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Experience should swing final Clonlara’s way

A championship that has produced its share of talking points without setting the world alight with regard to the standard of play draws to a close on Sunday. The expectation is, however, that Clonlara and Ballyea will give patrons an afternoon to remember. In opposition in the senior hurling decider are some of the players who have shone in an eight-year period where county teams have won Munster and All-Ireland honours at minor, U-21 and senior levels. Supporters have marvelled at the performances of the likes of Tony Kelly, Colm Galvin, Darach Honan and John Conlon, while the O’Donovan brothers will forever be remembered when Cormac was the scorer of a last-minute point that won the 2009 All-Ireland U-21 title and when Domhnall earned a replay in the 2013 senior final. Ballyea’s only previous final appearance was in 2003, when they had to give best to their fellow parishioners. Clarecastle man Fergie O’Loughlin went into the history books as he …

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Clare to face Limerick in both codes

Clare will take on Limerick in the first round of both the Munster senior hurling and football championships in 2017 and dates for these meetings will be decided in the coming weeks. The hurling clash will be a semi-final game which means that the winners will be through to the Provincial final and the All-Ireland quarter final. With new managements in charge in both counties, the clash means that Paul Kinnerk who has been a key figure in the success Clare have enjoyed at both under 21 and senior levels in recent years will find himself plotting the downfall of the players he helped steer to Provincial and All-Ireland glory in the saffron and blue as he is the coach to Limerick for 2017. Ironically the football draw is the same as last year with Clare facing Limerick in the opening round for the right to face Kerry in the semi-final. Clare will have home advantage for their clash with …

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Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor.

Two year term for Moloney/O’Connor management team

It’s official. Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor are the new joint managers of the Clare senior hurling team. At the October meeting of Clare GAA at the county’s centre of excellence in Caherlohan this evening, they were unanimously appointed for a two year term on the proposition of Dan Treacy (Scariff), seconded by Josie Nevin (Eire Og). There was no indication as to who will be in their backroom team. Board chairman Joe Cooney told the delegates that the make up of a number of the management teams has yet to be finalised. It is understood that Donal Og Cusack will be continuing as team coach. Limerick man Liam Cronin who has coached Eire Og this season will be in the set up along with Jimmy Browne from Clonlara who was a member of the backroom team with Moloney and O’Connor when they led Clare to three Munster and All-Ireland under 21 titles. Ciaran Corcoran from Broadford, a member of …

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McInerney injury time equaliser forces replay

Cratloe 1-9 Kilmurry Ibrickane 0-12 CRATLOE’S Cathal McInerney showed his class and composure when he steered over an injury time equalising point, to rescue a draw for his side and ensure a replay on Saturday or Sunday week in the 2016 Clare senior football final. The last drawn county final was in 2003 when Kilkee beat Kilrush in the replay. McInerney steered over the equaliser following a foul on Cratloe’s John Galvin, who was one of two players yellow carded following a brawl at the end of the first half. The incident happened as both sets of players were returning to their dressing rooms, through the communal tunnel. The respective dressing room doors, which lead directly to the field, were locked, therefore both teams had to use the tunnel. Before the second half started, referee Rory Hickey yellow carded Galvin and Kilmurry’s Mark McCarthy, while he showed a straight red card to unused Kilmurry substitute John Willie Sexton for his …

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Kilmaley lose senior status

Newmarket 2-11 Kilmaley 0-13 A contribution of 1-7 from inter county man Colin Ryan played a key role in Newmarket retaining their senior hurling status when they accounted for Kilmaley in this replay at Sixmilebridge this afternoon. Played before an attendance that was much smaller than anticipated, Newmarket’s superior physical strength was a crucial ingredient in their win but Kilmaley have good reason to be disappointed with the end result. At the end of the first half in which they had the better of matters their lead was just two points. They would not have been flattered had they been at least six points to the good. They continued to hold the upperhand in the opening ten minutes of the second half but again failed to turn that dominance into scores. From here on Newmarket got a grip on proceedings and the switch of Stephen Kelly to the half forward line helped them win more possession. Eleven minutes from the …

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Daly withdraws from manager’s race

Confirmation that Anthony Daly has withdrawn from the race to succeed Davy Fitzgerald as Clare senior hurling manager could mean that the only other nominees for the position, Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor will be elected to the post at Tuesday’s October meeting of Clare GAA. As joint managers they have been in charge of Clare at  minor and under 21 levels in the past decade leading the county to Munster minor and to Munster and All-Ireland under 21 titles. Daly’s withdrawal may well have solved a potentially difficult situation for the Clare GAA executive who, now, will not have to choose between the joint team of Moloney / O’Connor and Daly. Daly decided to withdraw “in the interest of unity within the county”. It is understood that he was disappointed that he had no contact from the Clare GAA executive since nominations closed on Monday last. The two time All-Ireland winning captain with his native Clare, the Clarecastle man …

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‘Horse’ ready to lead Kilmurry over final hurdle

A championship-winning captain in 1993 and 2002, Aidan ‘Horse’ Moloney picked up his third medal in 2004. Player-manager as far back as Kilmurry’s 1999 county final defeat to Doonbeg, Moloney has extensive club management experience built up since 2006. Over the last 10 years he has managed Shannon Gaels, Cooraclare, Kilrush and Kilkee, bringing Kilrush to within a point of Kilmurry in the 2012 county semi-final replay and winning a Cusack Cup with Cooraclare in 2009. Moloney played in five county finals with Kilmurry but it wasn’t all rosy in the garden. Incredibly, Kilmurry did not win a single championship game in Moloney’s first 10 years of playing senior club football. “When I could kind of play football, we were struggling. We were harmless enough,” is how the 1992 Munster championship winner with Clare phrased it. “We won a minor in 1980 and 1981. A lot of that team went on to win the championship in 1993. Martin Cahill, Martin …

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Wexford manager Liam Dunne and former Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald following their All-Ireland qualifier replay at Wexford Park in 2014. Photograph by John Kelly.

Fitzgerald confirmed as new Wexford boss

Former Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald was ratified as the new Wexford manager at a special meeting of the county board in Enniscorthy on this Friday Manager of Clare from 2012 until last month, the Sixmilebridge man still had a year to run in his second term in Clare when he stepped down a few weeks ago after a players meeting had expressed a view that change was needed. Fitzgerald had discussions with officers of the Wexford County Board and faced an interview panel in Portlaoise earlier this week. Amongst those understood to have been considered for the Wexford post is Tipperary native Eamonn Kelly who, ironically, has been part of the backroom team with Fitzgerald’s home club in Sixmilebridge for the past two years. Kelly managed Offaly senior hurlers in 2016. It is understood that Fitzgerald has been appointed for three years with a review to take place after two years. It’s expected that J.J. Doyle who has managed the …

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