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Devastated Clare ladies go down by a point

Kildare 1-13 Clare 1-12 THE Clare ladies footballers suffered a heartbreaking one point All-Ireland final defeat in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon. Their attempts to add a fourth title to those won in 1991, 1996 and 2009 fell just short. They will reflect on the fact that they kicked 13 wides and had a second half Gráinne Nolan penalty saved as moments which could have swung the result their way. Clare were 1-7 to 0-3 down going into the last ten minutes of the first half. However an Ailish Considine goal helped them to draw level with Kildare come the interval. They were awarded a penalty two minutes into the new half when Gráinne Nolan was fouled but her shot was saved by player of the match, Mary Hulgraine. Kildare were always a point or two ahead and Clare never managed to take the lead as the game entered the closing minutes. Their high wides tally definitely cost them while …

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Brack points the way for the magpies

Clarecastle 1-12 Kilmaley 1-10 A haul of o-8 from Lee Brack played a key role in Clarecastle capturing their fifteenth Clare minor A hurling championship title and their first since 2013 at Cusack Park this Saturday afternoon. Up against Kilmaley in the final for the third time in four years, the magpies were deserving winners on the day. Physically stronger, they held the upperhand in key areas and their goal which was scored by Adam Cassidy, four minutes before the break, proved to be a key score. It helped them to lead at half time on a scoreline of 1-7 to 0-6, Before the second half got underway both sides were reduced to fourteen. A row involving a number of players as the half time whistle sounded led to ;red cards for Sean O’Loughlin Kilmaley and Hayden Starr (Clarecastle) as the teams returned from the half time break By the end of the third quarter the magpies were five points …

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Henchy still giving her all

She has been pulling on the county jersey for 16 years but Louise Henchy can count on one hand the number of times she has lined out in Cusack Park. The Ennis-based accountant, who has played soccer for Ireland at underage and senior level, can recall most of her games there, one of which dates back nearly 20 years. “I remember I played midfield against Carmel Bohannon [Fergus Rovers], a long, long time ago. We also played Donegal in a league final [2008]. I’ve probably played in Cusack Park three or four times,” the Banner Ladies club player recounted. Ideally, Henchy would like if female footballers had more access to the county grounds but she has accepted that is unlikely during her playing career. “It’s not great but to tell you the truth, I’m used to it. A lot of people ask do we ever train out in Caherlohan at the new [GAA] pitches? But I’ve only seen it from …

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Clare ladies bid for Croke Park glory

Since a ladies football structure was formally established in Clare 33 years ago, adult county teams have brought three All-Ireland titles home from Croke Park. On Sunday the 2016 team, led by full-back Laurie Ryan, will take on Kildare at GAA headquarters, aiming to follow All-Ireland wins in 1991, 1996 and 2009. The clearest link between the Clare team of 25 years ago and the current panel is mother and daughter Carmel and Sarah Bohannon. Carmel was in midfield in 1991, while Sarah has been playing at wing-forward for this season’s Neil Moynihan-managed side. The Clare ladies have played five matches en route to Croke Park, beating Limerick twice, Tyrone and Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final. Their sole championship loss was a three-point Munster final defeat against the Premier County. Clare have a panel of just 21 players, which is likely to be reduced to 19 on Sunday given that goalkeeper Ciara Harvey and corner-back Eva O’Dea have leg injuries. …

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End game for Davy Fitzgerald

DAVY Fitzgerald has stepped down as Clare senior hurling manager after five years in the position during which time he led Clare to the All-Ireland senior title in 2013 and to the National league title earlier this year. The Sixmilebridge man’s decision to vacate the post, despite still having a year of his current term to run, has come following a meeting of around 30 players on Monday night at the Inn in Dromoland. While a vote wasn’t taken, there is general agreement that the players were evenly divided on the issue. A formal statement on Wednesday evening confirmed “Davy Fitzgerald has informed the Clare County Board that he will not be seeking reappointment to the position of Clare Senior Hurling Manager for 2017”. He insisted, “I was not asked to step down. The decision is entirely my own. In taking this decision however, I wish to reaffirm my absolute love and passion for Clare hurling. “I leave the Clare …

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Fitzgerald set to leave Clare job

REPORTS are circulating this evening that Davy Fitzgerald’s colourful five-year term as Clare senior hurling manager will end within days. There had been speculation that several high-profile members of the Clare squad were set to depart if the Sixmilebridge man remained in place. However, sources who were part of the Clare backroom team throughout 2016, have indicated that around two-thirds of the panel were actually in favour of him remaining in place for 2017. The position of Clare manager has been much discussed throughout the county since Clare’s disappointing exit from the championship at the hands of Galway and many supporters wanted to see change. While Fitzgerald’s departure has not even been confirmed yet, Donal Moloney and Jerry O’Connor would clearly be among the front runners to succeed him, given their role in bringing three U-21 All-Ireland titles to the county. The highlight of Fitzgerald’s time in the Clare job was the 2013 All-Ireland, when he brought a team that …

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Exciting pairings in hurling

It’s semi-final time in the adult hurling championships and this evening’s draw throw up some mouthwatering pairings in senior, intermediate and junior A, all of which will take place on the weekend of October 1 and 2. South East Clare neighbours Cratloe and Clonlara will meet in the senior semi-final with followers of both fancying their chances of winning the Canon Hamilton trophy. The other semi-final will see Ballyea taking on Feakle. At intermediate level, favourites Broadford will face Tubber with Sixmilebridge and St. Josephs, Doora-Barefield doing battle in the other semi-final East Clare neighbours and rivals Bodyke and Ogonnelloe will face each other in the junior A semi-final and this will be the first of two meetings of the clubs in the coming weeks as these teams have also qualified for the division 4 league final. The other semi-final pairing is Kilmaley v Sixmilebridge. A three way play off is required to determine who will join St. Josephs in …

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Podge to play one code for Clare in 2017

Cratloe’s dual star Podge Collins has ruled out played both codes at inter-county level in 2017. Collins, who was the only senior inter-county dual star this year, has arrived at the decision as he feels the dual role is no longer sustainable. Crucially, though, he didn’t revel which code he will play. Speaking on Clare FM he said, “I suppose this year, just the way the fixtures fell with both teams getting to the quarterfinals… big games were on the same weekend. Playing two games in a weekend it’s unfair, I suppose, on myself and both teams so, unfortunately, I don’t think that’s sustainable so next year I’ll just be playing the one.” Collins won national league medals in both codes this year. He was a member of Davy Fitzgerald’s senior squad that won the Division 1 national hurling league title for the first time in nearly 40 years, defeating Waterford in a replay, while he was also on the football team, managed by his father Colm, which won the Division 3 league title beating …

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