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Dillon and Kelly return for clash with Limerick

Team captain Cian Dillon has recovered from injury and will lead Clare in Sunday’s crucial promotion tie in division 1 B of the Allianz hurling league. The Crusheen man has been named at full back in a side that shows just two changes in personell from that which started against Kerry last week. Miltown’s Conor Cleary loses out and Pat O’Connor who deputised for Dillon at full back last week reverts to wing back, the position he filled when helping Clare to All-Ireland glory in 2013. The other change in personnell sees Patrick Kelly named between the posts in place of Donal Tuohy who filled the position last week. The team is Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona); Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Cian Dillon,(Crusheen), Captain, Paul Flanagan (Ballyea); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), David McInerney (Tulla), Pat O’Connor (Tubber); David Reidy (Éire Óg), Conor Ryan (Cratloe); John Conlon (Clonlara), Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle), Colm Galvin (Clonlara); Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Conor McGrath (Cratloe). …

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Munster contract extension for Foley

Killaloe man Anthony Foley has signed a one-year contract extension as head coach of Munster Rugby. And in a new departure and for the first time ever, Munster will also appoint a director of rugby with the “responsibility for the professional rugby programme and elite player development pathway in the province.” Foley first moved into the role of head coach with Munster in 2014, succeeding Rob Penney, but his side has struggled this season after reaching the final of the Guinness Pro12 in 2014/15. Foley initially signed a two-year deal with Munster, with an option for a third year in that contract. The former Ireland number eight signed that extension option in recent months and will hope for an upturn in form in the final stages of this season. “As confirmed previously, we offered Anthony the option to extend his contract as per the initial agreement in 2014 and we are pleased to see him avail of this renewal and …

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Podge Collins returns as Clare win again

Clare 2-28 Kerry 1-9 After an absence from the game of almost ten months, Podge Collins returned to action on Sunday when he played the last half hour of Clare’s easy win over Kerry in round 4 of the  Allianz hurling league, division 1B. A strong third quarter in which they scored 1-8 without reply saw Clare maintain their 100% record this year. there was never a doubt about the result as the Bannermen dominated from the off and the way is now clear for next Sunday’s final group game against neighbours and arch rivals Limerick, the outcome of which will determine which team will be promoted to divison 1 A for next season Clare took the lead after just fifteen seconds when David Reidy pointed and went on to lead by eight points with just fifteen minutes played. The second quarter was an even enough affair with the winners outscoring their opponents by just a point in this period …

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Injury time Offaly winner floors Clare

Offaly 0-15 Clare 1-11 FOLLOWING an exceptionally poor first half display, Clare improved significantly in the second period but eventually lost out to a Michael Brazil point from play, which was kicked six minutes into injury time. The fact that the Offaly centre forward cut through the Clare defence without any Clare defender impeding his progress, underlined some of the deficiencies in this display. Lifted by their wins over Limerick and Westmeath, Clare showed few signs of their form in those games. While their performance was not good enough, if promotion is to be a realistic aim, they did show admirable resolve in the second half and Eoin Cleary’s 70th minute goal leveled the game. Five minutes into injury time the Miltown forward was certain he had kicked the winning point but it was waved wide and neither was a 45 awarded. He confirmed afterwards that if the ball was in fact wide, it was definitely a 45. A minute …

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Mullins set to raid Cheltenham Festival

WILLIE Mullins is the man to follow at the four-day Cheltenham Racing Festival, where the champion trainer holds a huge hand. Dominant on both sides of the Irish Sea all season, Mullins knows what it takes to win at the festival, having saddled a total of 41 winners since breaking his duck at Prestbury Park, when Tourist Attraction landed the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle back in 1995. With a battalion of top-class horses at his disposal, the Closutton maestro will have fancied runners in most of the 28 races and could well equal or surpass last year’s record-breaking tally of eight winners. Tuesday’s opening afternoon could well be dominated by the Mullins/Ruby Walsh alliance, with Min (Supreme Novices), Douvan in the Arkle, the supplemented Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle and Vroom Vroom Mag in the mares’ hurdle all short prices for respective races. Bookmakers were spared a huge pay-out 12 months ago when Annie Power fell at the final flight …

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Clare footballers face Tullamore test

AS they head for Tullamore on Sunday, Clare’s priority will be to produce a second 70-minute performance once the clock hits 2pm. If they can reproduce and sustain the level on view against Westmeath, the result will look after itself. However, it must be expected that Offaly will test Clare’s resolve far more than Westmeath did. The Lake County were very poor and aside from a few minutes late in the first half, they didn’t take the game and simply folded late in the second half. Offaly are just two points behind Clare in the league table and a win on Sunday would almost guarantee their Division 3 status for 2016 and put them in with an outside chance of promotion. Offaly lost to Tipperary last weekend, having beaten Sligo 1-13 to 0-14 in their previous fixture. They will look to players such as Michael Brazil, Niall Smith, Niall Bracken and Niall McNamee on Sunday to steer them to what …

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Shane O’Donnell to captain Clare hurlers

With joint team captains Tony Kelly and Cian Dillon out due to injury, Eire Og’s Shane O’Donnell will captain Clare when they face Kerry in round 4 of the Allianz hurling league on Sunday. There are four changes in personnell from the side which defeated Laois last week. Donal Tuohy, Oisin O’Brien, Colm Galvin and Conor McGrath all start in place of Andrew Fahy Cian Dillon, Colin Ryan and Gearoid O’Connell. The game will mark a first senior competitive start for Clonlara’s Oisin O’Brien who was added to the panel recently. Goalkeeper Donal Tuohy will play his first game in this season’s league campaign. In the absence of full back Cian Dillon, Tubber’s Pat O’Connor is handed the full back role The team is Donal Tuohy (Crusheen); Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Pat O’Connor (Tubber), Paul Flanagan (Ballyea); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), David McInerney (Tulla), Conor Cleary (Miltown St.Josephs); David Reidy (Éire Óg), Conor Ryan (Cratloe); John Conlon (Clonlara), Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle), Aaron …

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