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Pat Fitzgerald to step down as Clare GAA secretary

SECRETARY of Clare GAA Pat Fitzgerald has announced his intention to step down from the role next month. Mr Fitzgerald will resign on July 18, the day after the All-Ireland hurling final, after 32 years in the position. In a statement he said it had been a busy and demanding role and he had enjoyed it immensely. “I wish the county and all our teams the very best with all future endeavours and plans both on and off the field of play. I am very proud of what we have achieved together over many long years and I wish you every success into the future. “I look forward to supporting our county as a fan and assisting in any way I can in the years to come.” He had served in the role in a voluntary capacity for 17 years until 2007 when he was successful in an interview process among a number of candidates to take the job full …

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GALLERY: Clinical Cratloe edge U13B football decider

U13 B football final Cratloe 2-9 Clooney Quin 2-7 Cratloe had to be at their economical best to finally hold off a relentless Clooney-Quin side that threw everything at their opponents in an excellent Under 13 Division 2 decider in Shannon Camogie Pitch last Tuesday evening. In an evenly-matched seesaw wrestle for control, amazingly the winners were able to keep their noses in front for the majority and even when Clooney-Quin finally regained parity by the two-thirds mark, they never managed to get ahead of Cratloe at any stage. I say amazingly as while the possession stats and wide count were almost identical, the ultimate difference was in terms of scoring efficiency as Cratloe created and scored a brace of goals whereas Clooney-Quin only converted two of their ten, yes ten, goal chances. In truth, there was a resigned feeling of ‘if they didn’t have bad luck in front of the posts, they’d have none at all’ as the crossbar, …

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Cratloe’s Carroll named in Ireland World Cup squad

Cratloe’s Naomi Carroll has been named in Ireland’s squad for next month’s Women’s FIH Hockey World Cup. Carroll was named in Sean Dancer’s squad as she looks set to represent her country in this competition for the first time. The experienced forward has enjoyed an excellent campaign with Catholic Institute, helping them secure the Irish Senior Cup for the first time in the club’s history. She scored the only goal of the game to help Catholic Institute win their first ever senior crown. The former Clare ladies footballer and camogie player helped her side to the Champions Trophy final and to second place in the EY Hockey League. The teacher at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh missed out on making the Irish squad for the previous World Cup in 2018 with the side subsequently reaching the final. To compound matters, she suffered a tear in her anterior cruciate ligament injury when lining out with the Clare ladies footballers that summer. Despite the long …

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‘They’re never beaten and at no point do you give up on them, ever’

When Tomás Ó Sé bowed out of inter-county football after 16 seasons in 2013 he wrote a retirement article in the Irish Examiner that finished with the immortal line of, ‘I went as hard as I could for as long as I could’. You couldn’t want any more from a player. Over. And. Out. Goodbye to the Hill. It’s a line and attitude to this sporting life that many aspire to, but most mere mortals lack the iron will to carry it through, live by it, do it every time, and eventually die by it, with their boots on in a final valedictory stand. This Clare football team does it, because of what they have, what they give and then the way they go and give some more. Always. It’s what has been bred into them by Colm Collins since 2014; it’s their DNA; it’s their default setting and what they’re microchipped for and it’s all they know. All of …

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HURLING: Croker calling after breathtaking Banner backlash

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final Clare 1-24 Wexford 3-14 CLARE may have gotten out of jail but what a breakout it proved to be as they unearthed an almost incredulous ten point turnaround to knock Wexford out of the championship for the fourth time in five seasons in front of 34, 640 in FBD Semple Stadium, writes Eoin Brennan. Having recovered from a stuttering start, Clare looked to be firmly in the ascendency until being struck by a brace of sucker-punch goals that left Lohan’s men trailing by six points with just ten minutes remaining. It was the fortuitous manner of the goals in contrast to Ian Galvin’s luckless effort at the other end that ricocheted back off the crossbar that would have left most sides feeling as if it wasn’t to be their day. Clare’s character ensured that they made it their day as despite not firing on all cylinders for long periods, they never dropped their heads at …

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GALLERY: Patience crucial to Clooney-Quin’s U15 triumph

U15A hurling final Clooney-Quin 2-16 Cratloe 2-11 Clooney-Quin relievedly made the perfect start to 2022 when finally holding off an obstinate Cratloe with the last four points to cement a first U-15A Hurling title since 2019 in Cusack Park on Saturday afternoon. Having agonisingly suffered championship final defeats at Under 13B, 14A, 15B and Minor A in 2021, two of which were in Cusack Park, Clooney-Quin deservedly made full amends last Saturday to further enhance their growing underage influence. In essence, Clooney-Quin possessed the better balance and having been the most consistent team in the competition throughout, there were some excellent displays in particular on Saturday from Darragh McNamara, Jerry O’Connor, Sean McNamara, Matthew Corbett, Cathal Leamy, Sean Cassidy and captain Patrick Finneran. Cratloe, U-14B champions from 2021, were greatly reliant on Marc O’Brien and it was easy to see why as the towering centre-forward possessed pace, power and an ever-present threat to favourites Clooney-Quin. Morris Ryan, Tadhg Lohan, Cian …

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Clare’s consistency can see them over the line – Bugler

Brendan Bugler believes Clare’s consistency so far in this year’s Championship bodes well for their aspirations this weekend. With Brian Lohan’s side travelling to FBD Semple Stadium for their quarter final showdown with Wexford, the pressure is on to replicate the performance produced in the epic Munster final a fortnight ago. Bugler feels that although Wexford have been building momentum ever since they managed to defeat Kilkenny on away soil in the final round of group games, Clare’s consistent performances will ensure they are confident of reaching a first All Ireland semi final since 2018. “Clare have really good hurlers. There is a massive desire there and they have given a performance every game. It’s been a really good year so far. This is another test and a big challenge. It’s such a huge occasion but I’m sure Brian will have worked on getting them back up for this game again after the Munster final.” The former All-Ireland winning defender …

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Individual battles could be key in Clare getting past Wexford

Despite knocking out Wexford in three of the last four All-Ireland Senior campaigns, there is unlikely to be any shred of complacency on Clare’s part this afternoon. While Clare have had the Indian sign over Wexford in recent seasons, it was largely due to Wexford’s predictability along with the fact that the Leinster side repeatedly failed to curb Tony Kelly’s influence in any great way. It’s no coincidence that the back-to-back All-Star has been most prolific against Limerick and Wexford as they choose to zonally mark rather than employ a specific man-marker. Kelly has raided for an average of 15 points in his three championship outings against Limerick who by holding their positions, are able to snuff out most other Clare threats. Kelly’s average record against Wexford is slightly less at 0-11 in three outings since 2018 but what Darragh Egan does to counteract that could well be critical to the outcome. The conundrum for opposition managers is that by …

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