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Tag Archives: Semple Stadium

Clare find momentum at the right time

SINCE the new millennium dawned, Clare have beaten Cork once in 11 championship games. Clare’s only win? The 2013 All-Ireland replay. If you were going to pick one of those games to win, that would be the one. The statistics also make it clear that, generally speaking, Cork beat Clare very regularly. They have won 38 of the 50 Munster championship games played between the two counties. Cork have won the Munster championship 53 times to Clare’s mere six. Clare are fifth in that particular table, three short of Waterford’s nine provincial titles. Why this sudden interest in numbers? It underscores the significance of Sunday. This Clare panel need a Munster championship and the county senses that they are on the cusp of delivering. There is a clear sense that the Clare hurling team have the county behind them again. Three Munster round-robin wins, in nifty succession, has that effect. Until Clare’s semi-final win over Limerick in 2017, they had …

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Lack of ambulances for major games ‘worrying’

THE lack of official ambulances for major GAA games is “worrying”, a Tipperary councillor has stated. Speaking at a HSE West Forum meeting in Galway on Tuesday, Councillor David Doran said it is “worrying” that there is no plan in place for an extra ambulance when Semple Stadium in Thurles is hosting a big GAA game. The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has confirmed it does not have the funding or the resources to cover any GAA match in any venue this year. While NAS chief ambulance officer, Paudie O’Riordan, acknowledged that there was a time when the service was in a position to provide ambulance cover within a GAA stadium, it is no longer in a position to do this. Mr O’Riordan pointed out the GAA is responsible for putting adequate medical services in place, as the main event organiser. In February, Tipperary football manager, Liam Kearns, expressed concern about the length of time it took an ambulance to arrive …

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Hartness impressed with Clare’s pool of talent

THE achievement of winning three All-Irelands at U-21 level and an All-Ireland senior title in five years “is phenomenal”, according to Cork selector Pat Hartnett. The Midleton man, who helped Cork to championship glory in 1984 and 1986, argues that Clare has “a serious pool of talent” and “are big time favourites for Sunday’s game”. Given Cork’s absence from the roll of honour in recent years, is there pressure on them to win this title? “There is no pressure in our view,” was the dentist’s response. “We played Clare a number of weeks ago behind closed doors. They are as good as we have met this year, they were scintillating on the night. They are big time favourites for Sunday. It’s up to management team to work with the tools they are given. Three All-Irelands in five years is phenomenal. Look, a blind man knows when the sun is shining,” he added. Regarding the 2013 All-Ireland final, he noted it …

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Minor hurlers can upset the form book

WHEN Cork stripped their great rivals, Tipperary, of the Munster Minor Hurling Championship title in a semi-final replay at Pairc Uí Rinn on Monday evening, it installed the Leesiders as favourites for Sunday’s final clash with Clare at Semple Stadium. Clare’s progress to the final has surprised some, as their semi-final opponents, Limerick, were fancied to make it a fifth successive provincial final appearance, given that they had a fair scattering of last year’s squad that contested the All-Ireland final in their ranks. However, Clare’s greater hunger for victory proved decisive in last week’s clash and they emerged as deserving winners in a tie that required extra time. The fact the Cork v Tipperary tie was still level after extra-time, which led to Monday’s replay, confirms the view held by the Clare management that the four semi-finalists were evenly matched and that there will not be much between the teams on Sunday. In the drawn tie, Brian Turnbull and Daire …

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Judgement day at Thurles

Sunday is judgement day noted joint Clare senior hurling manager Gerry O’Connor. “We will be judged as a management and the players will be judged. Being absolutely honest, we have targeted this day and that brings its own pressures but so be it. “I remember 1995 in Thurles and ’96 in the Gaelic Grounds and form went out the window on both days. Donal [Moloney] and myself have been involved in a huge amount of U-21 games and form goes out the window. It comes down to the team that is most focussed on the day and best prepared. “Then there is the Paul Kinnerk and Joe O’Connor factor also. It’s very unusual. We have soldiered long and hard and Donal, Paul and myself have had our greatest memories from Thurles. These guys [Clare players] have grown up performing in Thurles. We expect a top-class display.” When it was put to him that the public perception is that Clare will …

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Ballyea preparing for All-Ireland semi-final

THE Ballyea panel, winners of the Clare and Munster senior hurling titles for the first time in the club’s history in 2016, are back in full training ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final date with St Thomas’ from Galway. The game is scheduled for Semple Stadium on Saturday, February 4. “We took two weeks off over the Christmas but we have done a bit on the ball wall and a bit on the Astro Turf, just to keep ticking over. The county lads did a bit with the county and it was important for them to re-group,” Ballyea manager Robbie Hogan told The Clare Champion this week. He continued, “We are hoping to play a few college teams in the next few weeks ahead of the All-Ireland semi-final. We are injury free at present but there are a lot of flus and coughs and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will stay clear of these”. A few of the …

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Ballyea set for ‘field of dreams’

AT this time of year, Robbie Hogan would normally be spending his Sunday afternoons at home watching the club games on TV and aspiring that some day Ballyea would be in that position. Well, now they are. “In fairness, while it’s a bit surreal, it’s all happening so fast the last few weeks. You win something and there is another challenge put in front of you straight away. I have to be honest and say that preparing for a Munster final as the end of November approaches wasn’t on my mind when we set out at the start of the year.” How did he find himself in the position of senior team manager with Ballyea? “I got a call from Michael Keane [club chairman at the time] five years ago. Tom Ryan was coming from Limerick at the time and Michael said it’s a great opportunity to see how these fellas work. Tom came and went and myself and Reggie …

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Ballyea’s season of comebacks

HAIL the Comeback Kings! Ballyea’s fairy tale run to capture their first Canon Hamilton trophy and qualify for their maiden Munster club final has been fashioned with some unbelievable comebacks when all seemed lost. Having lost their first-round clash with Éire Óg, Ballyea had to win the rest of their games to remain in contention for a place in the knock-out stages. This was in sharp contrast to 2015, when the men in black and amber won their first two outings and advanced straight through to a quarter-final. Now in his third year as club chairman, Pat Moylan acknowledged that his charges have produced some extraordinary fight-backs this year during the championship, which culminated in an amazing late flourish to force extra time against Tipperary kingpins Thurles Sarsfields before registering a memorable two-point win. “Ballyea went seven points down against Crusheen early on in that game. The lads dug deep and ground out a result. They did the same against …

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