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Footballers secure division 3 status for 2016

Clare 1-14 Fermanagh 2-9 PLAYING the best football of their 2015 league campaign, Clare secured their division 3 status for 2016 with an ultimately narrow win over Fermanagh in Cusack Park on Sunday. It was their third league win of 2015. Played in front of an attendance of 938, Clare led 1-14 to 1-5 with just six minutes left and the game looked over. However Fermanagh hit the home county for 1-4 without reply in the closing minutes and until their last attack was repelled, there was a nagging anxiety amongst the Clare supporters that the already promoted Fermanagh might bang in a late goal, which would have relegated the home county. Clare knew that a win would keep them in division 3 next season and they set about making sure that happen, although it took them 13 minutes to score, when Jamie Malone kicked the games opening point. The exceptionally industrious Podge Collins added another before Fermanagh full forward …

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Bank holiday Cusack cup ties

ROUND two of The Clare Champion-sponsored Cusack Cup will take place on Monday at four venues, with all games throwing in at 2pm. In Doonaha, O’Curry’s will host Kilmurry-Ibrickane, who are on the trail of their fifth successive title. O’Curry’s were beaten by Clondegad in their opening game, while Kilmurry defeated Lissycasey by a point. Home advantage will help O’Curry’s but Kilmurry will still be favourites to pick up their second win of the campaign. In Lissycasey, the home club host neighbours Clondegad. Lissycasey are under a bit more pressure to get a result, given that they lost their opening game, albeit very narrowly. Clondegad are already on two points and another win would put them in a good position to push for a place in the semi-final at least. While this is a tricky one to call, Clondegad will start as marginal favourites in this all-parish derby. Elsewhere, Doonbeg host Miltown, who drew their opening game with Cooraclare. Doonbeg …

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Eire Og seal u-21 final spot

Eire Og 2-17 Ballyea 1-12 Eire Og booked their place in the final of the under 21 A hurling championship on Saturday when they accounted for Ballyea at Clarecastle. While the town side were deserving winners, a margin of eight points is a little harsh on Ballyea who were only two points adrift entering the final ten minutes. At the end of a well contested first half, Eire Og led by two points, 0-9 to 0-7. They scored the last two points of the half after Ballyea had hit three in a row to draw level twenty four minutes into the tie. The margin was still the same with ten minutes remaining. They swapped points twice in the opening ten minutes of the half before Eire Og hit a brace to open a four point gap only for Ballyea to reply with a brace. A Conor O’Halloran goal put the townies five clear but the cheering had hardly died down …

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Kilmaley secure u-21 A final place

Kilmaley 0-19 Clarecastle 0-13 They provided patrons with a very exciting minor A championship final in 2012 and they produced another exciting contest when they clashed in the under 21 A semi-final at Clonlara on Friday evening. At the end of a very tight contest in 2012, Kilmaley led by the minimum margin. On this occasion they led by six when Ger Hoey called a halt to proceedings and few will dispute the merit of their latest success. Over the hour they were the better balanced side and finished strongly to seal a place in next Saturday’s final. They took a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes and by the end of the first quarter they had extended this to 0-7 to 0-2. Their advantage could have been greater but Clarecastle goalie Jonathan Griffey made a fine save from Aidan Kennedy when a goal looked likely. Three points separated the sides at half time when the score was 0-9 …

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Death of Frank Healy

The death has taken place, after a short illness, of Frank Healy, a leading light in Clare soccer. A native of Kilmaley, Frank was vice chairman of the Clare soccer league at the time of his death which occurred at Ennis General Hospital. He had been the driving force behind Kilmaley soccer club for many years but also found time to serve in a variety of positions with the Clare league. During his time as Clare league chairman, he was instrumental in the purchase of land in Doora where the county soccer grounds is now developed. He also served as registrar with the Clare league for a number of years. As a mark of respect, all junior soccer games in Clare were cancelled last weekend.    

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Nowlan Park display sets the bar

SOMETHING odd is happening in Clare. There is splintering opinion as to whether the Clare hurling glass is full, half full or half empty. Sunday’s display in Nowlan Park clearly suggests that the glass is, if not teeming over, definitely not half empty. The panel of players deserve immense credit for producing that standard of hugely committed hurling in Nowlan Park. While some individuals, notably Tony Kelly and Shane O’Donnell, excelled, as a team Clare resembled themselves again. Based on Sunday, it’s not over the top to suggest that they will be formidable Munster championship opponents for Limerick come May 24. Based on Saturday, Limerick will be doing well to turn up at all. They were obliterated by Dublin and looked remarkably off the pace of league, let alone championship, hurling. Clare showed what they can do if they produce the level they are capable of. That’s looking at it from a glass-half-full standpoint. However, there is no avoiding the …

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Galvin to hurl Stateside

Clare’s outstanding All-Star midfielder, Colm Galvin, is to spend the summer in the US and will not be available for the county’s Munster championship campaign, which begins on Sunday, May 24 when the Banner men take on Limerick at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Clare fans will be glad to hear, however, that the Clonlara man has not ruled out playing some part in the championship. Rumours of Galvin’s desire to travel to the US have been circulating for the past few seasons but have been quite strong since last autumn, after he played a key role in helping Clare to a third successive All-Ireland U-21 title. The 22-year-old will leave Ireland on April 28 and will play his hurling this summer with Tipperary in the popular North American venue of Boston, where he has work lined up. His absence is a huge blow to Clare hopes of championship success and also a massive loss to his club, Clonlara, who were …

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Kilkenny’s injury time winner relegates Clare

Kilkenny 1-18 Clare 1-17 Hot favourites Kilkenny had to rely on an injury time point to secure their dixision 1 status for next season when they overcame Clare in a cracking contest at Nowlan Park this afternoon. On a day when the sides were level on ten occasions, the Noresiders were fortunate to be ahead at the final whistle. Kilkenny went in to the tie as raging hot favourites but Clare produced, arguably their best display of the campaign and were most unlucky to lose out. They had outstanding performers in Tony Kelly and Shane O’Donnell and while there will be disappointment at the end result, the Banner men can certainly look forward to the championship with great hope after this performance Clare’s hopes of avoiding relegation received a great boost when Pat O’Connor, Colm Galvin and Conor McGrath were all declared fit for action although McGrath only lasted twenty minutes at which time he was replaced by Cathal O’Connell. …

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