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Tag Archives: National Football League

Tubridy’s red card rescinded

Clare footballers received a major boost in the build up to their Division 3 league final with Kildare with the news that ace sharp-shooter David Tubridy will be available for selection. Tubridy was red-carded in Clare’s final group game, incidentally against Kildare, after an incident with defender Ciarán Fitzpatrick but he successful challenged that dismissal at a meeting of the Central Hearings Committee in Croke Park on Thursday night. Tubridy was granted a personal hearing and was accompanied to the meeting by county secretary, Pat Fitzgerald, paving the way for the Doonbeg man to line out in the Allianz National Football League Division 3 final in Croke Park on Saturday, April 23.

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Promotion within Clare footballers’ grasp

IF Clare win or draw in Newbridge on Sunday, they will be playing Division 2 football in 2017. That would represent a second promotion in three seasons and huge progress for the size five game in this county. Kildare are already promoted, so will surely not be as motivated as they would be if they had to win. Twelve months ago, Clare played already promoted Fermanagh in their last league game. That time, Clare had to win to stay in Division 3 and they did just that. If Kildare are a bit off this weekend, they could leave the door ajar for Clare to storm in and join them in Division 2. However, given that Kildare will be at home, in front of a large crowd, they are unlikely to be overly relaxed. They will want to put on a show and win. Here is where it gets complicated. If Clare lose, they can still get promoted as long as …

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Improvement needed against Longford

DIVISION 3 has emerged as a particularly congested and unpredictable league this season. With just two rounds left to play, the only team that cannot be relegated in Kildare. They are on eight points from five matches followed by four teams on six points including Clare and Longford, who meet in Cusack Park on Sunday. Tipperary and Offaly also sit on six points, which leaves five teams, including Kildare, vying for the two promotion places. Clare’s three wins have been achieved against the bottom-three teams, Limerick, Westmeath and Sligo, while they have lost away to Tipperary and Offaly. This weekend’s game is a very significant one on several fronts. The winner will be potentially one game away from promotion, while the loser could, in a worst-case scenario, end up relegated. Clare will play Kildare away in their final league fixture and definitely do not want to have to travel looking for a win to ensure their divisional status. If Clare …

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Clare footballers face Tullamore test

AS they head for Tullamore on Sunday, Clare’s priority will be to produce a second 70-minute performance once the clock hits 2pm. If they can reproduce and sustain the level on view against Westmeath, the result will look after itself. However, it must be expected that Offaly will test Clare’s resolve far more than Westmeath did. The Lake County were very poor and aside from a few minutes late in the first half, they didn’t take the game and simply folded late in the second half. Offaly are just two points behind Clare in the league table and a win on Sunday would almost guarantee their Division 3 status for 2016 and put them in with an outside chance of promotion. Offaly lost to Tipperary last weekend, having beaten Sligo 1-13 to 0-14 in their previous fixture. They will look to players such as Michael Brazil, Niall Smith, Niall Bracken and Niall McNamee on Sunday to steer them to what …

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Clare footballers seek third win

WHAT a difference a win makes or, perhaps more significantly, what a difference a performance makes. Everything that Clare lacked in their Round 2 National Football League Division 3 game against Tipperary on February 7 was evident in last Sunday’s six-point win over Limerick. Nobody would question a team that gives all it can and loses a particular game but Clare did not seem fully focused in that first half against Tipperary, while their decision-making on the ball was poor. The challenge for them against Limerick was to first reacquaint themselves with an attitude that would lead to a 70-minute performance. They knew that if that happened, they would have every chance of winning and moving away from the bottom half of the table. Therefore, they will enter Sunday’s game at Cusack Park, Ennis [2pm start] against Westmeath confident and ready for another vital fixture. The Midland county, who defeated Meath for the first time in their history in 2015, …

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First half costs footballers in Tipperary defeat

Tipperary 2-7 Clare 1-7 THE Clare footballers fell to their first league defeat of 2016 in what was their first away fixture of the new season. Played in exceptionally difficult conditions in Tipperary Town, Clare played very poorly in the first half, despite being backed by a forceful wind. They did up their effort levels significantly in the second half but on reflection that fact that Clare’s starting forwards kicked just a single point from play between them, underlines where one of their primary issues lies. Clare kicked 10 of their 15 wides in the first half and this profligacy helped Tipperary into a 1-4 to 0-4 half time lead. Gary Brennan put over the games first score in the opening minute but 60 seconds later, Conor Sweeney buried a Tipperary’s goal, following a Peter Acheson run and a Philip Austin shot, which hit the crossbar. Brennan and Eoin Cleary shared Clare’s four first half points between them, with the …

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Clare’s middle men aiming for the skies

IF Clare are to pick up an opening win in Division 3 of the 2016 National Football League, the performances of their midfield partnership of Gary Brennan and Cathal O’Connor will be pivotal. The Clondegad and Coolmeen men have established themselves as among the most capable duos around and Clare will be confident of securing sufficient possession in that sector to win most league games. O’Connor had a superb 2015, while Brennan showed a national audience what he is capable of when representing Ireland in the International Rules last November. However, this week the St Flannan’s school teacher is preoccupied with giving everything to ensure that Clare win their first league game of 2016. Every minute counts from now on. “Once you came into the new year, the McGrath Cup games shortened the gap to the start of the league. It’s a date that has been in our thoughts for a while and it’s good to be in the week …

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Clare footballers in season-defining game

TRADITIONALISTS will not accept this view but there is a cogent argument that Sunday’s league game is a more important fixture than Clare and Limerick’s Munster Championship date on May 23 in Ennis. If Limerick lose in Newcastle West this weekend, they are very likely to be relegated. They would have to hope that Louth and Wexford don’t win either of their last two games to have any chance of surviving on score difference. Furthermore, Limerick would have to beat Louth in Drogheda in their final league game. If they head to Drogheda on the back of a win over Clare, they might have some chance of beating Louth but if Limerick can’t win at home on Sunday, their two-year stint in Division 3 will come to an abrupt end. With all that in mind, Clare can expect a formidable last stand from Limerick. With key forward, Ian Ryan back from injury and veteran wing-back, Pa Ranahan recently returned to …

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