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Banner to claim 24th championship win over Limerick

IN what will be the counties’ 40th Munster championship meeting, Clare will be looking for their 24th win over Limerick on Sunday when the teams meet for the third year-in-a-row. If Clare win, it will be their fourth successive championship win over Limerick, who operated in Division 4 of the National Football League this season, while Clare played in Division 2. While the Banner County retained their league status, one issue encountered was lack of impact from the bench. Clare made 31 substitutions during the league but none of them managed a score in any of the seven games. At times, Clare were without some key players, which weakened their options on the bench. The fact they have a full panel to pick from this weekend should mean that Clare will have players who can come in and impact the game in the closing 20 minutes. Although Clare were the only county in the entire league to score a goal …

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Garrihy looking forward to Oscar showdown

FACING Inishowen in Sunday’s Oscar Traynor decider is the final Clare manager Donie Garrihy wanted last year. “We were up there, we watched them beat Galway in Deacy Park and they won well. They are very passionate players. We watched them against the Leinster Senior League. They had an man sent off and Leinster Senior League caught them in the last five minutes. I was on the pitch afterwards with Denis Hynes and I shook hands with Inishowen manager Denis O’Brien, whom I admire very much. I said ‘we are so disappointed’. We were looking forward to playing the final there; it’s such a brilliant pitch.” The Doolin man added, “We went on and won the final and there were great celebrations followed by a civic reception, which was brilliant. It fills you with pride but you must keep your feet on the ground as well. The target again this year was to get out of the group. It was …

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Champions Ballyea make a winning start

Champions Ballyea made a winning start to the 2017 Clare senior hurling championship when they accounted for Wolfe Tones at Cusack Park this Sunday. At the end of a well contested first half they led by the odd point in eleven, 0-6 to 0-5. In the opening ten minutes of the second half each side added two points to their half time tallies before the title holders stretched their lead to three points by the three quarter stage. Wolfe Tones closed the gap to the minimum again but the crucial score came seven minutes from time when Tony Kelly burst through for the game’s only goal which helped his side to a 1-16 to 0-12 victory. Goals from Eimhin Courtney, David Reidy and Shane O’Donnell helped Eire Og to a comfortable victory over O’Callaghans Mills at Shannon. Courtney’s goal separated the sides at half time when the score was 1-10 to 0-10 and the Ennis side went on to hold …

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Brendan Bugle is struggling with injuries but Clare still have a great chance of winning on Sunday..

Whitegate shock Cratloe as race for Canon Hamilton begins

Whitegate’s one point win over Cratloe in the opening round of the Clare senior hurling championship is the big talking point in Clare hurling circles this Saturday evening. While there was speculation in the lead up to the tie, played at Dr, Daly park in Tulla, as to how it might go, Cratloe remained the favourites to get their campaign off to a wining start. Substitute Eoin Patterson proved to be the East Clare side’s hero as he struck for their fourth goal which came at the death. Cratloe started well and held an early four point lead but then Whitegate got the upperhand and when the half time whistle sounded they were 3-5 to 0-9 in front. The teams exchanged points on a number of occasions in the third quarter before Cratloe battled back and edged into the lead after some good scores from Shane Gleeson, Conor McGrath and Podge Collins. They looked to have secured victory until Patterson …

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Can Ballyea keep the silverware?

The race to find a new home for the Canon Hamilton Trophy will begin in earnest this weekend, with eight games down for decision. Eight first round games in the intermediate championship will also take place. While all 16 teams will still be in the title race come Sunday evening, an opening round victory will mean the threat of relegation will have been eliminated. Introduced two years ago, one of the eight first-round losers will be relegated to the intermediate grade for next season. The same format applies to the intermediate championship this year. Following the first round, the eight winners will be drawn against each other and the eight losers will also be drawn to face each other, with the four losers here battling it out in a relegation play-off. At least one of last year’s semi-finalists will find themselves in the losers’ round, as first round games see Clonlara, beaten finalists for the past two years, take on …

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Newmarket Celtic make more history

Newmarket Celtic A 2 Bridge United A 1 Two goals in a minute midway through the second half helped Newmarket to an historic sixth Clare junior cup title in a row when they overcame Bridge United at sun splashed Frank Healy park in Doora this Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first half, the defending champions found themselves in arrears five minutes after the break when Terry Lenihan got the vital touch and his looping header beat Rob Shire in the Newmarket goal. They had a chance to double their advantage seven minutes later but Derek Fahy’s effort flew wide of the target. While there was a touch of luck about Newmarket’s equaliser when Bridge defender Darren Murphy saw his attempted headed clearance end up in the net over the advancing Paul Tuohy, credit must go to Newmarket substitute Cathal Hayes who pressurised their defence The cheering had barely died down when the holders hit the front. They won a free …

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Clare completely focused on Limerick

Clare minor football selector Eamon Keane is hopeful that a number of key players will be fit and available to take on Limerick next Wednesday evening. The Shannon Gaels clubman views the game as an equal opportunity for both counties to reach a Munster final and secure a place in the last eight of the All-Ireland series, whether they win or lose the final. “Jack Sheedy (St Breckan’s) suffered a dead leg and Colin McNeilus (Clondegad) injured his shoulder against Tipperary. Joe Miniter (Kilrush) picked up a slight injury at training. We’re hoping that they will be ready,” he said. Clare are well aware that Limerick will view this game as a clear path to what will be the last minor football final. “Limerick will see it as a big opportunity as well, particularly when it’s a home game for them. They’ll put everything into it and I’m sure they’ll be ready for us. We’re really just taking this game …

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Newmarket bid for six in-a-row

CUP final day is always a special occasion in Clare. Adding to the excitement ahead of this Sunday’s Clare Junior Cup final is the fact that holders Newmarket Celtic are not just seeking to retain the title but to be crowned cup champions for a record sixth year in-a-row. Standing between them and that achievement are their neighbours and great rivals Bridge United, who have some close to beating them on a number of occasions in recent years only to come up short on most of those occasions. Two years ago, these clubs met in the cup final, when many of those who will line out this week were in opposition. Last year, Bridge United put in a massive effort to win the Premier League title, only to be pipped on the final day by Newmarket, who were retaining the title. This year, Newmarket lost out on final day, when they went down to Shannon Town, having led by two …

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A big test for Clare camogie

For the sixth year-in-a-row, Clare begin their Munster Senior Camogie Championship campaign against Cork. On Sunday the Banner side will travel to the Cork camogie grounds to take on the Leesiders at 3pm. The same counties will also meet in the curtain-raiser, the first round of the junior championship. If Clare’s task wasn’t hard enough, they face into Sunday’s game without team captain Orlaith Duggan, who is out with an achilles injury. Acknowledging that it is a huge task, Clare manager Trish O’Grady noted, “Cork have been at the business end of both the Munster and All-Ireland championships for the last number of years. They were beaten in the recent league final and they won’t have been happy with their performance on that occasion, so they will be targeting an improved display this week”. Apart from Duggan, Clare expect to have a full strength squad at their disposal. A number of the team that helped Clare get to the All-Ireland …

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Avenue United claim youths cup title

Avenue United 5 St. Pats 2 Avenue United were crowned Clare youths cup soccer champions at Frank Healy park this Friday evening when they recorded a 5-2 victory over St. Pats The win completed a particularly successful week for Gavin Cooney who scored two goals for the winners on his way to picking up the man of the match award just forty eight hours after helping the Clare minor footballers qualify for the Provincial semi-final when he was their top scorer with a haul of 0-5 in their win over Tipperary. Cooney’s involvement in this evenings cup final surprised St.Pats followers as they lined out without four members of the Clare minor football squad who are part of their panel. The minor footballers trained on Friday evening. The game was forty minutes old before the opening goal was registered and it was St. Pats who took the lead when Danny Clancy drilled the ball low to the corner of the …

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