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Tag Archives: clare

On the way to Croker

The Clare fans are on their way in droves to Croke Park. They’re all in good cheer and confident of victory.

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Croke Park beginning to fill up

Croke Park is beginning to fill up with speckles of Clare and Cork supporters dotted around the stadium. As we write Galway and Waterford are warming up ahead of the All-Ireland minor final. Weather wise there are a few clouds hovering but they are broken by some blue speckles. Around the stadium Clare and Cork supporters are inching their way to Croke Park, occasionally delayed by the odd detour into the multitude of nearby establishments. The Clare team travelled from Limerick railway stations this morning for what is the counties first All-Ireland senior final appearance since 2002, when Cyril Lyons was manager.

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Battle lines are drawn

OPINIONS may be divided as to who will claim the All-Ireland senior title but all are agreed that there will be little between the sides. Tactics are a dominant topic. Will Clare continue with the sweeper system that was so effective in the wins over Galway and Limerick? In the event of this happening, what will Cork do to counteract the ploy? Will Brian Murphy return to the Cork starting line-up having missed their semi-final win over Dublin due to injury? If so, will he again be assigned the role of marking Tony Kelly, which he did so effectively in the Munster semi-final? What is certain is both management teams have put hours and hours of thought and planning into what tactics they will put into practice on Sunday. Two months ago, few would have predicted a meeting of the Rebels and the Banner in the final. Clare were comprehensively beaten by Cork in the Munster semi-final. The Leesiders then …

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In Discussion

Who’d have thought you’d hear former British prime minister, Maggie Thatcher and Davy Fitzgerald mentioned in the same breath? Well, that’s what happened when five hurling experts got talking in Cairde, Barrack Street, Ennis. Peter O’Connell let the conversation flow as smoothly as the tea and coffee Compare how this panel has prepared to your own day? Jackie O’Gorman: I remember we had a Saturday morning session once in Ennis [1970s]. It was on at about 12. [Mick] Moroney came late, of course. We were going round the field and I said ‘Moroney, you’re dodging it today’. ‘Christ, I’m not,’ he said. ‘There’s rain promised this evening and I had to put 2,000 bales in before I came down’. That couldn’t happen now. The farmer, the blocklayer, the plasterer. It just couldn’t be done. Seánie McMahon: It was only when I gave up hurling [2006] that I realised how much time was going into it. And I’d say it’ll be …

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Banner colour

There’s strength on the bench

INADVERENTLY, Davy Fitzgerald drew unhelpful attention upon himself and Clare by not attending the All-Ireland press night in Ennis. In a year in which most of his important decisions, relating to what happens on the field, have been vindicated, that was a poor call by the Clare manager and his advisers. The only way Clare will avoid being rounded upon by the national media is if they win on Sunday. While Fitzgerald might justifiably feel he is entitled to make up his own mind if he attends these events or not, in effect he turned a negative focus on Clare by staying away. In contrast, Jimmy Barry Murphy was available to all sections of the media at the Cork press day in Pairc Uí Rínn. That level of co-operation guarantees nothing and will mean nothing if Cork lose but it does suggest the Cork manager is more comfortable dealing with an All-Ireland final build up. By not making a fuss …

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Dan the Man recalls Davy’s Waterford reign

IT’S a first senior final for every Clare player but as well as playing, manager Davy Fitzgerald has managed a team in an All-Ireland before. It’s presumably something he does not look back on fondly; Waterford met a Kilkenny side at the peak of their powers and were beaten 3-30 to 1-13. Dan Shanahan was involved and while he doesn’t look back on the game fondly either, he doesn’t lay the blame with the management of the time. “We’d a lot of work done and to the credit of Davy and the selectors, they took a lot of limelight off us. Everything was organised but Kilkenny were very good that day,” he says. “When you get to the All-Ireland, you have to go and get measured for suits and things like that and we got it done fairly quick. It was just on the day that our tactics didn’t work.” On the day, some Waterford players made rather unsuccessful early …

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Fond memories of All-Ireland celebrations

ONE iconic photograph on the top floor of the national GAA museum illustrates the scenes of sheer jubilation after the 1995 All-Ireland hurling final. Despite being placed in the middle of a line of GAA legends, it is still eye-catching even for non-GAA diehards who are interested in photography. It captures part of Anthony Daly’s hand hoisting the Liam McCarthy Cup aloft in the air with O’Brien’s Tower in the background, the day after the Banner’s thrilling victory over Offaly. Seán McMahon remembers standing behind the Clare captain when this photograph was being taken. He recalls Clare Champion photographer John Kelly also asked Anthony Daly to stand for a photograph on the way back from Shannon Airport to Ennis in an open-topped bus. Speaking to GAA supporters as he conducted the GAA legends tour series in Croke Park recently, the Doora-Barefield clubman estimates 40,000 Clare supporters gave the team a rapturous welcome in Ennis. “It was a brilliant time for …

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Statue of Clare hurling manager under construction

MC Banner, the singer with MC Banner and the Killaloolas, whose popular song The Banner’s Back Again, is fast becoming a big hit with Clare fans, has taken his devotion to the Clare team and their manager to new levels. For the past two weeks, he has been working on a statue of Clare manager, Davy Fitzgerald. He will erect the statue on his front lawn in time for Sunday week’s All-Ireland Final. MC is a potter by trade and is fusing clay and concrete to create his lifesize Fitzgerald. “I think it’s going to look a lot like Davy but my wife doesn’t think so. She’s not mad about the idea at all at all but she understands my devotion to the Clare team. I checked with all the neighbours and they have no problem with it. One of them is knitting a jumper for it for the winter,” MC Banner revealed. MC will rig an MP3 player to …

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