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Tag Archives: All-Ireland final

Clare hurlers face a tough Tipp challenge

TIPPERARY did not compete in the recent Munster Senior League, opting instead to concentrate on preparation for what most see as a huge year for the team. Favourites to win last year’s All-Ireland title, there was disappointment amongst their followers when they went out of the race to eventual champions Galway at the semi-final stage. After taking time out to consider their next move, manager Michael Ryan and his team agreed to continue for another term and all reports suggest they have prepared well for the new season. They hammered Galway champions Liam Mellows in a recent friendly and, according to reports, such was their sharpness that Clare will face a tough test when the sides meet in the opening round of the National Hurling League at Cusack Park on Sunday, where the throw-in will be at 2pm. It is expected that Clare will be picking from a panel similar to that which was available for the Munster League final, …

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Ballyea dreaming of glory

Croke Park is usually the preserve of  hurling, football, camogie and ladies football county teams.  However, that all changes for St Patrick’s Day, when local hurling and football teams enjoy their moment under the spotlight for the All-Ireland Club finals. This Friday, Ballyea, lining out in black and amber, will face Cuala from Dublin, in red and white, in the final of this year’s series. For those who will never don their county colours at Croke Park, pulling on the club jersey there is every bit as good. It will be a dream fulfilled for any group of lads who have been a unit from under-age right up to senior. To mark Ballyea’s march to Croke Park, this week’s Clare Champion includes a special supplement  – Dreaming of Glory – with features, interviews and commentary.

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O’Brien makes comeback in camogie

SCARIFF-Ogonnelloe full-back Marian O’Brien started out the season taking charge of the strength and conditioning programme for the team. Having retired from competitive camogie three years ago, she had no intention of returning as a player. A community sports development officer by occupation, she ended up playing when the team was short of players. Now she’s goiong to line out in an All-Ireland final. “It’s great and I am loving it. I never thought we would be back in another All-Ireland final. We started in January with a focus on what we wanted to achieve. We have worked very hard; a massive commitment, which has brought us this far. We have a good fitness level and a good strength and conditioning level. We are now concentrating on our skill level ahead of the final,” she said. An All-Star nominee in 2013, O’Brien won senior shield, intermediate and league titles in 2013, All-Ireland Sevens in the same year and was part …

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Devastated Clare ladies go down by a point

Kildare 1-13 Clare 1-12 THE Clare ladies footballers suffered a heartbreaking one point All-Ireland final defeat in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon. Their attempts to add a fourth title to those won in 1991, 1996 and 2009 fell just short. They will reflect on the fact that they kicked 13 wides and had a second half Gráinne Nolan penalty saved as moments which could have swung the result their way. Clare were 1-7 to 0-3 down going into the last ten minutes of the first half. However an Ailish Considine goal helped them to draw level with Kildare come the interval. They were awarded a penalty two minutes into the new half when Gráinne Nolan was fouled but her shot was saved by player of the match, Mary Hulgraine. Kildare were always a point or two ahead and Clare never managed to take the lead as the game entered the closing minutes. Their high wides tally definitely cost them while …

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Leading into battle

A class act on and off the field, the moment that Clare U-21 captain Tony Kelly will wring most enjoyment from on Saturday is the journey from the dressing room to the turf of Semple Stadium. If Clare win the 51st final at this grade, Kelly will become the 47th captain to lead his county to glory. The 2013 hurler of the year has been central to some of Clare’s greatest moments at senior, U-21 and minor but it’s those tension-laden steps before entering the cauldron that the Ballyea hurler lives for. “For a player, it’s coming out, down the tunnel. You know the county is behind you and they’re willing you on to win. As a player that’s maybe the best part of the day. If you can then deliver a performance and go on and win it, all the better,” he reflected. All-Ireland final evening incorporates parades and pre-match pageantry, which adds to the atmosphere, but can drag …

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The art of hurley making

MILLIONS of people around the world will be reading all about Co Clare, Gaelic games and the art of hurley making – following the visit by travel writers from eight different countries. Invited by Tourism Ireland, the group is made up of journalists from media outlets in Brazil, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, India, New Zealand and Britain. Their itinerary has been designed by Fáilte Ireland to showcase our special national games and give the visiting journalists a flavour of the fast-paced thrill of hurling and the skill of Gaelic games. Their packed programme saw them visit places like Torpey Hurleys Workshop near Sixmilebridge to see John Torpey and his son, Seán demonstrate the art of hurley making followed by a tour of the Michael Cusack Centre in Carron. They also enjoyed an introductory hurling session with members of the Go Gaelic team, as well as a walking tour of the Burren. The grand finale of their visit was their attendance …

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Sunday’s rail strike off

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe has welcomed the decision of SIPTU and the NBRU to call off planned strike action, which was due to begin on Sunday, following an agreement that was reached at the Labour Relations Commission in the early hours of this morning. This will come as welcome news for GAA supporters from Tipperary,  Kilkenny and Limerick (minors) who will be travelling to Dublin on Sunday for the All-Ireland hurling finals. It will also be a relief for third level students who avail of train services. The agreement, which was reached following days of talks with management and unions, will allow a ballot to take place on the LRC proposals, which are designed to protect the future viability of Irish Rail. “The fact that agreement has been reached by unions and management, which will allow the planned strike action to be averted, is most welcome. All parties to the dispute are aware of the financial …

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Three week gap can be challenging – Canning

ONE man with recent experience of preparing for an All-Ireland senior hurling replay is Galway’s Joe Canning. The Portumna man was in Thurles last Saturday week as a Bord Gais ambassador at the All-Ireland U-21 final. Canning rescued a replay for Galway with an injury time equaliser, 12 months ago. The replay with Kilkenny was the first in an All-Ireland since 1959. With hindsight, he says Galway would prepare differently but he feels gearing up for a replay is a challenging proposition. “We lost, so we’d have other ways of going about it that we might think of now. At the same time, it’s unknown territory for every team that’s in it. When you’re going into an All-Ireland, you’re thinking you’re going to win or lose, you’re not thinking about a replay,” he suggested. Canning remembers the weeks bridging the draw and replay dragged appreciably. “How to deal with the three weeks between the matches is the big thing. You’d …

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