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Tag Archives: National Hurling League

Clare and Cork in must win territory

CLARE and Cork go into their Round 2 league clash in Páirc Uí Rinn on this  Saturday evening (7pm throw-in) in the knowledge that defeat for either will leave them rooted to the bottom of the Division 1 table and facing relegation. They last played in the league two years ago at the Cork venue and, on that occasion, Clare turned in a powerful second half to record a 1-22 to 1-16 victory. The Leesiders led by five points at half-time in that game and could have been further in front at that stage. The Banner side had 10 wides in the first half. Goalkeeper, Patrick Kelly was one of the heroes on that occasion Clare’s half-backs had struggled in the opening half but, after the break, Brendan Bugler, Patrick O’Connor and Pat Donnellan were superb. The dominance of this trio, allied to excellent play from Conor Ryan at midfield, John Conlon in the half-forward line, and the continued brilliance …

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Lynch aims to make up for 2014 disappointment

LAST year was a huge disappointment for the Clare senior hurlers, according to 2013 All-Ireland medal winner, now turned selector, Fergal Lynch. “We didn’t perform last year and we will be trying to rectify that this year. We will be trying to win every league game,” he told The Clare Champion. “The league is all about learning about players and how lads will react under pressure. There are eight or nine teams vieing for top position and every game is a championship game. The teams coming up from Division 1B are nearly as strong, if not as strong, as those that are in Division 1. The league will provide us with plenty of food for thought as we look at players and see how lads react,” the Clooney-Quin clubman said. Lynch, who plays club football with Cratloe, is in his second season as a member of Davy Fitzgerald’s backroom team. Acknowledging that there is a conveyor belt of players in …

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No easy league games, says Galway boss

EVERY county has massive ambitions heading into the 2015 National Hurling League, according to Galway boss, Anthony Cunningham. He pointed out that Kilkenny are league and All-Ireland champions; Clare will want to come back and repeat what they did in 2013; Tipperary want to pick up from where they left off in September; Cork are the Munster champions; Limerick were very unfortunate not to beat Kilkenny last year, while Galway were very close to Tipperary and Kilkenny. “There will be no easy games in what will be a very competitive league,” he pointed out as he looked ahead to this Sunday’s opening league tie when the Tribesmen will entertain Clare at Pearse Stadium. “We will probably be stronger in the second half of the league. At present, we have a good few injuries and we are unlikely to see players such as Davy and Niall Burke, Conor Cooney and Joe Canning before March. Five or six of our players have …

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Cats will not shirk from the Banner Roar

THE All-Ireland champions against the National Hurling League champions. It couldn’t be a better pairing for the opening round of the 2014 league. Throughout the past forty years, Clare and Kilkenny have provided some memorable contests in the league. Three successive final meetings in the ’70s led to capacity attendances at Semple Stadium, where Kilkenny were winners in 1976, after a replay, but Clare were crowned champions in 1977 and 1978. In Ger Loughnane’s first year as senior manager in 1995, Clare suffered a heavy loss to the Noresiders in the league decider at Thurles, after which the Clare boss boldly predicted that his charges would win the Munster championship. Not too many outside of the camp believed him at the time, but he and Clare delivered as Munster and All-Ireland success started Clare on the road to the most successful period ever for Clare hurling during which they won three Munster and two All Ireland senior titles. Meetings of …

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