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Tag Archives: hurling

Much to play for in round 3

By Seamus Hayes There will be much to play for in round 3 of the Clare senior hurling championship next weekend after the completion of round 2 which leaves eighteen of the twenty teams in the competition still in with a chance of making it to the play offs. Defending champions Newmarket along with Crusheen, Clonlara, Ballyea and O’Callaghans Mills are the only unbeaten sides after two outings. They are in a strong position to advance but nothing is guaranteed and they wll need to get something from the upcoming round if they are to be in the play offs. Clonlara had five points to spare (1-17 to 1-12) over Clarecastle in a lively tie at Sixmilebride where Cathal ‘Tots’ O’Connell was their goalscorer. Crusheen, with Cian Dillon in sparkling form at centre back, were impressive 0-17 to 0-10 winners over a disappointing Inagh-Kilnamona at Cusack Park. At the same venue, Kilmaley got their campaign back on track with a …

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Podge in disbelief at how all this happened

by Peter O’Connell PODGE Collins talks with the same passion, clarity and honesty with which he hurls. The Cratloe dynamo peered out of the doorway that led to the Clare dressing room in Croke Park and was instantly corralled by a bevy of dictaphone-wielding reporters. The speed with which he was surrounded was similar to that of the Clare forwards closing down the Cork defenders, as they tried desperately to rid themselves of possession and drive it downfield. “At the start of the year, if you had told me that we’d be up lifting Liam MacCarthy at the top of those steps, I’d have laughed at you,” Podge replied when asked how this MacCarthy Cup winning lark was going down. “Being honest, you just don’t think that you’re going to get there and to get there today, is just absolutely unbelievable. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life. It has worked out lovely. Week-in week-out, it’s been …

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County makes room for plethora of new legends

By Peter O’Connell THIS county has produced a platoon of fabled men and women. Cup an open ear towards the distant mists of time and hear the deeds of Brian Boru, Máire Rua, Biddy Earley and Captain Edward Kennedy resonate. If you were to happen upon a game of hurling, at a time of your choosing during the 20th century, the feats and skills of Pa ‘Fowler’ McInerney, Tommy Daly, Jimmy Smyth, Ger Loughnane, Brian Lohan, Seán McMahon and Jamesie O’Connor would leave you certain this was a county not short of sporting legends. A county not scraping around, searching forlornly for men worthy of having the saffron and blue placed on their backs, as reputedly Brian Boru had at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. At close to 6.30pm on the evening of Saturday, September 28, 2013, a wondrously skilled group of young men nailed their place in the sporting and broader historic annals of their county. Long after …

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Eight hurleys made for outfielders to face Nash thunderbolts

AFTER the drawn game everyone knew that any 21 yard free for Cork was likely to result in a goal and on Saturday evening Cian Dillon said that especially large hurleys had been made for defenders to use whenever Nash came up the field. “It was kind of funny in training when Fitzy told us there might be 12 or 13 of us on the line and that we’d be getting hurleys made for us. We had eight especially big hurleys to try and stop them! It didn’t work for the first one, he didn’t really connect with the last one, maybe he was put off by the amount of us!” the Crusheen defender said. Clare led by four points at the break, but it had been eight points earlier on. While Cork had found their stride, there was still great confidence in the Banner dressing room, Dillon said. “At half time, in every game we’ve played this year, we’ve always …

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Conlon reflects on a dream come true

ONE of five Clonara men to play a part in Clare’s epic 2013 All-Ireland final win, John Conlon has long dreamed of this day. The 24 year old Clonara man, who hurled with ferocity and poise in what was a momentous 70 minutes of hurling, set his sights on hurling in Croke Park, long before he wore a county jersey. “I remember when I was younger sitting in the Nally Stand and looking out. I was wondering ‘will I be here one day?’ You train, train and train. You have the bad days and these are the amazing days,” Conlon said afterwards. He watched the 1997 All-Ireland final from the Nally Stand and speaking on Saturday evening, he found it hard to comprehend that he was now an All-Ireland winner himself. “This is the stuff of dreams. I remember being out in the back garden when Limerick played Wexford. (1996) I was looking at the TV inside the window saying …

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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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Burning Desire

Special match supplement in this week’s edition

Don’t forget to buy your Clare Champion tomorrow to read our special supplement in advance of Saturday’s replay. ‘Burning Desire’ will give you everything you need to know about the upcoming clash between Clare and Cork.

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All Ireland hurling ticket

Win tickets to the All Ireland

  ENTER our fabulous competition to win a pair of tickets to the All-Ireland replay between Clare and Cork. Like and share us on Facebook to increase your chances of winning. Enter the competition click here and join the fun!   Please Note – This competition has now ended.

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