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Hurlers set to make a winning start

THE only team Clare beat in last season’s Senior Hurling Championship will provide the opposition for the Banner men ins Sunday’s opening game in the 2016 National Hurling League. Offaly will travel to Cusack Park in Ennis as underdogs and anything other than a comfortable win for Clare, recent impressive winners of the Munster League, will rank as a surprise. That said, Davy Fitzgerald’s charges cannot take anything for granted against a Midland side that is under new management this season. Tipperary’s Eamonn Kelly, a member of the Sixmilebridge management team that went through 2015 without suffering a defeat in either league or championship, will have learned a lot about Clare from his time here last season and while he said this week that Offaly are not as far down the road in their preparations as Clare, the Banner outfit will need to be wary of the visitors. Clare will be without joint captain Tony Kelly and utility player Seadna …

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Clare name a strong line up for Offaly visit

Goalkeeper Patrick Kelly and ace forward Conor McGrath will start for the first time this season for the Clare senior hurlers when they open their Allianz league campaign against Offaly at Cusack Park on Sunday. Manager Davy Fitzgerald and his backroom team have named a strong starting fifteen as Clare set out on a road which fans hope will lead to a return to the top division. Goalkeeper Patrick Kelly is the only member of the starting line up that didn’t get any game time in the recent Munster league which Clare won, beating Limerick in the final. Tony Kelly, Patrick Donnellan and Seadna Morey weren’t considered due to injury The team is Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona): Patrick O’Connor (Tubber), Cian Dillon, Capt. (Crusheen), Paul Flanagan (Ballyea): Conor Cleary (Miltown St. Josephs), David McInerney (Tulla), Conor Ryan (Cratloe): David Reidy (Éire Óg), Colm Galvin (Clonlara): Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin), Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus), John Conlon (Clonlara): Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Darach Honan (Clonlara), …

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Championship draws throw up mouthwatering pairings

The draw for the first round of the Clare senior hurling, senior and intermediate football championships has thrown up some mouthwatering pairings. It was an historic evening for Clare GAA, as a first ever county board meeting was held at the board’s new centre of excellence at Caherlohan on Tuesday, with the championship draws taking centre stage. Senior hurling champions Sixmilebridge will face Crusheen in the first round and this is a repeat of last season’s semi-final. Clonlara and Kilmaley needed a replay to settle their semi-final clash last year when Clonlara won and they will also meet in a first round this year. Newly promoted Wolfe Tones will face their neighbours Newmarket, while Cratloe must face Feakle in their first round. Football champions Miltown St Joseph’s will take on Wolfe Tones in their opening game in defence of the Jack Daly Cup. Éire Óg and Kilmurry-Ibrickane will clash in the first round, while last year’s beaten finalists Cooraclare will …

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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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Kelly’s goal seal’s FAI quarter final spot for Newmarket

Clonmel Town 0 Newmarket Celtic 1 Newmarket Celtic are through to the last eight in the prestigious FAI junior cup thanks to a hard earned victory over a fancied Clonmel Town side at Clonmel this afternoon. The all important goal came eighteen minutes into the second half when, in a well rehearsed move, Stephen Kelly headed home from an Eoin Hayes corner. In an similar move Kelly scored against St.Michaels Tipperary in the previous round. Kelly and his central defence partner Pat Purcell were outstanding for the Clare side as well full backs David O’Grady and Darren Cullinan. The win sees the Clare champions continue their winning run this season and their attention now switches to the Munster junior cup and a quarter final tie in Cork next week Today’s game was played in difficult conditions and there was little between the sides throughout the ninety minutes. The home side made the better start and looked the more dangerous in …

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Mahoney hits a superb winner for Clare

Clare 3 Kilkenny 2 A goal worthy of any stage with just under five minutes remaining sealed Clare’s passage to the quarter finals of the inter league youths cup at Doora earlier today. Scorer of a hat trick of goals in Clare’s opening game in the competition, Kieran Mahoney was again the start of the show for the Colm Ryan managed Clare side, scoring twice and having a part in Ethan McNevin’s goal. [doptg id=”95″] Mahoney’s winning goal was an outstanding effort as he blasted to the top corner of the net from outside the area. Taking off his jersey in the celebration which followed the strike led to a second yellow card and his dismissal which will have disappointed all involved. From an early stage Mahoney troubled the visitor’s defence and he put the home side into the lead after eighteen minutes with a lleft footed strike. This goal separated the sides at half time. Clare were rocked just …

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Brennan goal key to footballers opening win

Clare 1-11 Sligo 0-7 A Gary Brennan goal, nine minutes from time, was the game clinching score in Clare’s opening 2016 division 3 league game in wet and windy Miltown Malbay on Sunday. A huge element of luck helped Clare to create the goal. A long ball from Jamie Malone bounced over the collective heads of the Clare full forward and Sligo full back line. The ball hit the post and bounced into the arms of Clare substitute Pat Burke, who placed Brennan for the games crucial score. In a five minute second half spell Sligo had black cards shown to key men Niall Murphy and Brian Egan, leaving the already depleted Connacht county running out of options. Clare played into a very strong breeze in the opening half and trailed 0-4 to 0-2 at half time. While the conditions made it very difficult to play constructive football, both teams gave the ball away regularly and their decision making was …

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Clare Association honours Willie Keane

AN insight into what drives an athlete to shine at national and international level was afforded to members of the Clare Association in Dublin and their friends at the weekend. At the association’s annual dinner in the Ballsbridge Hotel last Saturday night, Kilkee athlete Willie Keane, who was presented with the association’s Clare Person of the Year award for 2016, explained how being beaten in the All-Ireland Senior Cross Country Championship in 1973 was big turning point in his career. He waited exactly 12 months to turn the tables on Mick Priest, training for 30 consecutive days in hail, rain and snow in the month of January to prepare for the next championship race. In March 1974, he regained his title and, in fact, was not beaten again in a championship race until 1980. He continued to compete for many years after that despite maintaining a heavy work schedule. At times he trained at 7am or 10pm. He rarely felt …

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