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Newmarket Celtic go marching on

Newmarket Celtic 1 St. Michaels, Tipperary 1 (after extra time) Newmarket won 4-3 on penalties Newmarket Celtic are through to round 7 of the FAI junior cup thanks to victory over a fancied St. Michaels from Tipperary before a big attendance at McDonough park in Newmarket this afternoon. The win sees the Clare champions extend their winning run and keeps their hopes of success in a number of competitions alive. Next week the attention switches to the Munster junior cup as they travel to Cork for a round 3 tie. [doptg id=”91″] This afternoon’s victory was, without doubt, their biggest to date. The sides met in the same competition last season at the Tipperary club’s venue when the home side got through on a 2-1 scoreline. The visitors made the better start this time out and took the lead after just eleven minutes when capitalising on a defensive error and Padraig Fogarty’s low effort roled into the corner of the …

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Winning start for hurlers and footballers

It was a good start to 2016 for Clare GAA senior teams as both the hurlers and footballers were victorious in their opening games on Sunday, the hurlers beating Cork by a goal while the footballers overcame Tipperary by the minimum margin in the McGrath cup. The goals proved vital in each game. Shane O’Donnell, introduced midway through the second half, struck for the hurler’s goal seven minutes from time and this was the difference at the final whistle as Clare scored their first win over Cork since they defeated the Leesiders in the All-Ireland final replay in 2013. On that occasion O’Donnell caused huge problems for the Leesiders, scoring a hat trick of goals The footballer’s goal came two minutes from the final whistle and was scored by debutant, Kieran Malone on his home pitch in Miltown. He was put through by substitute David Tubridy whose introduction, together with that of Gary Brennan, helped Clare recover from a half …

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Kelly to lead Clare against Cork

Ballyea’s Tony Kelly will captain the Clare senior hurlers in their first competitve outing of 2016 when they face Cork in the opening game in the Munster senior league on Sunday. The game will take place at Sixmilebridge where the throw in will be at 2p.m. Inagh-Kilnamona’s David Fitzgerald will make his competitive senior debut having been named at corner forward completing a line which includes Clonlara duo John Conlon and Darach Honan. Another newcomer is Newmarket’s Eoin O’Brien who has been named at corner back. Tubber’s Pat O’Connor has been named at full back. The backline includes three Ballyea players with Paul Flanagan at corner back while Jack Browne and Gearoid O’Connell will fill the wing back positions, flanking Cratloe’s Conor Ryan. The team is Donal Tuohy (Crusheen); Eoin O’Brien (Newmarket-on-Fergus), Pat O’Connor (Tubber), Paul Flanagan (Ballyea); Jack Browne (Ballyea), Conor Ryan (Cratloe), Gearóid O’Connell (Ballyea); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge); David Reidy (Éire Óg), Tony Kelly (Ballyea), …

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Banner experiment for Munster league

THE addition of former Cork goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack to the senior hurling management team for 2016 is one of the reasons for the increased interest in this season’s Munster Hurling League, which gets underway this weekend. The fact that Clare’s opening game will be against Cusack’s native county is further adding to the interest to the game, which is scheduled for O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge at 2pm on Sunday. Cork are under new management, with Kieran Kingston at the helm backed up by Diarmuid O’Sullivan, a Cloyne clubmate of Cusack, Pat Hartnett and Pat Ryan, All-Ireland medal winners with Leeside teams. Sunday’s game is the first of four games Clare will play in the coming weeks. A disappointing 2015 when relegation to Division 1B of the league was followed by an early exit from both the Munster and All-Ireland championships, led to criticism of the Clare management team, led by Davy Fitzgerald. The Sixmilebridge man’s decision to add Cusack to …

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Clare link to hurling UNESCO application

CLARE historian Daniel McCarthy is playing a key role in seeking approval for hurling to be included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The Cabinet has approved the application and it is due to be ratified by the Dáil in early 2016. A formal application for inclusion on the list must then be submitted to UNESCO by March 31 next. In outlining their interpretation of Intangible Cultural Heritage, UNESCO maintains cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from ancestors and passed on, including oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events. Lissycasey man Daniel McCarthy is manager of the GAA’s Heritage Framework Policy, which identified the merits of seeking UNESCO designation for hurling. He believes that if UNESCO recognition is granted for the game, it will expose hurling’s merits to a world-wide audience. “The GAA is unique amongst world sporting bodies in that it upholds, …

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Golden memories of ’95 will never fade

HE spent just 17 minutes on the field in Croke Park on September 3, 1995 and only once hit the ball. Yet that seismic Eamon Taaffe goal, four minutes from time, still resonates in Clare. It was the moment that propelled the county to a first All-Ireland win since 1914, bridging an 81-year gap. The Tubber man was one of that 1995 panel present for Clare County Council’s 20th anniversary civic reception in council headquarters on Monday night. He looks fit and fresh, which indicates why he’s the only one of that panel still playing competitive hurling. “Go handy,” he urged when asked if he had yet reached 41 or thereabouts. “I’m only 40, although I’m not far from 41. I’ll be 41 in February,” Taaffe confirmed. Twenty years after that extraordinary afternoon, which altered the history of Clare hurling forever, Taaffe remembers everything. “I can remember it as if it was yesterday. I can still remember Ger coming to …

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McDonagh’s warning on social media

A strong warning on the responsible use of social media was delivered by outgoing Clare GAA County Board chairman, Michael McDonagh, at Wednesday night’s convention. He welcomed the use of social media “if it is done in an honest and straightforward way, with no personal attacks”. “I fear, at some stage, it will go too far and people will not be able to take the pressure. I hope my words never come true, as everyone should know what could happen when somebody is under pressure,” he told delegates at the Auburn Lodge in Ennis. “All county team managers should deliver a year-end report to the officers of the county board who, in turn, will deliver that report to the county committee for discussion,” McDonagh continued. Welcoming all as chairman for the last time, he noted, “I have spoken to many people and asked them about the way forward for Clare GAA and Clare County Board. Everyone’s opinion differed but the …

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Newmarket Celtic all set for Munster final

The County Grounds in Doora is expected to attract one of its biggest attendances to date on Sunday when Clare champions, Newmarket Celtic, entertain Janesboro from Limerick in the final of the Munster Champions Cup. The game will kick off at 2pm, with Michael Rock in charge, assisted by Trevor White and Terry Kennedy. Janesboro are one of the strongest junior clubs in the region and are the favourites to win the title. It’s been a great season to date for Newmarket Celtic, who are also still in the running for the Munster Junior Cup and FAI Junior Cup titles. Janesboro, one of the oldest clubs in the Limerick league, will travel to Ennis with an experienced squad that includes the Clarke brothers, team captain Shane and Thomas, Shane Waters, John Boyle, Craig McMarlow and Stephen Walsh. For Newmarket, central defenders Mark Donlon and Paddy Purcell are very experienced and they have been in outstanding form all season. Stephen Kelly …

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