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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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Laois no match for Clare

Clare 5-32 Laois 0-12 While anything other than a comfortable Clare win in this first round hurling championship qualifier would have been a big surprise, few would have predicted that their winning margin over Laois would have been so great. The fact that thirty five points separated the teams is sure to lead to more debate as to what teams should be allowed into this competition. For the official attendance of 5,518, there was little to cheer about as the result was clear from a very early stage. Clare’s determination to get back to winning ways after their Munster championship exit was evident from the outset and once they took control, they dominated throughout the field. Indeed it’s fair to say that their winning margin could have been greater such was their dominance on an evening when Laois goalie Enda Rowland denied Clare at least three further goals There was little between the sides in the opening quarter at the …

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Clare make four changes for Laois tie

The Clare team to face Laois in the opening round of the senior hurling qualifiers shows four changes in personell from that which started against Waterford in the Munster semi-final four weeks ago. Into the starting line up come Andrew Fahy, Jack Browne, David McInerney and Aron Shanagher and they will replace Patrick Kelly (injured), David Fitzgerald, Darach Honan and Conor McGrath(injured). The inclusion of David McInerney is a huge boost as it wasn’t expected. The Tulla man has been out of action due to a back injury for the past three months and wasn’t expected to return at this time. He has been named as midfield partner to David Reidy and all involved will be keeping their fingers crossed that he will come through the game without suffering a recurrence of the injury which has kept him out of action for so long. The team named for duty is Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Pat O’Connor (Tubber), Cian …

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Clare wary of Laois challenge

LAOIS senior hurlers may not have had a great season to date but Clare selector Louis Mulqueen believes the Midlanders will travel to Clare this Saturday determined to overcome the home side in Round 1 of the hurling qualifiers. “Laois were here in Clare last weekend and they trained in Cusack Park on Sunday morning, which suggests that they are not just coming down here on Saturday to make up the numbers,” selector Louis Mulqueen said. “Galway struggled against them in the championship last year. Clare are the favourites to succeed on Saturday but Laois have shown in modern times that they can match the best, so it’s not a foregone conclusion that Clare will win on Saturday.” Over the last decade, Clare have been made to fight all the way for victory over Laois, when the sides have clashed in both league and championship. Laois have struggled this season and did poorly in both the league and championship. Mulqueen …

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Miltown and Cooraclare in County final repeat

A repeat of last year’s Clare senior football final between Miltown St Josephs (winners) and Cooraclare is one of the attractions in the second round of the Clare senior football championship. The draw for both the winners and losers sections was made at a meeting of the CCC this Monday evening but dates have yet to be set and will be influenced by inter county fixtures involving the county senior hurlers and footballers who are in qualifier action over the next two weekends. West Clare neighbours Doonbeg and St.Senans, Kilkee should prove another interesting tie along with the meeting of Lissycasey and Cratloe. The full draw is; Winners section; Doonbeg v St. Senans, Kilkee; Miltown St. Josephs v Cooraclare; Lissycasey v Cratloe; St. Breckans v Kilmurry-Ibrickane. Losers section; St. Josephs, Doora-Barefield v Wolfe Tones; Ennistymon v Kilrush; O’Currys v Eire og; Corofin v Clondegad. By Seamus Hayes

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Junior leagues at knockout stage

The way is clear for the semi-finals of the junior A hurling league (division 4) and both games will be played next Sunday (July 3). Broadford have finished on top of the league table after the completed their  programme of games with victory over St. Josephs, Doora-Barefield. Ballyea finished in second place thanks to a comfortable win over Tubber this Saturday evening. Despite going down to O’Callaghans Mills, Meelick remain in third spot with the Mills filling the final play off position. In next week’s semi-finals Broadford will play O’Callaghans Mills while Ballyea will face Meelick. Meanwhile, in the junior B hurling league (division 5), Newmarket and Wolfe Tones 1 have qualified from division 5 A, Parteen are through from division 5 B while the qualifier from division 5 C will be confirmed after Wolfe Tones 2 play Broadford on Tuesday. Wolfe Tones must win to stay in the race and then it will come down to score difference between …

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Éire Óg’s tough stance on membership

ONE of the primary reasons why Éire Óg has withdrawn from the Clare Intermediate Football Championship is because the club has adopted a policy of not fielding players who are not registered members. Éire Óg were due to play Clarecastle last Sunday evening in Round 1 of the intermediate championship but they did not fulfil that fixture. They also withdrew from the Division 3 football league earlier this season. “The decision we made was based on two factors. One was the numbers we had and the other factor was membership. We are not allowing any team to take the field unless they are all fully paid members. That’s where we stand,” Éire Óg club secretary Paddy Smyth told The Clare Champion. He cited an instance where a senior club hurler was told he would be dropped from the club’s championship team, unless he paid his membership. “We want everyone to be paid up members for insurance reasons. If there is …

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