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O’Halloran joins Clare football panel

Davy O’Halloran, who left the Clare hurling panel in controversial circumstances a few weeks ago, has accepted an invitation to join the county senior football panel. He linked up with the squad this week as they resumed training, having taken a week’s break after the conclusion of their league campaign recently, a campaign that ended with Clare retaining Division 3 status for next season. Together with the O’Connell brothers, Nicky and Cathal, the All-Ireland U-21 medal winner was disciplined for a breach of the senior hurlers’ strict code of conduct. Both O’Halloran and Nicky O’Connell opted to leave the hurling panel as a result. Football manager Colm Collins confirmed that O’Halloran is now part of the football panel. “He is an excellent footballer and worthy of his place in the squad,” the Cratloe team boss commented. O’Halloran played at centre-forward for Éire Óg last season, when they progressed through the championship to the final, where they went under to Cratloe. …

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Nicky rejoins hurling panel

Six weeks after he left the Clare senior hurling panel after he was disciplined, Nicky O’Connell has rejoined the squad. O’Connell met with members of the management team on Monday night after which his return was confirmed. It is understood that the Clonlara man who returned to competitive action following injury when lining out with his club on Monday evening, approached the team management about a return to the squad. He apologised for breaching the team’s code of conduct and his apology has been accepted. He is expected to play in upcoming challenge games against Galway and the Clare under 21’s as he chases a place in the side that will face Limerick in the Munster championship on May 24. By Seamus Hayes

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U-21 titles for Kilmaley and Tulla

Kilmaley 3-17 Eire Og 2-5 A well drilled and well balanced Kilmaley bridge a forty year gap to their only previous success in the competition when they accounted for Eire Og in the under 21 A hurling championship final at Cusack park on Saturday afternoon. In the opening game of this double bill, a physically stronger Tulla side claimed the B title when they had a one goal victory over Cratloe. When Eire Og went a goal clear in the seventh minute of the A final, there were some anxious faces amongst the Kilmaley following in the attendance of 1,527. The anxiety was shortlived as the favourites stormed into the game and hit nine unanswered points to lead by six with seven minutes still to play in the half. With little ball going into their inter county star Shane O’Donnell, the town side’s mentors moved the UCC student to midfield which weakened their challenge in front of goal. At half …

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Bodyke’s title after second half rally

Bodyke 3-9 Corofin 0-16 Bodyke bridged a thirty year gap at Cusack Park on Friday evening when they captured the county under 21 C championship title at the expense of Corofin. The East Clare club recorded their only previous success in this championship in 1985 when they overcame the challenge of Crusheen. A Bodyke victory didn’t appear likely at half time in Friday’s final when they trailed by nine points, 0-2 to 0-11. Corofin would not have been flattered with a greater lead at this stage such was the dominance they had enjoyed when playing with the aid of the breeze in the opening half. On the resumption, Bodyke made a few positional switches which were to prove crucial. The switch of Patrick Walsh to midfield and the move of Paddy Fitzgerald to the full forward line were moves that caused a lot of problems for Corofin. Seven minutes into the second half Corofin lost goalkeeper Liam Corbett with a …

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Munster Autotest in Ennis

CLARE Motor Club’s first event of the 2015 season kicks into action this weekend, when the club hosts rounds 3 and 4 of the 2015 Premier Autoparts Munster Autotest Championship. Limerick Motor Club hosted the opening two rounds and the top three drivers are fighting for top position. Timmy Lynch from Killorglin leads the series in his Westfield rear wheel drive sports car, followed by Ian White and Paddy Power, who are both driving Minis. The event takes place at Clare Marts on the Quin Road, Ennis on Saturday, with action commencing at 3pm and beginning again on Sunday at 11am.

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Newmarket Celtic face a big test

NEWMARKET Celtic travel to Waterford on Sunday in search of a place in the Munster Junior Cup final. Carrick United from Carrick-on-Suir provide the opposition for the Clare side, who are still very much in contention for the domestic double. They are well ahead in the race for the league title and it will be a major shock if they fail to capture it, while they are through to the quarter-finals of the Clare Junior Cup. Twelve months ago, the Clare side got to the Munster semi-final, where they suffered a comprehensive 4-0 defeat from Geraldines from Limerick. Many of the players who made up that team will be in the squad on Sunday, including Seamie Lawlor, Eoin O’Brien, Darren Cullinan, Stephen and Alan Kely, Ronan McCormack, Eoin Hayes and Alan Brigdale. They make up an experienced squad and the arrival of Clare Oscar Traynor captain, Pat Purcell has strengthened the squad this year, while another newcomer to the panel …

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New GAA playing rules take effect

THE new GAA rules adopted at Congress will come into play from this Saturday. It is expected, however that they will not be in operation for the U-21 championship finals, which should conclude under the rules that have operated for the competition. The main change will see one-on-one for a penalty in hurling, while other changes include: – A yellow card does not carry into extra time (hurling and football); – The referee may consult with a neutral linesman concerning the validity of a score (hurling and football); – For free pucks for technical fouls committed inside the large rectangle and awarded on the centre point of the 20m line, a maximum of five players may stand on the goal-line and may not move forward until the ball has been struck. The player taking the free puck may place the ball up to 7m back from the 20m line and within the arc but must strike it on or outside …

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Kilmaley and Éire Óg vie for U-21 title

ON semi-final form, there is little between Kilmaley and Éire Óg ahead of Saturday’s U-21 A Hurling Championship final. Both sides look well-balanced, with a number of key players who should make it a lively encounter in Cusack Park. Kilmaley are probably entitled to carry the favourites’ tag, as they won the corresponding minor A title three years ago and that experience should be a help. Captain Conor Cleary, Aidan McGuane, Michael O’Malley and Cian Moloney have been regulars in the senior side in recent years and they have all played key parts in the team’s progress to this stage of the championship. They are supported by Conan Fitzgerald, Brian Cahill, Sean and Aidan Kennedy and Padraic McNamara from last year’s minor A-winning side and, in their semi-final win over Clarecastle, that combination played some very impressive hurling. Inter-county man Shane O’Donnell is a key figure in the Éire Óg line-up. While his tally in the semi-final win over Ballyea …

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