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Clare U-21 hurlers defeated by Waterford

Waterford   3-23 Clare   1-11 While the writing was on the wall at half-time when Clare led by just two points, after playing with the aid of a strong wind, few would have predicted the margin of victory in Wednesday’s Munster U-21 Hurling Championship semi-final. Played before an attendance of 4,126 at a sunny Walsh Park, a blistering start to the second half saw Waterford score 2-6 in eight minutes without reply. Heading into this game, Waterford fans were concerned how their side would perform just three days after the senior team suffered a heavy defeat to Tipperary in the Munster final but they went away happy that the future of the Déise’s hurling looks solid. The senior panellists were superb, none more so than the full-forward trio of Patrick Curran and the Bennett brothers, Shane and Stephen. On the other hand, Clare’s senior panellists failed to impress, which must be a concern ahead of next week’s All-Ireland quarter-final clash with Galway. …

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McGrath seals sensational win for Clare footballers

Clare 0-14 Laois 1-10 SHANE McGrath was the Clare match winner in Cusack Park on Sunday afternoon, when he showed exceptional bottle and skill to kick Clare to a famous round two All-Ireland qualifier win over Laois. McGrath’s point, kicked in the 70th minute, helped Clare to just their fifth qualifier win in 18 games, since 2001. They will now play Cavan, Derry or Sligo next Saturday. The round 3 A draw will be made at 8.30am on Monday morning. This win was all the more commendable because 16 minutes into the second half, Darren Strong kicked Laois into a 1-10 to 0-9 lead. However that was the last time Laois scored as Clare substitutes McGrath and Seánie Malone, kicked invaluable points as did corner back Shane Hickey, who started in place of Dean Ryan. A Stephen Attride goal, six minute before half-time, was the score which divided the teams at the interval. The wing back picked finished a popped …

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Clare win but there is room for improvement

Clare 0-19 Limerick 0-15 Clare booked a place in the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter final when they overcame Limerick at Semple stadium in Thurles but there were a number of anxious monents before their place in the last six was confirmed. A strong second quarter proved decisive as they came from being three points in arrears to open a six point lead by half time. However, Limerick had the aid of the wind in the second half and the piled on the pressure and they had the margin back to three points three times in the last ten minutes. However, they could not get through for the goal they needed to have a chance of causing an upset. The exchanges in the opening quarter suggested that Limerick were going to make matters very difficult for their great rivals and neighbours Clare as they raced 0-4 to 0-1 clear after twelve minutes depite the fact that they were playing against the …

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Unchanged Clare to face Limerick

The Clare team to face Limerick in round 2 of the hurling qualifiers is unchanged from that which lined out against Laois in Cusack park last week.  Pat Kelly and Conor McGrath both missed last week’s game due to injury and they are still unavailable while Conor Ryan is also ruled out. The team is  Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Pat O’Connor (Tubber), Cian Dillon (Crusheen); Jack Browne (Ballyea), Conor Cleary (Miltown St. Josephs), Brendan Bugler (Whitegate); David McInerney (Tulla), David Reidy (Éire Óg); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), Podge Collins (Cratloe), Tony Kelly (Ballyea); John Conlon (Clonlara) Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones). The game throws in at 7p.m. at Thurles on this Saturday evening where it is the third game on a programme that commences at 3p.m. with the meeting of Cork and Limerick in the football qualifier. At 5p.m. Cork will take on Wexford in the hurling qualifier. Meanwhile Eire Og’s Dean Ryan is a major doubt for Sunday’s football qualifier clash with Laois at Cusack Park at …

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Clare footballers must improve

IN the aftermath of Clare’s 2-23 to 0-17 Munster Championship semi-final defeat to Kerry in Killarney on June 12, the concession of two goals in the opening five minutes was highlighted as central to Clare’s compliant demise. Those goals were a massive set-back and sucked confidence from Clare. The fact that they managed to kick 0-17 was seen as an impressive total and while it was a decent return, contained within that statistic is a worrying figure. The starting six forwards kicked just 0-3 from play between them in 70 minutes of football. David Tubridy, Eoin Cleary and Podge Collins put over a point each. If they are to get beyond Laois on Sunday, the Clare forwards must up that return considerably. On the plus side Pearse Lillis, who came on for the black-carded Podge Collins seven minutes before half-time, kicked three superb points from play, while Gary Brennan and Cathal O’Connor put over 0-3 between them from midfield. The …

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Do or die in Shannonside hurling derby

Three of the players that filled key positions when Clare ensured promotion to division 1 A at the expense of Limerick as the end of March will play no part in Saturday’s qualifier meeting of the Shannonside neighbours at Thurles. Conor McGrath, Conor Ryan and Pat Kelly are all out of action due to injury. McGrath, one of the game’s leading forwards, contributed 0-5 from play in that game and his absence is certainly a blow to clare hopes of beinhg involved in the latter stages of the championship. Both McGrath and Kelly are keeping their fingers crossed that they will be ready for quarter final action on July 25 as is Ryan but the defender/midfielder may have to wait a little longer b efore he is ready to return to action. “Limerick won ‘t be afraid of us. It’s do or die now. We know the great young talent that they have. They have only been beaten three times …

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The victorious Clare intermediate hurlers at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Wednesday evening. Photograph Arthur Ellis.

Clare intermediate hurlers shine in extra-time battle

Clare 1-26 Limerick 2-18 CLARE bridged a five-year gap when they were crowned Munster intermediate hurling champions at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Wednesday evening. The game saw good scores, bad misses and sending-offs but, after extra time, Clare emerged as deserving winners and Shane McGrath accepted the cup from provincial council chairman Cork’s Jerry O’Sullivan. Clare dominated the extra time, showing greater levels of fitness and they now look forward to an All-Ireland final date against the Leinster champions, Wexford or Kilkenny, who clash next week. The All-Ireland final is set for early August. With a big sprinkling of U-21s in their line-up, there will be concern as to how much this tie will have taken out of Clare ahead of their eagerly awaited Munster U-21 Championship semi-final date with Waterford next week. Clare survived the final 20 minutes of normal time being a man short, after Dara Walsh picked up two yellow cards in the space of …

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Clare’s championship dream shattered

Limerick 1-13 Clare 0-9 Clare’s hopes of getting to the knock out stage in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie championship are all but gone following a third successive defeat in this season’s championship race. At Cusack Park on Saturday, a strong first half showing by visitors Limerick steered the visitors to their second win of the campaign and left Clare pointless at the bottom of the table. Niamh Mulcahy was the Limerick hero, contributing all but three points of their total. Throughout the hour she proved a handful for Clare. While there is no disputing the merit of Limerick’s win, Clare were, clearly, annoyed with a number of referee John McDonagh’s decisions over the course of the hour. The Galway based official who hails from Liscannor clearly annoyed Clare officials and followers with some of his decisions, not least the sending off of team captain Orlaith Duggan on a second yellow card. Having played with the aid of a …

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