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Banner Minor Hurlers Set To Open 2019 Championship Season

As the countdown to the first game of the new Munster championship intensifies, so too does the anticipation for the Clare minor hurlers. Fergal Lynch’s crew will be in action in the curtain raiser on Sunday afternoon as they take on the home side in the first of this year’s round-robin series. With a large home crowd expected in the Waterford city venue, it will be a unique experience for almost the entirety of this squad as they bid to get a huge day for Clare hurling off to a positive start. 2013 All-Ireland winner Lynch admits it is a date that has come around quickly. “Time really has flown since we first met back in October. We have a lot of work done between training sessions and challenge games and we have learned a lot about our players and our management team. It has been very enjoyable so far but the ultimate test will come now on Sunday and …

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Nervy Clare Overcome Waterford To Set Up Munster SFC Semi-Final Clash With Kerry

Munster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final: Clare 0-9 Waterford 0-8 Clare were forced to overcome a nervy finish before overcoming Waterford and booking their spot in the Munster SFC semi-final. The Banner saw a six point half-time lead whittled away as Waterford hit 0-6 unanswered in the second half to almost spring an upset. After what was an uninspiring opening period, Clare led 0-8 to 0-2 with Eoin Cleary accounting for 0-6 of that tally. Waterford set up defensively, with their 15 men often packed inside their own 45 metre line which led to long periods of sustained Clare possession as they looked to find a gap in the cover. The Banner raced into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes, with all of those coming from Cleary. The first came when he converted a free after Gavin Cooney was fouled, and another from distance after Darragh Bohannon was upended. That free came as a result of Clare …

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Cleary Looking Forward To Championship Opener

2019 has already been something of a mixed bag for Eoin Cleary. The St Joseph’s Miltown man missed out on the early part of the season having undergone surgery on a hand injury before Christmas. He made his return to action in Clare’s National League loss to Kildare, before going on to help the Banner retain their status in Division Two with victory over Tipperary on the final day. As championship approaches, the Limerick based Garda is looking forward to what he hopes will be a successful few months ahead. “Once the euphoria of Thurles died down, this game against Waterford is the only one we have been talking about. We have always been striving in Clare football to keep improving each time we go out on the field, and the next step for us is to make the Munster final. That journey starts on May 11 against Waterford in Cusack Park and we are looking forward to that. It …

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Coughlan Enjoying Life On The Line

Enda Coughan has been through no less than 13 Munster football championship campaigns since making his debut on the Clare senior panel in 2004. He stepped back from playing in 2016, before a call came from Colm Collins that saw him get back involved with the panel as a selector in 2018. He admits it was a move that took even him by surprise at the time. “To be honest I didn’t think it would happen so soon because I am still playing with the club so I am trying to combine both. I would have thought it was something that would have happened further down the line. Colm came knocking to see would I get back involved to give a hand and once he asked, it was something I was looking forward to doing. It is a learning curve to me and I am delighted to be working under Colm and learning from the coaches so I am enjoying …

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Shane Hoping For Golden 2019 For Clare Hurlers

The 2018 campaign might have been the most memorable and enjoyable of recent years for Clare hurling supporters, but for Shane Golden, it was one that sticks in the memory for a different reason. The Sixmilebridge man was forced to watch from sidelines as injury meant he would not get to play a part as the Banner went all the way to a replay against Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final. He is back to full fitness this year, and says he is enjoying being back in the thick of the action. “From my own point of view, I was just trying to shake off niggles and injuries and just get a clear run at it. At the start of the year, I didn’t really know what my plans were and I was just taking it day by day to be honest. Thankfully I just got a good run early on with the Munster League and then the league came along …

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Newmarket Celtic Crowned Clare Premier Division Champions

Newmarket Celtic are the 2018/2019 Clare Premier Division champions. The defending title holders made it back to back successes after overcoming Lifford 1-0 at Cassidy Park. This evening’s win means Newmarket have picked up full points from their 16 League games so far this season, and are now nine points clear of second placed Avenue with just two rounds left to play. Their focus will now turn to a historic Clare Cup Final against their B team, with both teams chasing a league and cup double after their second string secured the First Division title.

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Collins Braced For Deise Battle In Munster SFC Opener

2019 marks a sixth Munster football championship campaign for Colm Collins as Clare senior manager. During that time, he has faced Waterford just once before which was in his maiden year. Since then, Kerry have been his most common foe with Limerick a close second. Since taking over the reins from Mick O’Dwyer, Collins has overseen arguably the most successful period in the history of Clare football, with a Division Three National League title annexed in 2016 along with a third successive stint in the second tier to come next year. What makes it all the more remarkable is that he has also been not just active, but successful on the club scene during that period, leading Cratloe to the Clare senior football title in 2013 and 2014, along with consistently reaching the latter stages in the subsequent seasons. That experience has allowed the Kilmihil native to gain a unique insight into how the club v county debate is evolving, …

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This Sporting Life

It is a weekend that everyone has been eagerly counting down to since the end of the National League. A weekend when the smell of freshly cut grass lingers in the nostrils and the piles of sandwiches are made in anticipation of the road trip. A weekend where you rush home from the game to watch the highlights again on the Sunday game, and ring the neighbour to tell him you were right and the replays prove it. That is the reality as you would like to have it. In a football sense, it is about as far removed from reality as you could get. It has been without question one of the most low-key build ups to a Munster championship campaign for some time, and the fact is that you can understand why. To borrow a phrase, the provincial championships are dead and gone; they’re with O’Leary in the grave. Not only that, but they have been keeping him …

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