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Sixmilebridge or Kilmaley will be in relegation play offs

County hurling champions Sixmilebridge or last year’s beaten finalists Kilmaley will be in the relegation play offs this season. That’s the big talking point amongst hurling fans this evening after they were drawn to face each other in round two of the championship. Both suffered defeat in the opening rounds two weeks ago when there were a number of surprise results. Whichever side loses will be one of four that will then battle it out to determine who will drop down to intermediate grade for next season. The full draw is as follows Losers section; A—Tulla v Inagh-Kilnamona; B-Ballyea v Newmarket; C-Cratloe v Whitegate; D-Kilmaley v Sixmilebridge. The losers of these games will be out of the championship race and will proceed to play off to determine who will be relegated while the four winners will go on to play in the third round seeking to get into the competition quarter finals Winners section; A- Eire Og v Clarecastle; B-Wolfe …

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Christy O’Connor a great favourite at Lahinch

THE death took place last weekend of legendary Irish golfer, Christy O’Connor Senior, who was 91. The West of Ireland native had a long association with Lahinch, where he won the Irish Professionals Championship in 1961. On that occasion he returned rounds of 67, 68, 74 and 71 to win by 11 shots. The championship was played on the last day of August and the first day of September that year and Michael Walsh, a long-time steward at Lahinch and winner of the Munster boys title in 1955, caddied for O’Connor. Christy Senior was a great friend of the legendary Lahinch golfer, the late John Burke and also of long-time Lahinch secretary, the late Brud Slattery. Over the years, he made many visits to the club and regularly played with the former club professional, Robert McCavery. Christy Senior also regularly played at Lahinch with his nephew, the late Christy O’Connor Junior, an honorary life member at Lahinch. Christy Junior won …

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Statue to honour Michael Cusack

A monument to Michael Cusack is to be erected in Ennis at the home of Clare GAA. Planning permission has been granted to the Clare County Board to install a statue over 2m high at the entrance to Cusack Park depicting Michael Cusack. Drawings submitted to the planning authority show that as well as depicting Michael Cusack himself, there are also plans to feature images relating to the GAA, such as a hurley, sliotar, football and GAA symbol on the statue. The total height of the planned monument will be 2.44m, including the plinth. No submissions were received by the planning authority in relation to the application. During the application process, the planning office raised concerns about the possibility of “ad hoc” development and the need for a design concept for the overall entrance area. According to the planner’s report, “There is no objection in principle to the provision of sculpture at various locations in the town. Indeed, such pieces …

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Shocks galore as title race begins

Every championship produces shock results and so it was as the race for the Canon Hamilton trophy got under way in Clare. Unbeaten in league and championship last season, champions Sixmilebridge were rocked when beaten by the minimum margin by Crusheen at Cusack Park this Saturday evening. These teams have produced some very close contests in recent years and this proved to be no different. Sixmilebridge looked to be edging in front when they went two points clear with ten minutes to play but four unanswered points from Crusheen proved decisive. One point separated the teams at the end of normal time with two minutes of ‘injury time’ to play. The champions piled on the pressure but Donal Tuohy in the Crusheen goal made a great save from Alan Mulready at the expense of a ’65. Niall Gilligan was adament that his effort was between the uprights but the umpires had no doubt that it was wide. It left the final …

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Chasing Clare hurling championship title

THE Clare Senior Hurling Championship will get underway with the meeting of Tulla and Clarecastle on this Friday evening, with all 16 teams in action over the weekend. An opening round victory will mean the threat of relegation from the top grade is eliminated. A new format was introduced last year, which will see one of the eight first-round losers relegated to the intermediate grade for next season. Following the first round, the eight winners will be drawn against each other, while the eight losers will also be drawn to face each other with the four losers going on to battle it out in the relegation play-off. Two of last year’s semi-finalists will find themselves in the losers round, as Sixmilebridge (holders) take on Crusheen and Clonlara (beaten finalists) face Kilmaley this weekend. In the semi-final last year, Clonlara needed a replay to overcome Kilmaley before they disappointed in the final against Sixmilebridge, who went through last season without tasting …

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Newmarket Celtic chasing Munster Junior Cup

Newmarket Celtic go into Saturday evening’s Munster Junior Cup final knowing they have already beaten St Michael’s from Tipperary this season. In a hard-fought tie played at McDonough Park in mid-January, the Clare champions came from behind to win in a penalty shoot-out. That victory is sure to give them great confidence as they put the finishing touches to their plans for this Saturday’s clash. Mike O’Malley is unlikely to name his starting line-up until Friday evening but it is expected to be along similar lines to that which played back in January. “Thankfully, all of the lads involved with Clare came through without injury in the Oscar Traynor final and they are sure to be boosted by that result,” O’Malley said. Newmarket have put in a huge effort all season as they went in search of success in provincial and national competitions. They know their Tipperary opponents are one of the strongest junior sides in the game, a side …

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Joe McGann was the Clare minor's goalscorer.

Clare minor footballers exit Munster championship

Kerry 1-13  Clare 1-6 ALTHOUGH not lacking effort or desire, the Clare minor footballers were comfortably beaten by two-in-a-row All-Ireland champions Kerry in Wednesday’s Munster semi-final, which was played in perfect conditions in Miltown Malbay. An attendance of 808 people saw Clare give it a decent shot against their opponents from across the estuary but, ultimately, Kerry were too slick and found it easier to create and take scores across the hour. Kerry led 1-7 to 1-3 at half-time and, at one stage, the reigning Munster and All-Ireland champions were six points up. They led 1-5 to 0-1 after 16 minutes, largely thanks to a soft fourth-minute goal from corner-forward Brian Friel. The Rathmore clubman picked up a break from a David Clifford shot, which was spilled by Clare goalkeeper Mark Lillis. Ferdia O’Brien had already pointed from play for the Peter Keane-managed Kingdom and shortly after their goal, Clifford added a point from a free. It wasn’t looking great …

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Bunratty player on soccer scholarship

AT Barnsley since last summer, Bunratty’s Jeff McGowan is halfway through a two-year scholarship with the Yorkshire club. It hasn’t been an easy season for the 17-year-old striker, who only got to line-out for the club’s U-18 side on a handful of occasions due to bureaucracy. “It was a tough enough year for me in fairness, I had a lot of setbacks. There was a problem coming over here with international clearance and stuff like that. I only started playing around January because I had to wait a good few months for the international clearance. It was tricky enough,” he says. Asked why it took so long for the paperwork to be sorted, he says big clubs take priority. “There’s a process that has to be done. The teams like the Man Uniteds and the Man Citys, their foreign players get it first and it kind of works down. There was a hold up with that.” Because of the situation, …

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