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Tag Archives: Munster football championship

Clare footballers need to out-work Kerry

CLARE’S display against Limerick on May 29 ensured that external expectation will not be an issue in Killarney on Sunday. Supporters will travel in the hope that Clare play well and at least compete with Kerry but nobody will realistically expect a first championship win over their opponents in 24 years. Within the group of Clare players and management, they will presumably head across the estuary with more ambition and belief. Two years ago, Clare competed manfully with Kerry in Cusack Park in that year’s Munster semi-final. Clare were beaten 1-17 to 1-13 on a day when Kerry’s Paul Murphy scored a goal on his championship début at corner-back. That year, Clare played five championship games and were very close to making it to the last 12 of the All-Ireland qualifiers. However, since then, Clare have not reached that level on the championship field, although their second league promotion indicates that significant progress has been made. The thing now is …

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Clare footballers need to shape up

WINNING a championship game should never be derided, yet a worrying trend is developing as far as the Clare footballers are concerned. Sunday’s three-point win over Limerick, who haven’t won a game for 14 months, was the fourth successive championship game in which Clare failed to play anywhere close to their optimum level. Last year, they beat Limerick by two points in Cusack Park, before losing to Cork (1-20 to 1-8) in Pairc Uí Rinn in the Munster semi-final. They exited the All-Ireland qualifiers in their next game, losing 2-12 to 1-12 at home to Longford on July 4. In contrast, they played some excellent championship football in 2014, albeit losing to eventual All-Ireland champions Kerry in Ennis and to Kildare in the All-Ireland qualifiers. However, Clare did play five championship games that year, including a draw against Waterford, before winning the replay in Dungarvan. Their second championship win that year was away to Carlow in Dr Cullen Park. Based …

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Clare footballers aim to keep Limerick at bay

CLARE will be seeking their third successive championship win over Limerick when the ball is thrown in at 2pm in the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday. If the teams’ respective league displays are an accurate barometer, Clare will start as warm favourites. Four league wins were enough to secure promotion to Division 2, while Limerick were relegated to Division 4. When they met in their league tie in Newcastle West, Clare won 1-14 to 0-11, which followed their 0-15 to 0-13 championship win over Limerick in Ennis last May. Clare also defeated the Shannonsiders when they met in the 2012 Munster championship at the Gaelic Grounds, playing exceptionally well in the first half, although they faded badly in the second period. This weekend’s game will be the 39th Munster championship meeting between the counties with Clare winning 23 of those fixtures. Limerick won just a single championship game between the counties from 1909 to 1980, when they met 19 times. Five …

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Cork manager wary of Clare threat

NOW in his second season managing the Cork senior footballers, Brian Cuthbert insists his charges will not take Clare for granted. However, neither does he think that Cork’s heavy league final defeat to Dublin will weigh on their minds. The Bishopstown club man, who is a primary school principal, says the league final has been long forgotten. “If Sunday’s match was a week after the league final, it might be a factor. But that was seven weeks ago and it’s almost a memory now at this stage. That game would have been put to bed, hopefully, a while back. This is a new competition. We have to go and perform. It’s as simple as that. Certainly I don’t think when it comes to championship, there is a need for beating players with sticks or anything like that,” Cuthbert told The Clare Champion. As a minor, he captained Cork to an All-Ireland title in 1993, scoring a goal in the final. …

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Russell – ‘A lot of progress being made’

ALTHOUGH no longer a member of the inter-county senior football squad, Kilkee’s David Russell continues to play a big role in the development of the game in Clare. Last year he coached Naomh Eoin from the Loop Head peninsula to the Clare Junior Football Championship title and he continues to be in charge of that club as they prepare for this season’s intermediate title race. In addition, he remains a vital player with his beloved St Senan’s, who are challenging strongly to win promotion from Division 3 of the league. Having been a key player in the Clare senior football team for well over a decade, Russell called time on his inter-county career two seasons ago but continues to follow the fortunes of the side and is eagerly looking forward to the team’s clash with Cork. “A lot of progress is being made and keeping Division 3 league status was a massive boost to all, young and old. Getting a …

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Brennan rues the slings and arrows

WHEN a sports person breaks a collarbone, they generally leave it to the professionals to guide them in their recovery. It can get a bit tricky, though, if the sports man nursing a collarbone injury is also a physiotherapist. Clare and Clondegad footballer Shane Brennan earns his living as a physiotherapist. Self-employed at the Clareabbey Primary Health Centre in Clarecastle and working part-time for the HSE, he’s the man to talk to if you break your collarbone. He’s probably not the man to treat you though when he has a broken collarbone himself. “A little bit of knowledge is an awful thing. I would be more aware of certain aches and pains and what they might mean. That leads to me asking a few more questions. I was up with my consultant the other day and I’d say I drove him mad asking questions,” Brennan was honest enough to admit. He broke his right collarbone playing for Clare against Limerick …

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Footballers face an obstinate obstacle

LEST any Clare supporter be unaware of the task facing the county footballers in Ennis on Saturday evening, consider that the last time the counties met in the Munster championship, Limerick won by four points, 1-13 to 1-9. That was in 2009 and while Clare did beat Limerick in the Munster semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds three years ago, Clare hadn’t beaten their neighbours since June 3, 1984 prior to 2009. This weekend’s game will be the 38th Munster championship meeting between the counties, with Clare winning 22 of those fixtures. Incredibly, Limerick won just a single championship game between the counties from 1909 to 1980, when they met 19 times. Five of their 37 Munster meetings have finished level. In the here and now, the current teams met on the last Sunday of March in round six of the NFL. Limerick had to win to have a chance of retaining their Division 3 status and they did just that. …

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Music, hurling and football

WHEN accepting the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 1995, after Clare had ended an 81-year wait for the All-Ireland senior title, Anthony Daly proclaimed that Clare people loved their traditional music, as well as their hurling. That passion will be clear for all to see this weekend, as the county supports its hurling and football teams and also find the time to attend the many events in the Fleadh Nua in Ennis. As the respective management teams finalise their plans for the Munster quarter-finals, there are injury concerns in both camps and a number of players face late fitness tests before a final decision is made. With Brendan Bugler (suspended), Colm Galvin (in the US) and Conor McGrath (injured) already ruled out, hurling followers are keeping their fingers crossed that Conor Ryan and Cian Dillon will be fit. Dillon has been out of action for the past number of weeks but did play for a period in a practice game at …

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