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A gala night for the county’s stars

THE 2009 teams of the senior hurling and football championships were honoured at The Clare Champion’s fifth annual gala awards night at the Clare Inn Hotel last Friday.This year, for the first time, community leaders were honoured, as well as a number of high achievers in athletics, handball, swimming, hurling and football.Clare Champion managing director John Galvin congratulated the award winners and spoke of the company’s decision to “honour men and women who give of their time within their communities on a voluntary basis”. He went on to say that the awards scheme will continue in next year.Replying on behalf of the award winners, Donal Madden, a member of the hurling team of the championship, spoke of the “importance of this scheme to the thousands of club players”.He went on to compliment the sponsors on the decision to recognise the work of people within their communities by including the community awards. He also availed of the opportunity to congratulate the …

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Another lucky break for the Banner

Clare: 1-9 Carlow: 1-11   CLARE are still unbeaten and leading the way in Division 2 of the National Hurling League but those who witnessed their latest display at Dr Cullen Park in Carlow on Sunday will find it difficult to understand how they are in this position. For the second week in succession, Lady Luck smiled on Clare and they were extremely fortunate to come away from the Leinster venue with the maximum points.This was one of the poorest performances from a Clare side for quite some time and there will have to be a huge improvement if they are to get back into the premier division.With a team that showed five changes in personnel and a number of positional switches from the previous week in Antrim, Clare went into action well warned about Carlow’s wins over Down and Wexford in the previous two rounds.Three of the changes were forced on the management team, with Pat Vaughan and Darach …

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First-half performance seals win

Clare: 0-12 Longford: 0-9 VERY competent in the first half, not so convincing during the second but Clare did enough in the end to remain unbeaten and on top of Division 4. Nobody in Pearse Park could remember the last time Longford played 35 minutes of competitive football without scoring.The sparse Clare support at the Midland venue would have had equal difficulty establishing if Clare had ever kept their opponents scoreless during the first half of a league game. They did last Sunday and scored nine points themselves, leaving Clare on the cusp of their sixth successive NFL Division 4 win at the interval.Despite the reality that Longford were exceptionally poor, were it not for an excellent Joe Hayes’ save from Francis McGee 11 minutes from full-time, Glen Ryan’s team could have completed what would have been a remarkable come-back. As it was, Longford outscored Clare 0-9 to 0-3 during the second period and eventually dragged themselves to within three …

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Clonlara off to winning start

REIGNING Clare Champion Cup title-holders Clonlara got their campaign off to a winning start when they accounted for Tulla at Dr Daly park on Saturday.Given that the South East Clare side had to line out without the likes of Domhnaill and Cormac O’Donovan, Darach Honan, John Conlon, Nicky O’Connell, Donal Madden, Pat O’Hare and Diarmuid Conway, this was an impressive result.Newly-promoted Whitegate got their campaign off to a great start when they had a one-point win over county champions Cratloe. It was a merited win for the East Clare side on a day when Cratloe scored their goals late in the tie.Tommy Guilfoyle got his term as Newmarket coach off to a good start when they had an impressive win over a Crusheen side who were without their inter-county contingent of Donal Tuohy, Cian Dillon, Pat Vaughan, Alan Brigdale and Gerry O’Grady.Clarecastle, with a strong finish, earned a share of the spoils with Sixmilebridge, while Clooney-Quin put in a strong …

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Ennis U-14s take Garda Cup title at Shannon

ENNIS U-14s enjoyed victory at the weekend when they won the Garda Cup at St Senan’s on Sunday. In their first game against Kilrush, Ennis led from the start but it was a very tight game in the end, with Ennis winning by seven points. The Ennis side’s next encounter was in the semi-final against hosts St Senan’s and even though the home team notched up the first score, Ennis showed great heart to come back and run out winners by 33 points to 12.This saw Ennis qualify for the final against Bruff. Ennis started off with a great score from Brian Cahill before Bruff came back with an unconverted score. It was a very competitive game with scores difficult to come by.With only five minutes remaining, Ennis were only two points ahead and were soaking up a lot of pressure from Bruff. Ennis made a great break with Evan Courtney and Brian Cahill and went on to score under …

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Cascaders and school double victories

CLARE Cascaders completed a double on Sunday in the NUIG Kingfisher Arena Galway with a 32-19 win over Maree Basketball Club Oranmore. The Ennistymon club secured the cup earlier this month when they beat Maree in the cup final. This capped a very successful week for Clare basketball after Coláiste Mhuire Ennistymon girls did the double in Kerry by being crowned South-West regional winners in the first and second-year finals.Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon travelled to Athea last week to represent Clare in the first year and second year girls’ regional finals. They won both Munster titles on what was a very historic and successful day’s basketball for the North Clare School.On their way to the Clare finals, both teams had an unbeaten run with victories over Ennistymon Vocational School, Kilmihil Community College, Kildysart Community College, Spanish Point Secondary School and Kilrush Community College. In the Clare finals, held at Coláiste Muire in Ennis, Scoil Mhuire’s (Ennistymon) first year team beat Coláiste …

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Broadford badminton to take on All-Ireland challenge

BROADFORD Badminton Club received another boost this weekend when they were crowned Munster Community Games champions in the University of Limerick Arena, for a  second year in succession. After their win over Ennis St John’s last month, to win the Clare title, the U-15 team, led by Clare star Damien Kiniry, booked their place at the national finals after emphatic wins over Kerry and Waterford. The Community Games national finals are being held in Athlone at the end of May (28, 29 and 30) and the East Clare parish will no doubt travel in great numbers as the team hopes to go one better this year after losing out to Wexford in the 2009 final and bring an All-Ireland home to Clare. The Broadford team consisted of Lorraine Kiniry, Cliona O’Brien, Siobhán O’Connell, Róisín O’Connell, Aoife Dillon, Damien Kiniry (captain), Shane Taylor, Diarmuid Moloney, Shane Kiniry and Stiofán Marsh McMahon. In Munster squad BROADFORD Badminton Club was well represented at …

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Clare teams gear up for All-Ireland finals in Athlone

THE Community Games Munster Finals took place on Saturday, with most of the action in the University of Limerick. The handball finals were in Tulla and Clooney and the choir competitions in Sixmilebridge GAA Hall. Clare were represented in all but the table tennis girls’ U-15. Clare hosted the games this year with Mary Lenihan as games director.The following teams have qualified for national finals in Athlone on the weekend of May 28-30.Badminton: Broadford: Damien Kiniry, Shane Taylor, Diarmuid Moloney, Stiofan Marsh McMahon, Shane Kiniry, Lorraine Kiniry, Aoife Dillon, Cliona O’Brien, Róisín O’Connell and Siobhán O’Connell.Chess U-16: Shannon: Robbie Meaney, David Hanley, Darragh Mulqueen Danaher, Samuel Lenihan, James Danaher, Ross O’Connor, Yee Shing Man.Choir U-13: Kilrush:  Aoife Carrig, Rachel Ryan, Ruth Nolan, Megan Broderick, Dylan Broderick, Caroline Lillis, Cathal Daly, Patrick Casey, Megan Walsh, Caoimhe Lyons, Maddy Jarocka, Jessica Gilligan, Anna O’Dea, Ellen Bolton, Emma Cahill, Kate Rutherford, Saoirse Griffin, Melissa Hanrahan, Chantal O’Sullivan, Aisling O’Connell.Choir U-16: Killimer/Knockerra: Leah Callaghan, …

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