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Clare will have no fear of Derry in Croker crunch match

Having taken 30 years to contest their previous two championship appearances in GAA Headquarters, the prospect of lining out on the hallowed turf for the second time in three weeks is now a glorious reality for Clare this Saturday. Indeed, with both the footballers and hurlers lining out in Croke Park for the first time in the same season, it may be a nightmare for supporters’ pockets but the stuff of dreams when it comes to the development of both squads. The thing is that despite being overrun by Derry in the second half of their rare National League clash in late February, Clare won’t fear taking on the Ulster champions. All because Derry, despite the jolt in confidence of a first provincial crown in 24 years, are equally as unaccustomed to the environs of Jones’ Road on championship days. After all, drift back three or four seasons and Derry were languishing in Division 4 and found it difficult to …

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‘It could be our year this year that we take off on a bit of a run’

No Clareman has more Croke Park experience than Enda Coughlan — as a player and a selector the Kilmurry Ibrickane legend goes all the way back to when he was just 18 and starting out on his inter-county career, writes Joe Ó Muircheartaigh, looking ahead to this Saturday’s All-Ireland quarter-final. “IT’S still only a field at the end of the day,” muses Enda Coughlan when talking about Croke Park, but he quickly qualifies his statement by explaining what makes the place different and how it plays differently. “You get used to playing on different pitches,” he explains, “and when you’re not used to it, it’s different for a while. I’ve been lucky enough to play there and it’s the feel of it — it seems to play bigger than probably everywhere else. “There’s a tricky wind coming in there and it’s getting used to it. When you don’t get to play there that often it takes time to settle so …

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Russell and Clare colleagues set minds on siege of Derry

What a time to be a Clare supporter! As Brian Lohan’s men continue to show the grit and determination that were a hallmark of the full back’s own career, the Clare footballers are looking to secure back to back Championship wins in Croke Park. Although that prospect seemed unlikely when falling short against Limerick in the Munster Championship, Colm Collins’ side have regrouped and after a mesmerising comeback against Roscommon, they now stand on the brink of reaching the final four. With Ulster champions Derry standing in their way, Clare will enter as underdogs. Ciarán Russell is aware the task at hand is a difficult one but he hopes that his side can build upon the hurlers’ recent success and give the county’s supporters another day out in GAA HQ after this Saturday. “There is a lot of crossover between clubs so I’d know a few of the lads. I’m delighted to see them do well. It’s great for the …

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Clare take Kennedy Cup Shield honours

For just the fourth time ever, Clare secured silverware at the Kennedy Cup with their 2-1 deafeat of Limerick Desmond in the Shield Final. Despite falling behind, Clare equalised when Luke Deegan set up Jason Keane Hayes to score. With the sides deadlocked at half-time, John O’Malley’s side found the winner when substitute Liam Murphy made an instant impact as he was felled in the box. Devin Downes stepped up to score the winning goal from the spot. A second half full of heart and determination secured a deserved victory for the Banner players. Graham Ball was awarded the Man of the Match as the Avenue United man proved instrumental in his side’s trumph. @CsslSoccer @SFAIreland The Banner Ballers “ Crew of 2022” Kennedy Shield Campions @ClareFM @Claresports @ClareChampion pic.twitter.com/xJo29fwifA — FAI CLARE (@FaiClare) June 17, 2022 In the opening game of the tournament Clare faced the competition’s highest seeded team in DDSL. After falling behind inside the opening five …

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O’Connor takes senior rider title at point-to-point awards

It was time for the point-to-point fraternity to celebrate as the Irish National Hunt steeplechase Committee point-to-point Awards night made a welcome return last Saturday after a three-year absence. A large crowd made their way to Dunboyne Castle in County Meath where the 2022 winners were honoured. Tubber’s Derek O’Connor picked up the Senior Riders’ crown. This was third title in this category (he also won it in 2018 and 2019) as the former record-breaking 11-time champion finished the 2021/22 season with a fine tally of 25 wins. Wexford jockey Barry O’Neill collected his sixth consecutive Leading Rider award, posting the huge tally of 61 winners during the season. O’Neill also claimed the Northern and Eastern Regional title, while sharing the Southern Regional title with Waterford jockey James Hannon. Tipperary rider Pa King came out on top in the Western Region. Colin Bowe, was crowned Leading Handler – he was picking up his 10th title – having sent out 46 …

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Clare club shows up well in first foray into Rás Tailteann

Burren Cycling Club secured some notable finishes as the club competed in the Rás Tailteann for the first time. With Burren CC being the first representatives from Clare to compete in the prestigious event since 1991, there was pressure on the team to deliver. They rose to expectations as the team of Mark Shannon, Danny MacDonald, Simon Kelly, Paul Kennedy, Richard Meaney and reserve Ger Troy all played their role in a terrific team effort. Burren CC finished as the sixth county team overall after five days of tough racing. Meanwhile, Lacey Cup winner Danny MacDonald showed his potential by securing a seventh placed finish in Stage Four, which started in Lisdoonvarna. The Clooney man also grabbed a top 10 finish in the final stage as he highlighted his growing reputation on the circuit. The Clare club certainly ended their first ever Rás campaign on a positive note with MacDonald the third county rider to cross the finish line while …

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Pat Fitzgerald to step down as Clare GAA secretary

SECRETARY of Clare GAA Pat Fitzgerald has announced his intention to step down from the role next month. Mr Fitzgerald will resign on July 18, the day after the All-Ireland hurling final, after 32 years in the position. In a statement he said it had been a busy and demanding role and he had enjoyed it immensely. “I wish the county and all our teams the very best with all future endeavours and plans both on and off the field of play. I am very proud of what we have achieved together over many long years and I wish you every success into the future. “I look forward to supporting our county as a fan and assisting in any way I can in the years to come.” He had served in the role in a voluntary capacity for 17 years until 2007 when he was successful in an interview process among a number of candidates to take the job full …

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GALLERY: Clinical Cratloe edge U13B football decider

U13 B football final Cratloe 2-9 Clooney Quin 2-7 Cratloe had to be at their economical best to finally hold off a relentless Clooney-Quin side that threw everything at their opponents in an excellent Under 13 Division 2 decider in Shannon Camogie Pitch last Tuesday evening. In an evenly-matched seesaw wrestle for control, amazingly the winners were able to keep their noses in front for the majority and even when Clooney-Quin finally regained parity by the two-thirds mark, they never managed to get ahead of Cratloe at any stage. I say amazingly as while the possession stats and wide count were almost identical, the ultimate difference was in terms of scoring efficiency as Cratloe created and scored a brace of goals whereas Clooney-Quin only converted two of their ten, yes ten, goal chances. In truth, there was a resigned feeling of ‘if they didn’t have bad luck in front of the posts, they’d have none at all’ as the crossbar, …

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