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Beaten Clare improve in second half

Armagh 3-11 Clare 1-11 TEN points down at half-time, Clare produced a stirring second half display to drag themselves to within two points of Armagh half way through the second half. However it wasn’t sufficient to reel in the visiting county and joint division 3 table toppers. A second Tony Kernan goal, four minutes from time, sealed the win for Kieran McGeeney’s team who had lead 2-8 to 0-4 at the interval having comprehensively outplayed Clare in the opening half. Ironically the home county started very well and led 0-2 to 0-0 seven minutes with Shane Brennan and Jamie Malone pointing from play. Armagh however preceded to take over and kicked 2-5 without reply. In fact Clare were held scoreless for 17 minutes. In the interim full forward Ethan Rafferty, held off Clare full back Kevin Harnett to bury Armagh’s first goal, which was also their opening score. Thereafter Andy Mallon, one of three Armagh players to be black carded, …

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Another man of the match display from Kelly

By Seamus Hayes Clare 2-22 Dublin 2-20 A second man of the match performance in five days from Tony Kelly inspired the Clare hurlers to their first win in this season’s Allianz hurling league when they overcame Dublin at Cusack Park this Saturday afternoon. Outstanding in U.L’s victory in the Fitzgibbon cup final replay in mid week, the Ballyea and his Fitzgibbon cup captain David McInerney maintained that form when inspiring Clare to a merited win over Dublin in round four of the league It was a win that didn’t appear likely when the home side was reduced to fourteen men just before half time when Brendan Bugler was sent off following an off the ball incident. Kelly’s display was one of a number of outstanding performances from the Clare side for whom David McInerney, John Conlon, Conor McGrath, Shane O’Donnell, Colm Galvin in the final quarter and substitute David Reidy also had key roles in this impressive win, a …

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Clare to make changes for Armagh visit?

UNLESS Clare beat Armagh in Ennis on Sunday, their hopes of having a crack at promotion will splinter beyond rescue. Conversely, a Clare win would be a massive morale boost, backed up by the points that would leave them in a great position, with games away to Limerick and at home to Fermanagh to come. Armagh are top of Division 3, with three wins and a draw. The latter result was at home to Fermanagh last Saturday night, when Kieran McGeeney’s team allowed an eight-point second-half lead to evaporate. Following Clare’s six-point loss to Tipperary, management will have a few decisions to make regarding who to start. Only about six of the starting 15 played anywhere near the required level. Those who did included Cathal O’Connor, Shane McGrath, Martin McMahon, Podge Collins, Ciaran Russell and Dean Ryan. That leaves huge scope for improvement, which will be the minimum demand on Sunday. Management will have to decide whether to give the …

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Enforced changes for Clare

By Seamus Hayes Both the Clare senior hurling and football teams have been forced to make changes ahead of this weekend’s league action from the teams which tasted defeat last weekend. For this Saturday’s clash with Dublin in the hurling league in Cusack Park, Davy Fitzgerald and his management team have made two changes in personnel. Colin Ryan is unavailable and his place in the forward line goes to Aaron Cunningham while Donal Tuohy had been handed the goalkeeping position ahead of Pat Kelly. Tony Kelly, fresh from his man of the match performance in the mid week replay of the Fitzgibbon cup hurling final, will lead the hurlers attack while the captain of the winning University of Limerick team, David McInerney, will line out at corner back Meanwhile, football manager Colm Collins has been forced into one change with David Tubridy ruled out due to injury for the Banner side’s clash with Armagh on Sunday, also at Cusack Park. …

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Hurlers’ chance to get first points

AFTER a great start to the league with impressive wins over Tipperary and Kilkenny, the Dublin senior hurlers were brought crashing back down to earth on Saturday night, when they suffered a drubbing at the hands of Cork at Croke Park. An 11-point loss should see the Ger Cunningham-managed side come to Ennis on Saturday for their meeting with Clare determined to get back to winning ways and secure a place in the play-offs. Another defeat could see the Ger Cunningham-managed Dubs with relegation worries on their minds going into the final game of the group stage. Davy Fitzgerald and his team will be hoping that the improvement shown in their game against Tipperary will continue and lead to a Clare win this weekend. Clare will have to win their remaining two games and hope that other results go in their favour if they are to have a chance of avoiding the dreaded relegation play-off. It’s unlikely that all of …

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Two departures from Clare panel

Nicky O’Connell and Davy O’Halloran have turned their backs on the Clare senior hurling panel. Clonlara’s O’Connell, an All-Ireland senior and U-21 medal winner and O’Halloran, from Éire Óg, also an U-21 All-Ireland medalist, left the panel last week after they were punished for an alleged breach of discipline. O’Connell’s brother Cathal (Tots) was also disciplined by the team management but he has not withdrawn. He was with the squad for last Sunday’s league tie with Tipperary. It is understood that the trio were given a three-week programme of physical training and informed that they would not play any part in three league games as a result of a breach of the strict discipline guidelines put in place by the team management. The alleged breach is understood to have occurred on the Friday prior to the opening league game against Galway. Davy O’Halloran and Nicky O’Connell have played key roles in the Munster and All-Ireland successes that Clare have enjoyed …

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Eimear sets her sights on Rio

FOLLOWING confirmation at the weekend that she has been awarded a full-time contract with the Irish Rugby 7s side, 23-year-old Kilmihil girl, Eimear Considine, has taken a step closer to participating in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. An Irish and PE teacher in Glasnevin, Considine has been playing senior football for Clare since she was 16 and has also represented the county senior camogie team for several years. “You’d never even imagine, that you might be in the Olympics,” she told The Clare Champion this week. Considine had not played rugby before and, incredibly, she was approached to try out via a message on LinkedIn, which she almost missed completely. “I have never played rugby. I’d heard of a lot of people who have transferred over to it and I always wanted to try it but I didn’t know how to go about it. I got a message on LinkedIn, which I only joined because we were …

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Clare coast into Munster semi-final

Clare 2-11 Waterford 0-3 Clare coasted into next Wednesday’s Munster U-21 football semi-final meeting with Tipperary in Thurles, following a facile win over Waterford in Miltown. Played in front of an attendance of 518, Clare restricted Waterford to just a single second-half point. Clare put the game away in the opening three minutes of the second half, when Jamie Malone raced through for a superb goal. Prior to that, Keelan Sexton had put over a nice point from play, set up by Dale Masterson. Malone won the subsequent kick-out and buried his second goal. Sexton followed up with a superb left-footed score, putting Clare into a 2-6 to 0-2 lead. Waterford had battled gamely in the opening half but following Clare’s burst after half-time, the confidence and ambition visibly drained from their opponents. Malone’s first goal, six minutes before half-time, helped Clare into a 1-4 to 0-2 interval lead. The goal opportunity was presented to the Corofin man following excellent …

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