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Kilmurry half-back line holds the key

OF the 500 or so Kilmurry Ibrickane men, women and children expected to surface in Ruislip on Sunday, about 25 of them cannot afford to prematurely enjoy the weekend or even the day itself. If Kilmurry keep their nerve and come 3.30pm have defeated Tír Chonaill Gaels, then the players and their management can relax. But not until the job is done.

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Reflecting on the games of life and football

  WHEN Jim Joe Lynch caught the West Clare Railway to Ennistymon CBS, he often had to cup his ears to deflect the big talk that assailed them. For four years, the Mullagh schoolboy had to listen to the Miltown and Doonbeg contingent trade football talk. Neither Jim Joe nor his Mullagh friends had much to boast about. Kilmurry-Ibrickane were not a factor on the 1950’s football fields of Clare.“When I was going up on that train, for four years, there was the Miltown boys on one side of me and the Doonbeg boys on the other side discussing their senior championships,” Jim Joe reflected. When he played himself, he was last man back and kept goal for St Mary’s (the then Kilmurry team) and for a year at Ennistymon CBS. To this day, he hasn’t forgotten an underage final in 1958 and the flak that flew primarily his direction. St Mary’s played Miltown in a minor county final. “We …

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Flannan’s wides costly in Harty Cup clash

Thurles CBS  0-17   St Flannan’s  2-10 HARTY Cup holders Thurles CBS are still in line to retain a title they won after a lapse of 53 years last March following a one-point win over St Flannan’s at Claughaun on Wednesday. However, the Ennis side have every reason to be disappointed with this result as they certainly had the chances to at least have drawn if not won the game. The roll-of-honour leaders shot a total of 14 wides in what was quite an entertaining game with some fine hurling and some very good individual displays. At the end of the day, however, the failure of St Flannan’s forward line to capitalise on good possession proved costly and was a major contributory factor to their defeat.They were level for the first of four times after eight minutes before Brian Hehir put St Flannan’s ahead in the 11th minute. A minute later, they struck for the game’s first goal when Niall Arthur …

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Paul Darragh Memorial Award for Shane

IN the world of showjumping, the Paul Darragh Memorial Special Recognition Award is a big honour, so there was understandable elation recently when Shane Carey from Clooney was named as its winner. Shane was presented with the award by Dave Darragh, brother of the late Paul, at the Showjumpers’ Club ball in Kildare.“To be associated with such a prestigious award means so much to Shane. It is an acknowledgement of what he has achieved,” commented his mother, Ann, this week.Shane, who is now 26, is profoundly deaf and according to his mother, “For someone with a disability to be able to do what he loves is brilliant. His whole life is horses and I could not explain how much it means to him to be associated with the name of Paul Darragh. It is really fantastic that his achievements have been recognised,” she said.According to Ann, award winner Shane focused on being a farrier from a young age but he …

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Clare’s Féile preparations get underway

NINETY-five people attended this week’s meeting organised by the Clare Féile na nGael committee at which initial plans for the hosting of the national festival were discussed.The Féile finals will be held in Clare on the weekend of June 18 to 20 and the competition will involve all hurling clubs in the county. All Clare clubs will participate in the event as will the county U-14 hurling champions from all 32 counties.  Féile na nGael also caters for camogie and handball.Clare previously hosted the finals back in 1987 when the event proved to be an outstanding success.The organising committee is under the chairmanship of Ger Hickey from Feakle. He is Clare’s Central Council representative. Tulla’s Declan Hogan is the committee secretary while Pat McInerney from Éire Óg is committee treasurer. Other members of the committee include Tommy Hegarty (handball); Mary Hogan (camogie); Michael O’Regan (referees); John Fawl (parade); Seán Chaplin (games development officer); John O’Sullivan (IT officer); Sandra Reynolds (vetting …

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Leaden Clare out of McGrath Cup

UCC  0-12   Clare  0-9 Although Clare led 0-4 to 0-0 after just nine minutes of last Sunday’s McGrath Cup quarter-final in Cooraclare, lack of fitness, teamwork, forward movement and ability to regularly win their own kick-outs caught up with the home county. Early points from Gary Brennan, Ger Quinlan, Alan Clohessy and David Tubridy eased Clare into a commanding lead as UCC started very tentatively and were particularly confused by the introduction of the closed fist pass rule. Clare’s onslaught proved to be a temporary one though. Once the Cork college settled, their understanding, finishing and fitness helped them into a 0-6 to 0-4 interval lead. Their best forward, David Kearney, scored three first-half points from play with his marker Dean Ryan nowhere near sharp enough for his man. Gary Brennan caught a couple balls at midfield but Clare lost six-in-a-row of their own kick outs at one period in the opening half. At no stage did the Clare wing-backs, …

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Crystal-clear season debut for Clare

Clare  0-15   Waterford IT  1-9 NEW Clare hurling boss Ger O’Loughlin got his inter-county career as a manager off to a winning start at Meelick on Sunday when his charges accounted for Waterford IT in the opening round of the Waterford Crystal tournament. Despite the fact that the squad has only been together for the past three weeks, during which they have been unable to get in any hurling practice because of the inclement weather conditions, Clare looked quite sharp.That they wanted to impress and progress to the next round was evident from the word go and the home side recorded a merited win to set up a second-round clash with Tipperary, in what will be a repeat of last year’s final.Supporters in the good sized attendance were pleased with the performance on a day when Cian Dillon, Domhnall O’Donovan, Ogie Murphy, John Conlon and Aonghus O’Brien were amongst those to impress. Indeed, O’Donovan put in a match-saving tackle in …

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