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Clare’s chances at Clonmel enhanced

WITH the county’s biggest number of qualifiers in recent years, Clare’s chances of taking one of the classics at the National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel on Saturday, Sunday and Monday next have been enhanced. With five interests in the Boylesports.com Derby, a total of nine in the Greyhound and Pet World Oaks and one in the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes, the Clare contingent will have plenty to shout about. However, the Oaks draw in Clonmel Park Hotel on Sunday night was not too kind to Clare owners, as five of them were drawn close to each other in the third quarter. Two of them, the Clarecastle qualifier, Miss Buttons, owned by Patrick (Jack) Moloney, Lissane and his grandson, Daragh and the Loughrea qualifier, Aveia, owned by the syndicate of Martin Keane, Kilmihil; Albert Long, Ballyea and Clifden and Dara Heenan, Limerick, go to slips together. Windfarm Ivy, trained by Pat Curtin and owned by him, Michael Eustace and Noel Hehir, …

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Champions face preliminary round game

Clare U- 21 A hurling champions, Sixmilebridge face a preliminary round tie in this season’s competition, which is set to begin in February. They were the first team out of the hat when the draw was made at GAA headquarters in Clareabbey on Monday evening and they will face Broadford, with the winners going through to a quarter final tie with Ballyea, last year’s beaten finalists. Nine teams will compete for the A title, with 12 in the B competition and a further nine competing for the C competition. Neighbours, Kilmaley and Inagh-Kilnamona will meet in a quarter final tie and this promises to be a lively contest. The full draw is; Under 21 A Preliminary round—Sixmilebridge v Broadford; Quarter finals—1—Kilmaley v Inagh-Kilnamona; 2—Newmarket v Éire Óg; 3—Feakle-Killanena v Clarecastle 4—Sixmilebridge or Broadford v Ballyea; Semi-finals—4 v 2; 1 v 3; Under 21 B— Byes to A—Tulla; B—Wolfe Tones; C—Smith O’Brien’s; D—Cratloe; Round 1—E—O’C. Mills v Scariff-Ogonnelloe; F—Parteen v Crusheen-Tubber; G—Whitegate …

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International GAA award for Kilrush man

KILRUSH man Paul Mulcaire, chairperson of Buffalo Fenians Gaelic Athletic Association, is to be honoured with the prestigious GAA President’s International Award. Paul was chosen due to his commitment to the organisation and promotion of Gaelic games. The awards are staged annually and provide the GAA president with an opportunity to acknowledge outstanding commitment and long service across the club, county and international network from people, whose highly-valued contribution is seldom recognised. The GAA President Awards are made up of 14 individual awards, with one award reserved for a recipient who resides outside of the country. Paul will travel to Ireland with family and friends to receive his award from GAA president Liam O’Neill, at an event in Croke Park on Friday, February 6. Paul played Gaelic football and hurling throughout his childhood with Kilrush Shamrocks, until he made the difficult decision to emmigrate to Buffalo, NY in 1986. Now a resident of Lancaster, Paul is married to Kathy and …

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Putting a GAA master fixtures plan in place

During a discussion on the proposed fixtures schedule for 2015, Clare GAA County Board chairman, Michael McDonagh, criticised football clubs for not favouring a start date for the senior championship before July. “I am very disappointed with the attitude of the football clubs. If we don’t start our championship before the end of July, we will have several young players from the county heading out of the country,” he told this week’s meeting. Outlining the proposed schedule, Colm Browne (Kilrush), on behalf of the committee charged with putting the plan in place, said they were “left with very limited options when the national fixtures proposals are taken into consideration. The same issues and the same difficulties are there each year, with a few different parameters”. Browne pointed out a new consideration this year. “There is an A and a B football qualifier this year. If the Clare footballers lose to Limerick in the first round of the championship, they will …

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Nine man Avenue earn a share of the spoils

By Seamus Hayes Avenue United A 0 Bridge United A 0 Despite having two players sent off, Avenue United A earned a share of the points with Bridge United when the sides clashed in this premier league tie at Roslevan on Sunday afternoon. The result means that Bridge United remain in second place with Avenue two points adrift in third spot. Leaders Newmarket Celtic A moved further ahead when they scored another big win over Lifford at McDonagh park and they are now odds on to win the title. Despite the fact that there were no goals, there were plenty of talking points when Avenue and Bridge United clashed. Ten minutes into the game the home side were reduced to ten men when Paddy O’Malley was dismissed by referee James Ferns. Bridge played with the aid of the strong wind in the first half but an Avenue defence, well marshalled by Eamonn O’Reilly, remained in control. As half time approached, …

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Olympics gain could be Clare ladies’ loss

Women’s Gaelic Players’ Association (WGPA) executive committee member, Deirdre Murphy, who has played adult camogie for Clare since 1997, has contrasted the way three possible Olympians are treated in their rugby and hockey camps, to their ladies football and camogie experiences. Naomi Carroll is an international hockey player, while Susan Vaughan and Eimear Considine could be part of the Irish Rugby 7s squad at the 2016 Rio Olympics. “If you take Clare, in particular, you have Eimear Considine, Susan Vaughan and Naomi Carroll, who have a realistic chance to take part in the Olympics in rugby and hockey. They are experiencing what all Clare camogie players want to experience with regard to the level of professionalism, the level of care and training,” Murphy said. She says Clare camogie players and footballers would love to train in that type of professional environment. “Look at Máire McGrath, who is just as talented but her experience at inter-county camogie doesn’t compare to what …

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Broad approval for GAA season changes

There has been mixed reaction to the report from the GAA Central Council working group, which proposes the completion of all fixtures in a calendar year. If approved, this will operate from 2016. The report argues that the recommendations will enable counties and provinces to complete their competitions in sufficient time for the All-Ireland Club Championships in junior, intermediate and senior by December. The main recommendations in the report are: – The All-Ireland Club Championship finals, at all grades, be played over a single ‘club weekend’ each December; – On a two-year pilot basis, the All-Ireland hurling and football finals should each be brought forward by one week from their current dates; – All-Ireland final replays should take place on the Saturday immediately after the drawn game; – Provincial championship draws in football and hurling should take place in late August of the competition year; these draws should be structured so that the club champions of counties still involved in …

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Clare fail to match Cork’s sharpness

By Seamus Hayes Cork 2-21 Clare 0-18 A much sharper and hungrier Cork side proved too strong for Clare in the semi-final of the Waterford Crystal senior hurling tournament played before an attendance of 1,369 at Mallow on Saturday. The visitors were outplayed throughout the field in the opening half and found themselves twelve points, 0-7 to 2-13, adrift at half time. The Bannermen did show improved form in the second half but, overall, they can have no complaints with the result as they were well beaten in most areas throughout the seventy minutes. With the start of the Allianz league just two weeks away, Davy Fitzgerald and his management team are sure to be disappointed with this performance. True, it is still very early in the season and there are a lot of players to be considered for places in the side, but there must be some concern after this display. There was little to suggest, in the opening …

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