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Tag Archives: hurling

McCarthy points the way for Inagh-Kilnamona

By Seamus Hayes A haul of eleven points from teenager Jason McCarthy steered Inagh-Kilnamona to the Clare junior A hurling championship title when they proved too strong for Clonlara at sun splashed Clarecastle on Saturday afternoon. A goal from full forward Dermot Gannon, eleven minutes into the game gave the winners a six point lead (1-5 to 0-2) after a quarter of an hour. P_laying with the assistance of the breeze, Clonlara fought back and when the half time whistle sounded they were just three in arrears, 0-6 to 1-6. The South East Clare side scored the first two points of the second half to move to within a point of the winners but that was as good as it got and Inasgh-Kilnamona hit back with seven unanwered points to lead by eight inside the final quarter. Clonlara made a number of changes in an effort to get back into contention but Inagh-Kilnamona had the better balanced outfit and they …

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Cathal McInerney opts for football in 2015

CATHAL McInerney has opted to play inter-county football for Clare in 2015. The Cratloe dual player, who was man of the match in Clare’s 2012 All-Ireland U/21 final win over Kilkenny, started one senior hurling championship game for Clare in 2014 when he lined out against Wexford in Cusack Park. He was introduced as a second half substitute against Cork in the Munster championship in Thurles and as a brief blood substitute for John Conlon in Clare’s All-Ireland qualifier replay defeat in Wexford Park. He joins his Cratloe club mates Podge and Seán Collins in opting to play inter-county football next year. Clare will open their division 3 NFL campaign at home to Wexford on February 1. McInerney’s decision comes in a week when Clare senior hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald confirmed that coach Paul Kinnerk, strength and conditioning coach Joe O’Connor and selector Mike Deegan have stepped down from their respective roles. Kelvin Harold will fill the strength and conditioning …

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Clare hurlers have ambitious streak

THE U-21 hurlers and management team are an ambitious bunch, according to joint team manager Gerry O’Connor. “We are very ambitious and we set ourselves ambitious goals at the start of the season. Number one was to win the first game in the Munster championship, get to the final and win that, get to an All-Ireland final and try and win that. That’s why we are here on a Sunday evening, getting everybody back in to assess their injuries and get a recovery programme in place. The management team met over the weekend to plan how to put a performance together that will beat Wexford,” he said at last week’s press evening. Clare have analysed the Wexford and Galway semi-final to death, O’Connor points out. “We have also watched the Dublin v Wexford U-21 Leinster final. Wexford have strengths and weaknesses. They have two very obvious strengths, they have conceded very little goals and the one against Galway was the …

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Wexford Dunne good so far

WEXFORD senior manager Liam Dunne believes Wexford have a good chance of winning the county’s first U-21 All-Ireland since 1965. “Clare play a running game but a lot of our guys were involved with the seniors, who played against a Clare team that play a similar style to the U-21s. If Wexford can be with Clare by half-time in this game, I’ll give them every chance of winning it; they won’t falter, they won’t die. Clare could open them up in the first 20 minutes but if they can hold that off, I think they’ve a great opportunity,” Dunne says. He masterminded an unexpected victory over the Banner this summer, something almost no one outside the Wexford camp saw coming. Eight of the senior panel are involved again on Saturday and while he is adamant that Wexford do have a real shot, he is under no illusions about the strength of the Clare threat. “They’ve (Wexford) beaten Offaly, Kilkenny, Dublin …

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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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Donnellan leads 100 captains for Pieta House

ALL-IRELAND-winning Clare captain, Pat Donnellan  will be the most recent representative from the county invited to take part in fundraiser for Pieta House. For the first time in the history of the GAA, all 100 surviving All-Ireland-winning captains in hurling and football have been invited to come together in a unique event in aid Pieta House. Nearly 70 have already confirmed that they will attend what is to be the greatest ever gathering of GAA legends from all over Ireland, going all the way back to the Meath captain of 1949, Brian Smith. They will all take part in the final leg of 100k Steps for Cormac, a remarkable three-day fundraising walk throughout County Galway, taking place from August 28 to August 30. It’s being organised in memory of Cormac Connolly, nephew of Joe Connolly, the All Ireland-winning Galway hurling captain of 1980. Cormac died of an inoperable brain tumour three years ago, at the young age of 24. Knowing …

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Davy and ‘Champion reporter clash

CLARE hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald and Clare Champion journalist, Peter O’Connell, have both given their version of events regarding an incident at Cusack Park on Saturday evening, following the Banner’s draw with Wexford. As a result of the incident, Fitzgerald was restrained by members of his backroom team, while O’Connell was ejected from the tunnel area by Clare County Board secretary, Pat Fitzgerald [Davy’s father] and backroom squad member and referee, Seanie McMahon. They have claimed they ejected O’Connell from the enclosed area of the stadium due to safety concerns. However, O’Connell has firmly denied that such a move was required or that he had behaved in an aggressive or abusive manner. The incident occurred in the enclosed area behind the dressing rooms and close to the mouth of the tunnel, about 45 minutes after the match had ended. Emotions were still running high after one of the most dramatic games of the championship to date when Fitzgerald directed a …

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Hurling fixtures postponed

By Seamus Hayes It’s official. The worst kept secret in  Clare GAA is out. Four senior hurling championship games scheduled for this coming weekend have been called off against the wishes of some of the clubs involved. Representatives of the eight clubs–Ballyea, Clooney-Quin, O’Callaghans Mills, St. Josephs, Wolfe Tones, Éire Óg, Sixmilebridge and Cratloe–were told this evening that the Clare senior hurling management team had “invoked the 13 day rule” which says that players “shall be free from club fixtures for 13 days prior to inter county championship action”. With three of the games scheduled for Friday evening and one for Sunday, there were only eight days, and in the case of Sixmilebridge v Cratloe, six days until Clare play Wexford in the hurling Qualifier first round. The earliest that these games will take place is August and if Clare progress in the championship, it may be later than this. The senior championship game between Scariff and Broadford goes ahead as …

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