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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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Relegation play off facing Clare

By Seamus Hayes Kilkenny 2-20 Clare 2-19 Clare and Kilkenny will do battle again next Sunday to determine who will drop to division 1 B for next season. Clare needed to win in Nowlan Park and hope that Galway beat Dublin in Parnell Park to avoid being involved in the relegation play off but neither result was achieved leaving Clare and Kilkenny in the relegation play off. A strong secondhalf showing form Kilkenny proved too much for Clare before an attendance of 6,298 . Throughout the seventy minutes the kilkenny full forward trio caused huge problems for Clare as is evidenced by the fact thqat the home side’s inside trio contributed 2-14 of their side’s final tally At the end of a lively first half, visitors Clare held a one goal lead, 2-9 to 1-9. Full forward Shane O’ Donnell accounted for both goals, the first coming in the ninth minute after he had taken a pass from Conor McGrath …

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60 years of basketball in Ennistymon

Ennistymon basketball folk will celebrate 60 years in existence this spring. The club held a major event for the golden jubilee back in 2005, culminating in a tournament dinner attended by a large number of past and present members, among them some of the club founders from 1955. This year’s celebrations will be more modest and will be marked on the court with the 23rd Frank Gallery Tournament, to be held at the Inagh Community Centre on Easter Saturday, April 4. This tournament sees past and present players, male and female, come together for the weekend to acknowledge Frank Gallery, a key personality, player and coach of the Claremont Admirals. Further details of this year’s tournament will be released next week when teams are finalised. The longevity of this event is testimony to the respect that Ennistymon basketball people have for their past members. The 60th anniversary was also highlighted in the Cascaders club float at the Ennistymon St Patrick’s …

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Four Changes for Clare

By Seamus Hayes The Clare team named to start against Kilkenny at Nowlan Park on Sunday shows four changes in personnel from that which lined out against Dublin on Saturday last. Into the team comes Patrick Kelly, Jack Browne, Seadna Morey and Colin Ryan and they replace Donal Tuohy, Brendan Bugler (suspended), Pat O’Connor (injured) and Shane Golden. Colin Ryan was unavailable for the Dublin game while Seadna Morey will be making his first start of this campaign. Joint team captain Pat Donnellan will line out at wing back where he impressed in the second half of the game against Dublin. Morey is named as midfield partner to Colm Galvin but may be asked to fill a sweeper’s role with Tony Kelly moving out to partner Galvin. The team is Patrick Kelly; Paul Flanagan, David McInerney, Jack Browne; Pat Donnellan, Conor Ryan, Cian Dillon; Colm Galvin, Seadna Morey; John Conlon, Tony Kelly, Colin Ryan: Aaron Cunningham, Shane O’Donnell, Conor McGrath …

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Heartbreak for St. Josephs Tulla in Navan

By Seamus Hayes Cross and Passion, Ballycastle 1-10 St.Josephs Tula 0-12 A physically stronger Cross and Passion side from Ballycastle ended St.Josephs Tulla dream of All-Ireland Colleges B hurling honours at Navan on Saturday afternoon. The Clare side will bemoan a number of missed chances, particularly in the final quarter when they just could not manage to level the game on a day when all but two of their scores came from placed balls. The big talking point, however, amongst Tulla supporters will be the decision to dis-allow a Tulla goal in the eleventh minute of the match Two points ahead after ten minutes, Munster champions Tulla split the Cross and Passion defence with a good move which ended with a Matthew Culloo goal. However, referee John Keenan called play back and awarded the Clare side a 20m free in front of goal. On what was a bumpy pitch, Brian Fahy slipped as he took the free and the ball …

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Fitzgibbon comes full circle for Lohan

TWENTY-one winters after winning a Fitzgibbon Cup medal on the field with UL, Brian Lohan was delighted and relieved to lead his Alma Mater to the 2015 title after a replay win over Waterford IT last week in Cork. Amongst the Clare contingent who played key roles were Tony Kelly, David McInerney, Jack Browne, Cathal McInerney and Gearóid Ryan. The double All-Ireland winning full-back and four-time All-Star felt the Fitzgibbon Cup helped him to develop as a player more than two decades ago and is now aiding his management career. “I played in three Fitzgibbons before eventually winning a fourth one. It was a huge learning curve for me as a player. Even though I wasn’t saying it, I felt that having been involved in the management set-up for three years already, you’d want to be learning in the fourth year. Without saying too much about it, I felt that this year we had to do it,” the 2015 Fitzgibbon …

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Vital tie for Clare in Nowlan Park

RESULTS in the National Hurling League’s Division 1 games last weekend mean that Clare travel to Nowlan Park for their final group game on Sunday in the knowledge that victory there, allied to a win for Galway over Dublin, will see the Banner side into a league quarter-final. A Clare victory will confine Kilkenny to bottom position on the league table and send them into the relegation play-off. Should Clare and Dublin finish on four points each (following a Clare win and a loss for Dublin), Clare will climb above the Dubs on the head-to-head result and leave Dublin to face Kilkenny. Irrespective of the result, league champions Kilkenny will be in the relegation play-off. They have already lost to Galway and Dublin and as a win over Clare would see them draw level with the losers of the Galway v Dublin game on points, they would still lose out on the head-to-head result with whichever of the sides loses …

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Comment: A mess of Clare’s own making

ANYBODY who has been involved in a team sport, be it at elite or grassroots level, understands and accepts that if an agreed disciplinary code is breached, those who breached it must be dealt with. Otherwise, why have a code of conduct at all? Punishments applied can vary wildly, depending on the level the particular group play at. Most clubs will not get rid of a player who is their main man, for example, simply because a manager knows that he needs him on the field. Therefore, clever club managers won’t back themselves into a corner by announcing, often early in the season, what measures they will apply if somebody is caught illicitly socialising later in the year. If the manager tells players what action he will take, prior to any infringement, then he has to follow through. Otherwise he will be undermined in front of the rest of the players. The problem for the manager arises when a player, …

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