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Tag Archives: clare hurling

Championship draws throws up some interesting pairings

THE Clare Senior Hurling Championship first round draws for 2018 have thrown up some mouthwatering contests. Champions Sixmilebridge will meet Clonlara in what will be a repeat of the final a few years ago. Cratloe will face Inagh-Kilnamona, while newly-promoted Kilmaley will face Newmarket. In football, the eight quarter-finalists from 2017 were seeded. Title-holders Kilmurry-Ibrickane will take on Kilfenora in the opening round. Clare senior football manager, Colm Collins, will manage his Cratloe side against his native parish Kilmihil, while former county midfielder, Ger Quinlan, will find himself on the sideline with Ennistymon against his native O’Curry’s. At the end of this season’s senior football campaign, five teams will be relegated to intermediate, with the intermediate winners being promoted. This will mean the 2019 championship will comprise 12 teams. The draws are as follows: Senior hurling: O’Callaghan’s Mills v St Joseph’s: Whitegate v Ballyea; Tulla v Éire Óg; Clarecastle v Crusheen; Wolfe Tones v Clooney-Quin; Cratloe v Inagh-Kilnamona; Newmarket v …

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End game for Davy Fitzgerald

DAVY Fitzgerald has stepped down as Clare senior hurling manager after five years in the position during which time he led Clare to the All-Ireland senior title in 2013 and to the National league title earlier this year. The Sixmilebridge man’s decision to vacate the post, despite still having a year of his current term to run, has come following a meeting of around 30 players on Monday night at the Inn in Dromoland. While a vote wasn’t taken, there is general agreement that the players were evenly divided on the issue. A formal statement on Wednesday evening confirmed “Davy Fitzgerald has informed the Clare County Board that he will not be seeking reappointment to the position of Clare Senior Hurling Manager for 2017”. He insisted, “I was not asked to step down. The decision is entirely my own. In taking this decision however, I wish to reaffirm my absolute love and passion for Clare hurling. “I leave the Clare …

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Fitz must concentrate on his job

THIS week and for as long as the Clare hurlers are still in the championship, Davy Fitzgerald should be concentrating on managing the county team. They have an All-Ireland quarter-final to prepare for and that should be his number one priority. Fitzgerald’s interview on Newstalk on Tuesday evening clearly suggests that his full concentration is not on that task. Aside from post-match comments to reporters, what other manager gives wide-ranging one-on-one interviews 12 days before a season-defining game? Regarding his “horrendous” comment on local media coverage of the hurling team, what type of coverage would he be happiest with? Presumably, coverage that doesn’t even lightly question anything related to how he manages the team. Every media outlet in Clare lauded Fitzgerald and his panel when they won the All-Ireland in 2013. However, since then Clare have stuttered badly and won just a single championship game in 2014 and 2015. How could any half-decent journalist ignore that and pretend that the …

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Fitz lashes out at local media

Clare GAA supports Davy Fitzgerald’s right as manager to comment on matters involving the senior hurling team, county board chairman Joe Cooney told The Clare Champion, when asked if the board agrees with the manager’s comment in a radio interview on Tuesday that “the local media, especially with us, is horrendous”. Fitzgerald’s comment was in answer to a question as to who puts the most pressure on the team, to which he replied, “Local media, especially with us, is horrendous. It’s something I wouldn’t be happy about. We are not a county that has won a rake of All-Irelands and to think because you have won two or three U-21s, naturally, that gives you a God-given right that we should be winning All-Irelands every year. Yes, we have a decent team but you know what, Limerick, Galway and other teams have won minor and U-21. “Take the last four years and a bit, I think we have won six things …

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Stack looks back with pride and regret

IT’S 38 years since Seán Stack captained Clare to their last national league title but when he presses the refresh button on the bank of memories, tales flow effortlessly. Most of them are of great times, games and life-long friends but an obstinate regret lingers that Clare failed to deliver a Munster title. The absence of a Munster medal irks Stack and always will. His eyes cannot conceal the hurt. Clare played in three league finals in the mid to late 1970s, losing in ’76 to Kilkenny and beating them in ’77 and ’78. They lost three successive provincial finals in that era. “Frightening isn’t it?” Stack said of the speed with which the years have piled up since. “Would you believe I can still feel the sense in the dressing room, the atmosphere in the camp and the build up to the league finals.” As if they togged together last Sunday, Stack can clearly recall who did what in …

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Kinnerk returns to Clare hurling fold

Paul Kinnerk, coach to Clare’s All-Ireland winning senior team and coach to the three-in-a-row Munster and All-Ireland winning U-21 teams is back in the Clare senior hurling management team. In the past year, a number of county and club sides had sought to secure the services of the highly-rated coach and this announcement is a huge coup for boss Davy Fitzgerald and a massive boost to Clare hurling. Kinnerk met with manager Fitzgerald and members of the backroom team in the past week. The St Caimin’s Shannon teacher is currently studying for a PhD on coaching practices in Gaelic games at the University of Limerick where, it is understood, he has managed to arrange some flexibility, which has led to his return to the Clare set-up as coach/selector, while continuing with his studies. “I am delighted to welcome Paul back into our set-up, as his experience, expertise and knowledge of the existing panel of players will complement what is already …

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Golden memories of ’95 will never fade

HE spent just 17 minutes on the field in Croke Park on September 3, 1995 and only once hit the ball. Yet that seismic Eamon Taaffe goal, four minutes from time, still resonates in Clare. It was the moment that propelled the county to a first All-Ireland win since 1914, bridging an 81-year gap. The Tubber man was one of that 1995 panel present for Clare County Council’s 20th anniversary civic reception in council headquarters on Monday night. He looks fit and fresh, which indicates why he’s the only one of that panel still playing competitive hurling. “Go handy,” he urged when asked if he had yet reached 41 or thereabouts. “I’m only 40, although I’m not far from 41. I’ll be 41 in February,” Taaffe confirmed. Twenty years after that extraordinary afternoon, which altered the history of Clare hurling forever, Taaffe remembers everything. “I can remember it as if it was yesterday. I can still remember Ger coming to …

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20 years on from All-Ireland hurling victory

IT’S the small things that stick in Anthony Daly’s mind. On Saturday, September 2, 1995, the night before Clare’s first All-Ireland final since 1932, Daly went for a walk through his home village. One last look at the old place before life changed the following afternoon. “Half the village was gone. I went for a walk at about 10 o’clock with a hoodie on me but there was hardly anyone around. The pubs were half empty. Everyone was in Dublin,” Daly recalled, as the 20th anniversary of Clare’s second All-Ireland win closed in. “I stayed at home at my mother’s. My brother (Paschal) was home from England, Lord have mercy on him. He used to come home for all the big games. I went to bed around half eleven and I definitely slept for five hours anyway, I’d say. I was afraid I mightn’t but I nodded off. We had to be up at about half six because the bus …

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