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Odran calls time on 22-year club career

HAVING represented his club on the football fields of Clare for 22 years, Odran O’Dwyer is acclimatising to life on the sidelines. The self-employed Mullagh man made his debut as a Kilmurry Ibrickane senior selector in the side’s one-point Cusack Cup win over Lissycasey last week. A Kilmurry senior footballer since 1993, O’Dwyer retires from playing with seven senior championship medals in his pocket, accompanied by two Munster club and six Cusack Cup medals. He represented Clare at every level, while he also played for Ireland in 2003, when they travelled to take on Australia in the compromise rules series. O’Dwyer had six pins inserted in his shoulder, when he underwent shoulder reconstruction surgery recently, which will take several months to heal fully. “Time catches up with you and the legs get slower. There’s nothing you can do. I had said to the family that 2014 was my last year,” he told The Clare Champion this week. O’Dwyer cites 2004 …

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Cratloe through to u-21 B final

Cratloe 2-6 Crusheen-Tubber 0-9 Cratloe caused a surprise when they overcame a fancied Crusheen-Tubber at Clarecastle on Saturday afternoon to qualify for the final of the under 21 B hurling championship where they will play either Clonlara or Tulla whose semi-final was postponed due to a bereavement in Clonlara. In windy and cold conditions, two goals inside four minutes at the start of the second half proved decisive on a day when All-Ireland under 21 medallist, Shane Gleeson played a key role in his side’s victory, hitting all but a goal of their tally. Playing against what was mainly a cross field wind, Cratloe took a two point lead in as many minutes thanks to Shane Gleeson. Crusheen-Tubber slowly got a grip on the tie and pointed frees by Lorcan O’Grady and Colin Vaughan tied up the game after seven minutes before Robbie Malone fired the combination side into the lead. At half time Crusheen-Tubber were 0-6 to 0-3 in …

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Clare footballers in season-defining game

TRADITIONALISTS will not accept this view but there is a cogent argument that Sunday’s league game is a more important fixture than Clare and Limerick’s Munster Championship date on May 23 in Ennis. If Limerick lose in Newcastle West this weekend, they are very likely to be relegated. They would have to hope that Louth and Wexford don’t win either of their last two games to have any chance of surviving on score difference. Furthermore, Limerick would have to beat Louth in Drogheda in their final league game. If they head to Drogheda on the back of a win over Clare, they might have some chance of beating Louth but if Limerick can’t win at home on Sunday, their two-year stint in Division 3 will come to an abrupt end. With all that in mind, Clare can expect a formidable last stand from Limerick. With key forward, Ian Ryan back from injury and veteran wing-back, Pa Ranahan recently returned to …

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Scariff’s title after high scoring thriller

Scariff Community College 7-12 Ennistymon CBS 5-16 (after extra time) A cracking Munster colleges under 15 D hurling final at Clarecastle on Friday morning ended in victory for Scariff over their fellow Clare outfit, Ennistymon CBS. A high scoring affair, this tie produced some great hurling and there were a number of superb individual performances, notably from Aidan McCarthy, Marc and Tom Barry, Mark Rodgers and Michael Hynes to mention some The lead changed hands throughout the tie and the result was in doubt right to the final whistle. Scariff’s greater fitness proved decisive in the end but few would have complained if the tie had gone to a replay. The game was just twenty seconds gold when Mark Rodgers goaled for Scariff but Ennistymon were in front by the fifth minute thanks to a Tom Barry goal. Within seconds Rodgers struck for his side’s second major but this was quickly cancelled out by an Aidan McCarthy effort. Further Scariff …

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Purcell a key figure in Oscar Traynor side

IF experience is a key ingredient to success in the Oscar Traynor Cup, then Clare have a strong hand, as team captain Pat Purcell is one of the most experienced players taking part in this year’s competition. He leads the side in their quarter final tie away to Sligo/Leitrim this Saturday. Having played League of Ireland football with Limerick for a number of seasons, he returned to junior football this season when he joined Newmarket Celtic. Purcell previously played in this competition with Limerick, as he was playing his junior football with Fairview Rangers at the time. Acknowledging that “there is a commitment involved”, he said it isn’t as great as that required for League of Ireland football. He has a similar view to that of team manager Mick Shiel in relation to the running of the competition. “There are too many gaps. Lads in the Oscar Traynor squad might not see each other for weeks because of the gaps …

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Injury concerns for Clare hurlers

IT’S an indication of the standing enjoyed by the teams involved that Sunday’s National Hurling League relegation play-off between Clare and Kilkenny is to be televised live by TG4 ahead of a number of quarter-final games and ahead of a number of attractive football league ties. Prior to the commencement of the league, few would have thought that the All-Ireland champions of the past two years, Clare and Kilkenny would now be preparing to do battle to decide who will remain in Division 1A for next season. Kilkenny will carry the favourites’ tag. They will welcome back a number of their leading lights, who missed last week’s game due to injuries and the fact that management decided to rest some players ahead of the crucial play-off. They were boosted on Monday when they won the toss for venue, which means that Clare must make the journey to the Marble City for the second time in seven days. While the Noresiders …

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Bugler loses appeal against two-match ban

Clare hurler Brendan Bugler has lost his appeal against a two-match ban imposed by the Central Hearings Committee, following his sending-off against Dublin in the league. The Whitegate hurler was shown a straight red card by Cork’s Cathal McAllister following an off-the-ball incident in the first-half. He was subsequently given a two-match ban, as he had been previously shown a red card inside the last 12 months. The appeal was heard by the Central Appeals Committee last evening. “Having heard and considered all submissions and evidence of witnesses on behalf of the appellant and the decision-maker, the CAC upheld the decision of the CHC and rejected the appeal”, according to a statement issued by Croke Park. The decision is a further blow to Clare’s hopes of retaining Division 1 status for next season, as he will now miss Sunday’s relegation play-off with Kilkenny. By Seamus Hayes    

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GPA to take no further action on Clare dispute

The Gaelic Players Association is to take no further action in relation to the issues raised about the disciplining of Clare hurlers, Davy O’Halloran and Nicky O’Connell. The GPA, in a statement released on its website, said, “Having looked into the situation in Clare and having consulted with parties involved, the Gaelic Players Association’s dealings in this matter are and will remain of a confidential nature. “We have outlined to the players involved that GPA support is available to them through our progammes and services. In respect to all parties, the GPA will be making no further comment.” Nicky O’Connell and Davy O’Halloran had been disciplined for socialising and both left the panel, with O’Halloran, saying he felt “humiliated” by their treatment and claimed that there had been double standards applied to similar cases involving other players. In a brief statement last week, the Clare panel refuted O’Halloran’s claim and said that matters had been “dealt with fairly”. Clare manager, Davy Fitzgerald …

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