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Magnificent Clare capture All-Ireland title

Clare 3-11 Meath 4-7 Clare were crowned All-Ireland minor B ladies football champions at Duggan park in Ballinasloe this afternoon in what was a thrilling contest where the lead changed hands on a number of occasions. A draw looked the likely outcome for much of the tie but the Clare defence excelled in the closing minutes as Meath came forward in waves in search of an equalising score. The Leinster side got off to a tremendous start with a goal from Caroline McLoughlin Quinn in the third minute which was followed by a Sarah Lynch point. Clare stormed into the game after this and had levelled the tie at 0-5 to 1-2 by the thirteenth minute with points from Fidelma Marrinan, Eimear Keane (2 each) and Ciara Hickey. They hit the front two minutes later when Caoimhe Harvey broke through from midfield to find the net. Meath fought back and a goal from Lauryn Grier helped them to a two …

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No minor matter for Clare ladies

BEATEN by 24 points on July 2 by Kerry, how do the Clare minor footballers recover from that Munster final hammering? Perhaps the only way is to somehow try to forget about it and apply all of their energy into producing a performance against Dublin on Monday in their All-Ireland quarter-final tie. The game will be played in Portlaoise at 2pm. Clare have no choice really. That’s all they can do and, hopefully, they will at least compete with the Leinster champions, who beat Louth to win the provincial title. Clare selector Eamon Keane says their primary task since the Munster final was to somehow raise the confidence of all involved. The only option available is to play with conviction in an effort to restore pride. “We were well beaten in the Munster final and confidence was down. For a few weeks afterwards we had to build that up and I think we’ve succeeded in doing that. We’ve worked hard …

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Eimear ready for women’s rugby world cup

LAST Sunday, Eimear Considine was desperately hoping not to hear her phone ringing. Instead, she was very keen to detect the ping of an email landing in her inbox. The 26-year-old Kilmihil girl eventually received confirmation that she had made the 28-player Irish squad for the Women’s Rugby World Cup, which will be staged in this country from next month. Ireland will play their opening game against Australia on August 9 in the UCD bowl. They are also grouped with Japan (August 13) and France (August 17). “You got an email if you were picked and you got a phonecall if you weren’t. So I was hoping my phone wouldn’t ring,” the PE and Irish teacher at St Mary’s in Glasnevin mused. “I was up at cock-crow. I couldn’t sleep because it was always on my mind. The waiting was the hardest part of it. Initially, the squad was to be announced two weeks ago but it was postponed further …

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Another dis-appointing day for Clare hurling

The opening of the renovated Pairc Ui Chaoimh brought no joy for Clare hurling as both the county senior and minor hurling teams had their seasons ended when defeated by Tipperary and Galway at the quarter final stage Tipperary 0-28 Clare 3-16 So near and yet so far once again for the for the Clare senior hurlers once again. Dreams of championship success are over for another year after they suffered a three point loss to defending All-Ireland champions Tipperary at the newly re-built Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork. Before an attendance of 28,567, missed chances and mistakes at vital times cost Clare dearly. After a poor start which saw them trail by six points after fifteen minutes, the Banner side fought back helped by a brace of Aaron Cunningham goals in as many minutes. Earlier they had a Conor McGrath goal disallowed when he was penalised for over carrying. In the minutes before half time a couple of mistakes …

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Camogie showdown with Galway

Clare senior manager Tricia O’Grady admits this weekend’s clash with Galway in the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship is “one of the biggest games this group have faced”. “We know that it’s win or our season is over. They gave us a right licking in the league, a right trouncing. They probably are a more experienced side than Kilkenny but they haven’t delivered on that,” said the Newmarket woman. Asked if earning a draw against All-Ireland champions Kilkenny has put extra pressure on the team, she answered, “We know we have it in us to compete with the best. Consistency has been our problem. In any given year, we have taken a scalp but we need to do this on a consistent basis and that’s where the pressure is”. O’Grady and her backroom team must plan without defender Amy Barrett for Saturday’s vital clash. Barrett picked up a hand injury in the game with Kilkenny, which rules her out. Clare must …

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Changes on senior and minor hurling teams

There are three changes in personnell on the Clare team to play Tipperary in the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter final at Pairc Ui Caoimh on Saturday from that which lost to Cork in the Provincial final two weeks ago As expected, injury has ruled full back David McInerney out of the team while both Oisin O’Brien and Aron Shanagher have been omitted from the side which started against Cork. In fact Shanagher has failed to find a place in the match day twenty six. Crusheen’s Cian Dillon returns to the starting line up and he has been named at corner back with team captain Pat O’Connor taking over at full back in place of the injured McInerney. Seadna Morey reverts from wing to corner back in place of Oisin O’Brien and Jamie Shanahan is named at wing back. The other change sees Aaron Cunningham from Wolfe Tones named at full forward in place of his clubmate Aron Shanagher. Into the …

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Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor.

A do or die game in Pairc Uí Chaoimh

CLARE and Tipperary both know Saturday could be their last outing for the 2017 season. “It’s a do or die game for both. We feel we have a huge amount we can improve upon from our last performance, in terms of our defence set-up, our puck-out strategy, our shot selection from the middle third and our decision-making as a whole,” joint team manager Gerry O’Connor said ahead of the panel’s second last training session. “Ultimately, if you look at the amount of scoring opportunities we created against Cork, they were significant and we didn’t take a high enough percentage of them,” he added. He conceded that David McInerney’s chances of playing are slim. “At best, his chance is 50-50. Right now we are considering him as unavailable. Anything else will be a bonus. We will know more following training.” McInerney is the only serious injury worry. “There are the usual knocks and bruises following our game in training on Sunday …

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Belief erodes further that hurlers have it

Comment WHO dreamed up, implemented and then didn’t change Clare’s puck-out strategy? Why did Clare seemingly set out to stop Cork and neglect to concentrate more fully on playing their own game? Why was Tony Kelly left on penalties and why was Oisin O’Brien started on Alan Cadogan, when surely Seadna Morey was the man for that job? These and a few other questions abounded on Sunday evening and Monday morning as the dwindling Clare hurling public digested what had just happened in Thurles. Since winning the 2013 All-Ireland title, Clare have beaten Limerick and Laois (both twice) and Offaly in championship hurling. Any time they have met a top tier county, including Cork, Galway or Waterford, they have not cut it. Repeatedly this panel have shown that they are not as good as people in this county thought. Their 2013 win must now be consigned to the ‘lucky, flash in the pan’ category and while their All-Ireland medal cannot …

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