming from Clarecastle man Patrick …

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New look Clare to face Kerry

Clare senior hurling joint managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor have named a number of newcomers tosenior inter county competitive action for their first competitige tie in charge at senior level. These include Eoin Quirke (Whitegate) and the Inagh-Kilnamona pair Jason McCarthy and Kevin Hehir. Crartloe’s Cathal M<cInerney returns afer a two year absence. The team to face Kerry in the opening game in this season’s Munster league at Austin Stack park in Tralee this afternoon is Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); Eoin Quirke (Whitegate), David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona), Conor Cleary (Kilmaley), Brendan Bugler (Whitegate); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), Kevin Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona); Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Podge Collins (Cratloe) Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones na Sionna); David Reidy (Éire Óg), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), Cathal McInerney (Cratloe)

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Improving Limerick too slick for Clare

Limerick 2-13 Clare 2-9 If the Clare footballers are to make it back to the final of the McGrath Cup, they will have to rely on Waterford beating Limerick on Sunday and hope that scoring difference falls in their favour. Following their opening group game win over Waterford in Meelick, Clare made 10 changes in personnel for Wednesday’s four point defeat to Limerick in Rhebogue. In a game played in bitterly cold conditions and featuring a strong cross field breeze, Limerick, who are coached by former Clare mentor Paudie Kissane, looked sharp and confident. A Darragh Treacy goal helped them to a slender half-time lead, 1-5 to 0-7 and Seamus O’Carroll goal early in the second half was the games decisive score. O’Carroll netted after the ball bounced over the head of Clare full back John Hayes, allowing the Limerick man to steal inside and plant the ball beyond Joe Hayes. Clare could have goaled exactly half way through the …

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Footballers make 10 changes for McGrath Cup tie

THE Clare senior football team to play Limerick on Wednesday evening at St Patrick’s grounds at 7.30pm has been named. The team shows ten changes from that side that defeated Waterford on Sunday with Kilrush duo Darragh Bolton and Gearóid O’Brien making their first starts. If Clare beat Limerick they will advance to their second successive McGrath Cup final. The starting 15 is as follows: Clare: Joe Hayes; Darren Nagle, Kevin Harnett, Martin McMahon; Liam Markham, Gordon Kelly, Cian O’Dea; Gary Brennan and Cathal O’Connor; Shane Brennan, Shane McGrath, Darragh Bolton; Eoin Cleary, Keelan Sexton and Gearóid O’Brien.

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Clare make winning start to McGrath Cup

Clare 1-10 Waterford 0-8 VERY slow to settle in the opening quarter, Clare eventually ground out a five point win in their opening McGrath Cup fixture in Meelick on Sunday afternoon. The match was played in perfect underfoot conditions on what was an overcast afternoon. If Clare beat Limerick on Wednesday evening in the Gaelic Grounds, in their second game in this group, they will qualify for their second successive final in this competition. Clare gave a debut to Ballyhaunis corner back Eoghan Collins, who is a nephew of manager Colm Collins while Kilmaley’s Mikey O’Neill also also started his first inter-county game. Others to play their first minutes of senior football included David Egan and Darragh Bolton while Liam Markham also featured for the first time in several seasons as did John Hayes. An Eoin Cleary goal, made by Jamie Malone and David Tubridy helped Clare into a 1-3 to 0-3 interval lead. That 19th minute goal was Clare’s …

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Henchy retires from Clare ladies football

THREE of Clare’s most capable and experienced lady footballers will not be part of the 2017 panel, as the county team prepares for their opening league fixture at home to Waterford on January 29. Clare manager Neil Moynihan has confirmed that midfielder Louise Henchy has retired, while her Banner Ladies club colleagues Niamh Keane and Emma O’Driscoll have opted not to be part of the panel for this season. All three won All-Ireland intermediate medals in 2009 and were central to Clare’s run to the 2016 All-Ireland final, where they lost to Kildare by a point in Croke Park. Kilmihil’s Laura Egan, a regular last season, will also not be part of this year’s panel, while Eva O’Dea (Banner Ladies) is still recovering from an injury picked up in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Tipperary. “We knew after the All-Ireland final that was going to happen,” Moynihan said of the loss of the experienced trio. “It was openly spoken that …

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Ballyea preparing for All-Ireland semi-final

THE Ballyea panel, winners of the Clare and Munster senior hurling titles for the first time in the club’s history in 2016, are back in full training ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final date with St Thomas’ from Galway. The game is scheduled for Semple Stadium on Saturday, February 4. “We took two weeks off over the Christmas but we have done a bit on the ball wall and a bit on the Astro Turf, just to keep ticking over. The county lads did a bit with the county and it was important for them to re-group,” Ballyea manager Robbie Hogan told The Clare Champion this week. He continued, “We are hoping to play a few college teams in the next few weeks ahead of the All-Ireland semi-final. We are injury free at present but there are a lot of flus and coughs and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will stay clear of these”. A few of the …

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Footballers face Waterford in Meelick

THE Clare footballers will play their first competitive match of the new season when they meet Waterford in Meelick at 2pm on Sunday in the McGrath Cup. Next Wednesday, Clare will play Limerick at 7.30pm in the Gaelic Grounds in their final game in the three-team group. The group winners will play Kerry, Cork or Tipperary in the final on January 22. On Sunday, Clare will be without their Ballyea players, who are preparing for their All-Ireland Club Hurling Championship semi-final, against St Thomas’ from Galway, on Saturday, February 4. The county footballers will play Derry away the following day in their opening Division 2 league fixture. Clare manager Colm Collins said they will use the McGrath Cup to give a game to as many players as possible. He also noted that the two upcoming games are more useful than challenge matches. “There is no question, they are way better than challenge games. Anything that’s organised properly and officiated at …

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