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Meath hammer Clare in Navan

Meath 0-21 Clare 0-7 COMPLETELY outclassed, particularly in the second half, Clare were beaten emphatically by Meath in Navan on Sunday afternoon. Clare now sit on one point from two games. They were outscored 0-15 to 0-3 in that second period, with Gary Brennan the only Clare player to score from play. In fact his point was the only score of the second half, with his rising shot going over the bar. Brennan was Clare’s outstanding player. However, Meath responded with 0-8 without reply and pulled away from a dishevelled Clare who lost their shape and increasingly lost hope as the second half evolved. Clare trailed 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time with Meath pulling two points ahead, when Bryan McMahon pointed, with the last kick, after a disputed free was taken quickly. Clare competed hard throughout the first half with Killian Roche kicking their opening score from a 45, while Pearse Lillis, Jamie Malone and Gary Brennan (free) added a …

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A whistle calls for 30 new refs

CLARE referees are getting old and their representative association in the county is very keen to recruit up to 30 new whistlers for an upcoming training course. There are 39 active referees currently, with 70% of them over 40 and 10% over 60. Inter-county referees Rory Hickey and Rory McGann are adamant that a new injection of younger folk in black is imperative, with just five referees aged under 30. “We’re getting older. Clubs might be sick of looking at us but there is no one else. In Clare, we have an older demographic in our referees’ association. We need to be pumping new people into it,” Rory Hickey told The Clare Champion this week. Hickey has been refereeing since 2000 and has taken charge of seven county finals, while Rory McGann took charge of the 2016 drawn hurling final. Both are aiming to make it back to the list of inter-county referees this year and will know this weekend, …

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Is Simon heading for Croker?

THE surprise announcement on Monday last by the chief executive of Munster GAA, Simon Moroney, that he will step down from the post in May, has fuelled speculation that he will be the association’s next director general. Paraic Duffy, the GAA’s ard stiúrthóir is to leave his position at the end of March and, this week, the closing date for applications for the post was extended by two weeks. Ennis man Moroney was first appointed to the position of Munster Council secretary in 2004, when he replaced Donie Nealon. He resigned from the post in 2008 but he returned to the position in 2013, when he agreed to take on the role for nine months initially. “This became one year and after that year, I agreed with the then management committee to do up to five years, one year at a time. I have really enjoyed the last five years and when I finish up on May 6, I will have served just …

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€1.5m fror 58 local projects

FIFTY-EIGHT sport facilities and projects across Clare will receive funding of almost €1.5m under the Sport Capital Programme. A total of 20 GAA and camogie clubs have been allocated funding, including Kilmurry Ibrickane GAA (€85,000), Smith O’Brien’s GAA (€79,000), Clarecastle GAA (€73,000), Sixmilebridge GAA (€71,000), Kilmaley GAA (€64,000), Clondegad GAA (€59,500), Clonlara GAA (€54,000), Éire Óg (€53,000), Inagh-Kilnamona GAA (€50,000), Ballyea GAA (€46,000), Bodyke GAA (€33,500), Newmarket-on-Fergus GAA (€31,500), Clooney-Quin GAA (€26,500), Ruan GAA (€21,500) and Killenana GAA (€21,000). The Clarecastle funding is towards the provision of female dressing rooms. Other significant funding includes €85,000 for Kilmurry-Ibrickane Community Centre Committee Ltd; €42,500 for Bridge United AFC; €26,500 for Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board; €26,000 for Ennistymon Parish Project Community Centre Ltd and €21,500 for Lough Derg FC. While a number of camogie clubs received funding, it was significantly less than what most GAA clubs were granted. Scariff-Ogonnelloe (€2,600), Kilmaley (€2,000), Corofin (€1,200) and Sixmilebridge (€850) were amongst the …

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Belief erodes further that hurlers have it

Comment WHO dreamed up, implemented and then didn’t change Clare’s puck-out strategy? Why did Clare seemingly set out to stop Cork and neglect to concentrate more fully on playing their own game? Why was Tony Kelly left on penalties and why was Oisin O’Brien started on Alan Cadogan, when surely Seadna Morey was the man for that job? These and a few other questions abounded on Sunday evening and Monday morning as the dwindling Clare hurling public digested what had just happened in Thurles. Since winning the 2013 All-Ireland title, Clare have beaten Limerick and Laois (both twice) and Offaly in championship hurling. Any time they have met a top tier county, including Cork, Galway or Waterford, they have not cut it. Repeatedly this panel have shown that they are not as good as people in this county thought. Their 2013 win must now be consigned to the ‘lucky, flash in the pan’ category and while their All-Ireland medal cannot …

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Collins must remain in charge

While there were no formal announcements made as to the future, the vibes are strong that manager Colm Collins and some senior players will call time on their involvement with the county senior squad for next season. After Saturday’s defeat, the Cratloe club man said, “I have four years done and they must be getting sick of me but this evening is not the time to talk about that. We will take a bit of time.” There is concern amongst members of the squad that, after four years in charge, he will not seek another term, despite acknowledging on Saturday that “a lot of things are going well and there is more in Clare. There’s a fantastic bunch of players there but that’s no consolation this evening”. When a team bows out of a championship, there is always speculation as to who might call time on their inter-county careers and, this week, it’s no different for the Clare footballers. Gordon …

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Footballers well beaten but survive in division 2

Meath 3-19 Clare 1-13 DESPITE an emphatic 12 point loss to Meath in Cusack Park on Sunday, Clare will play division 2 football in 2018. Derry’s defeat of Fermanagh and Down’s draw with Cork, meant that they, along with Clare ended their league campaign on five points. However Clare retained their status based on their superior scoring difference. While Clare played some good football in the first half, following a shaky start, they were comprehensively outplayed after the interval. In fact Meath outscored their 3-10 to 1-5 with wing forward Cillian O’Sullivan putting away two goals while centre back Brian Power added the third for a rampant Royal County. Meath were so much in control they substituted Graham Reilly, who put over 0-6 from play, 15 minutes from time. The winners led 0-9 to 0-8 at half-time, with Reilly and Eamonn Wallace contributing a flurry of superb points. Eoin Cleary did likewise for Clare in the opening half. Slow to …

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Clubs assisted by 300 isolated players

APPLICATIONS by close to 300 isolated players formed a large part of discussions at the latest Clare County GAA Board meeting. At the outset of the meeting at Hotel Woodstock in Ennis, secretary Pat Fitzgerald read the applications from adult players. Joe Pender, on behalf of the underage hurling board, and Joe Kelly, on behalf of the underage football board, followed with two further lists of applications. Some adult applications had been dealt with at the February board meeting. After the lists had been presented, Tulla GAA Club delegate Brian Torpey observed that “one club has received assistance from 54 players”. “We don’t want to stop anyone from playing but for those of us that are landlocked [no exclusive football club adjacent], it’s hard. Some stipulations must be introduced. Maybe when a club passes a certain number of isolated players, they must play in A grade competitions,” he suggested. Supporting Torpey, Feakle delegate Mike Daly said, “If we could only …

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