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Clare ladies football championships previewed

Eoin Brennan looks ahead to the senior, intermediate and junior championships, beginning this weekend SENIOR Having unceremoniously snatched back their senior crown last September, Banner Ladies are gunning for their 12th title in 14 seasons and remain still the team to beat despite an ever-evolving panel. Kilmihil were the last to lower the Banner in a near-perfect final display in 2019 in what was their fourth consecutive final appearance. That breakthrough came nine years after West Clare Gaels did likewise against the Ennis side, with last year’s welcome return to a final proving a sobering experience. 2019 Intermediate winners Cooraclare made an immediate impact in the top tier by reaching the semi-finals at the first attempt, something which newcomers Kilmurry Ibrickane will hope to emulate by becoming the dark horses for the prestigious crown. The county senior ladies football championship comprises six teams in one group, with the top four teams advancing to the semi-finals (1 v 4, 2 v …

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Crunch time in Clare senior hurling championship

Eoin Brennan runs the rule over this weekend’s championship action Senior Championship Round 2 Group 3 Cratloe v Broadford at Shannon, Saturday It has understandably been an emotional few weeks around Broadford as they come to terms with the shock of losing one of their much-loved brethren. It’s never easy to get back on the field after such a blow but as a proud club, they will undoubtedly be channeling their emotions into getting a result for Niall this Saturday. The fact that it’s also a necessity will only heighten the mood as anything other than a positive result would end their hopes of Canon Hamilton glory. On the flip side, the element of surprise is gone, having pushed Ballyea to their optimum in their first outing five weeks ago. Consequently, Cratloe cannot say that they haven’t been forewarned or forearmed for what will undoubtedly be a major battle. A win puts Cratloe into a quarter-final with a game to …

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Connellan inspires Kilmaley to win U13 ‘Battle of the Blues’

Under 13A Shield Final – Kilmaley 6-7 Newmarket On Fergus 3-1 A good start was much more than half the battle after Kilmaley’s first quarter heroics effectively sealed the first Under 13 honours of the season in Dr. Murphy Memorial Park in Newmarket-on-Fergus on Sunday morning, writes Eoin Brennan. Having finished strongly against the ‘Bridge in extra-time a week previously, Kilmaley left nothing to chance this time around as quickfire goals through Aidan Cleary (2) and Sam Switzer aided their passage to a 3-4 to 0-0 cushion by the 15th minute. The shell-shocked hosts did manage to settle just before the water break with a timely goal from Tadgh Guinane at 3-4 to 1-0. From there it was actually a relatively evenly-matched affair, with both sides giving their all and each defence to the fore. For Kilmaley, four goal hero Aidan Cleary was a cool yet clinical finisher, helped by the work-rate of Dylan Killeen. However, it was the defensive …

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It’s throw-in time for the Clare camogie championships

Eoin Brennan previews this year’s Clare senior camogie championship, with the preliminary action taking place in two groups Group A – Kilkishen/Bodyke, Kilmaley, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Scariff-Ogonnelloe, St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield With three of last year’s semi-finalists pooled together in Group A, the developmental race to take on defending champions Inagh-Kilnamona should make for an intriguing wrestle for two semi-final places. Newmarket certainly won’t require any extra motivational edge after five successive final defeats while 2019 Munster champions Scariff-Ogonnelloe also have a point to prove after their meek semi-final exit at the hands of the Blues. Kilmaley actually came closest to lowering Inagh-Kilnamona when bringing them all the way to extra-time in their derby penultimate stage clash. That’s not to rule out Kilkishen/Bodyke or St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield, with the former coming agonisingly close to first reaching last year’s knock-out stages before also missing out on Senior B honours. However, when blending age profile with experience, Scariff-Ogonnelloe and the opening round winners between old …

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Clare get Kennedy Cup campaign off to winning start

CLARE made a winning start to their Kennedy Cup campaign with a 3-0 victory over West Cork at Riverside Park in Shannon last week, writes Ronan Judge. The game was played in good weather on a pitch in good condition courtesy of the work of Shannon Hibs. Clare goalkeeper Conor Wall was called into action early on when he did well to keep out a shot. Clare took the lead in in the 13th minute. It was created through a great move in midfield involving Matt Jones and Ethnik Aliu, who put through Eoin Devanney on the right wing. Devanney crossed the ball for the run of Clare striker Tiernan Adelu who fired Clare 1-0 ahead. From that moment Clare seemed a bit more in control of the game with West Cork trying to counter attack with direct balls over the top but the Clare back line of Glen McNamara, Aidan Moloney, Daniel Brody and Liam Heffernan dealing comfortably with …

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Talty back with Clare for 2022

THE Clare LGFA have announced the reappointment of Evan Talty as the County’s Intermediate Team Manager for the coming year. His reappointment came following a county board meeting this week, and he will be looking at potential panellists at the club championships, which commence this weekend. Chairman of Clare LGFA Sean Lenihan said; “We are delighted to have Evan in place for the year ahead. He and his management team brought a very professional approach to the setup. They prepared well in difficult circumstances and within a shortened season. We used the league to prepare and crucially, maintained our Division 2 status. We reached the knockout stages of the Championship and while we would have liked to progress further, we were just beaten by a strong Westmeath team who went on to win the All-Ireland Intermediate Final. There is definitely unfinished business in this Team and with Evan again as Manager, we will be going all out to be in …

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HURLING: Tulla finish season on a high

Under 15B Shield Final Tulla 2-25 Broadford 2-09 TULLA eventually eased to the last Under 15 silverware of 2021 after keeping Broadford at arm’s length on the home soil of Dr Daly Memorial Park on Tuesday evening, writes Eoin Brennan. Despite finishing lower than their East Clare rivals on the Under 15B table, the hosts were always in control, leading from start to finish, without ever really loosening their grip on proceedings. Chief marksmen Emmet Mulcahy (1-7), Ryan Hayes (0-7) and Daniel Humphries (0-6) combined for a remarkable 1-20 between them including some exquisite long range shooting while Sean Cunningham, Cathal Culloo and Shaye Curtis were others to impress for Tulla. Centre-forward John Moran led the Broadford charge alongside Cormac Gunning, Fiachra McNamara, and James Dillon, with their best period coming immediately after the break when halving the deficit to five thanks in the main to a well-worked Aodhan O’Driscoll goal. Overall though, Tulla possessed the greater balance, with everyone …

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Áine taking centre stage in Croker

There will be Clare involvement in the All Ireland Camogie finals as Áine Nic Cormaic is working as the fourth official for the intermediate showdown between Kilkenny and Antrim. The Wolfe Tones woman admits she is proud to be travelling up to GAA HQ this Sunday for an action packed day of camogie. “It is a privilege to be involved. It is the biggest day of the year so to be asked to be a part of that is pretty special.” Nic Cormaic admits that sourcing female referees is an issue in the county and across Ireland and that herself and Clare Camogie are working hard to encourage more young people to take up the whistle. “We are trying our best to encourage young girls. Even with older people who may be retired from playing, not many of them are refereeing so we are trying to show them that it is an option. There is work to do. It is …

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