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O’Donovan saves the day for Clonlara

Favourites Clonlara are still in the hunt for the Clare senior hurling title thanks to an injury time point from Clare’s 2013 All-Ireland winning hero, Domhnaill O’Donovan. Back then, O’Donovan, playing at corner back, fired over a last second point to earn Clare a replay with Cork, a tie they won to claim their fourth All-Ireland title. At Cusack Park on Saturday, Clonlara saw a four point lead whittled away in the final five minutes before finding themselves a point in arrears in the third minute of injury time. Enter O’Donovan again and, after winning possession in his own half backline he burst forward and pointed from 60m  to earn his side a replay with Kilmaley. Clonlara looked to be on their way to a place in the final when they went four points clear inside the last ten minutes but Kilmaley simply refused to accept defeat and five unanswered points in as many minutes had them ahead in the …

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Fitzpatrick feared for his baby’s life

THE angst that boxing coach Paddy Fitzpatrick was putting up with on a personal level, even as he was doing everything possible to get George Groves ready for last Saturday’s WBC world title fight, must have been close to unbearable. As he worked in the gym, his newborn son was thousands of miles away, fighting for his life in a British hospital. While there is still disappointment about last Saturday’s defeat to Badou Jack, he is very much looking at it in a bigger context this week. “I came home last night [Monday] and met my child for the first time; he’s a month old and he was born while I was away. We came close to the fact that I mightn’t even be going to see him because he got very badly ill after two weeks, got taken into hospital and spent eight days there. I didn’t tell George he had been taken into hospital. “He had Strep B …

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Groves can benefit from new coach

WHILE boxing coach Paddy Fitzpatrick still says he has the utmost respect for George Groves, he feels he has worked with him for the last time, following his third defeat in a world title fight at the weekend. The first two defeats were to the legendary Carl Froch, the first an extremely controversial stoppage, followed by the famous Wembley grudge match attended by 80,000 and watched by millions on Sky, in which Froch knocked out the challenger with a massive right in the eighth round. Groves regrouped with two victories but his coach feels coming back from last weekend’s defeat to Badou Jack will be the toughest test yet. “He’s had to deal with a fantastic amount of stress and, I tell you what, I tip my hat to him for the way he has dealt with it. When you think of the stress of a man for his first world title in his own country, with 20,000 people booing …

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Fitzpatrick disappointed at Groves’ loss

CLARE boxing trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick has told The Clare Champion of his disappointment after his fighter Londoner George Groves lost last weekend’s WBC world title in Las Vegas. Fitzpatrick, now based in England, grew up in Ennis and South East Clare, and he also spoke of his anguish during training in the US, as his new born son was seriously ill in the UK. Such was his discipline that even though he was personally tormented, he never told Groves about his troubles, making sure the big punching super middle weight was fully focused on his third title shot. Now, back home in England, he says that he feels he won’t work with Groves again, having coached him for three world championship challenges, all of them unsuccessful. While he feels that Groves has all the physical and technical attributes that could yet see him take a world title, he feels it will be very difficult for him to recover mentally from …

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Cratloe dethroned…..again

What a difference a year makes. In the space of a week in October 2014, Cratloe made history when they won the Clare senior hurling and football titles becoming the first Clare club to achieve such a feat of winning both in the same year on the field of play. [doptg id=”79″] Just under twelve months on they have been stripped of both titles in the space of seven days, both defeats coming at the quarter final stage. At rain swept Cusack Park today, Sunday, they lost their bid for a third senior football title in a row when they went under to Clondegad. And there can be no arguments as to the merit of Clondegad’s victory over the champions who started  brightly and raced into a three point lead in the opening quarter. Indeed they had a few chances to have increased this lead but failed to capitalise Gradually Clondegad got a grip on proceedings and when they half …

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Wolfe Tones knock out minor A hurling champions

The minor A hurling championship title holders are out of this year’s competition. At rain lashed O’Garney park in Sixmilebridge on Friday evening Kilmaley had to give best to a stronger and better balanced Wolfe Tones outfit. When the final whistle sounded the Shannon club had four points to spare, 0-16 to 1-9 and they were full value for their win. However, they will have to wait a while to learn who will be their opponents in the final as the game between Inagh-Kilnamona and the Broadford-Smith O’Briens amalgamation was cancelled as the pitch at Shannon wasn’t playable. Wolfe tones led by the minimum margin, 0-8 to 0-7, at half time and they were a little unlucky not to have had a couple of goals at this stage. They were four points clear early in the second half but a goal from Padraig McNamara brought Kilmaley to within a point. However, the holders were unable to break down a strong …

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Free-wheeling rugby men talk the talk in Kilkee

GIVEN the thousands of visitors from Limerick who decamp to Kilkee every summer, rugby talk isn’t exactly foreign to the resort town. There was plenty of rugby speech heard beneath the soft September air earlier this week and those loosening their tongues, in advance of the Rugby World Cup, knew what they were talking about. Former All Black number eight Zinzan Brooke, Scottish fly half Craig Chalmers and Welsh international Leigh Davies found time to project ahead to the autumn tournament, while on a brief break from the Mizen to Malin cancer fundraising cycle. Before they got to the rugby though, these rugby men couldn’t but have the odd dig at each other, or at themselves, regarding their cycling skills. “When you’re in the peloton and there is a big pothole coming up, you need your other team members to warn you. When you start getting to the hills, you sort of stop talking. On the flat you can get …

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Minor win not enough for Galway

Kilkenny 1-22 Galway 1-18 It was another disappointing day for followers of the Galway senior hurling team when they took on reigning champions Kilkenny in the All-Ireland senior hurling final on Sunday. A full house of over 82,000 patrons flocked to Croke Park with many predicting that Galway were about to end a 27 year wait. They won the last of their four titles back in 1988. Things were looking good in the opening half at the end of which the Tribestmen were three points clear, 0-14 to1-8 and they would not have been flattered had this margin been a few points greater. It was a different story in the second half, however and once Kilkenny drew level, eight minutes after the resumption of play, they took control in the key areas. T.J. Reid delivered another top notch display and once he put them ahead in the twelfth minute of the second half, there was no looking back. With Michael …

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