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Sharper Cork too good for Clare

Cork 1-25 Clare 1-20 A sharper Cork sent Clare hurling fans home disappointed from Semple stadium in Thurles this Sunday afternoon as they captured the Munster senior title for the first time in three years. The result completed a very very disappointing day for Clare hurling and a disappointing weekend for Clare GAA. Beaten in the ladies intermediate football final on Saturday, Clare were then dumped out of the All-Ireland championship when beaten by Mayo leaving fans making the journey to Thurles hoping for a change in fortunes. All is not lost however and both minor and senior hurlers now face All-Ireland quarter final ties in two weeks time, the minors against Ulster opposition and the seniors against either Tipperary or Waterford. Before an attendance of 45,558, the game started at a very lively pace and the teams exchanged points three times before the twelfth minute when Cork struck for an Alan Cadogan goal after the cork corner forward had …

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Second half Mayo goals put paid to Clare

Mayo 2-14 Clare 0-13 AT half-time a huge shock looked on but Clare were outscored 2-8 to 0-5 in the second half of their third round All-Ireland qualifier game against Mayo in Ennis on Saturday. The O’Connor brothers, Cillian and Diarmuid, buried two early second half goals and from there, Mayo were in control. In front of an attendance of 11,576 in Cusack Park, Clare led 0-8 to 0-6 after 35 minutes. They made an electric start and led 0-6 to 0-1 after 19 minutes. Andy Moran, who put over 0-3 from play in the first half, kicked the games opening score in the first minute but Clare racked up 0-6 in a pulsating spell. Mayo were also dealt a very early setback when Donal Vaughan was black carded for a tackle on Gary Brennan in the fourth minute. Brennan was one of Clare’s point scores in that period, while Eoin Cleary, David Tubridy, Keelan Sexton and Jamie Malone also …

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Hartness impressed with Clare’s pool of talent

THE achievement of winning three All-Irelands at U-21 level and an All-Ireland senior title in five years “is phenomenal”, according to Cork selector Pat Hartnett. The Midleton man, who helped Cork to championship glory in 1984 and 1986, argues that Clare has “a serious pool of talent” and “are big time favourites for Sunday’s game”. Given Cork’s absence from the roll of honour in recent years, is there pressure on them to win this title? “There is no pressure in our view,” was the dentist’s response. “We played Clare a number of weeks ago behind closed doors. They are as good as we have met this year, they were scintillating on the night. They are big time favourites for Sunday. It’s up to management team to work with the tools they are given. Three All-Irelands in five years is phenomenal. Look, a blind man knows when the sun is shining,” he added. Regarding the 2013 All-Ireland final, he noted it …

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Minor hurlers can upset the form book

WHEN Cork stripped their great rivals, Tipperary, of the Munster Minor Hurling Championship title in a semi-final replay at Pairc Uí Rinn on Monday evening, it installed the Leesiders as favourites for Sunday’s final clash with Clare at Semple Stadium. Clare’s progress to the final has surprised some, as their semi-final opponents, Limerick, were fancied to make it a fifth successive provincial final appearance, given that they had a fair scattering of last year’s squad that contested the All-Ireland final in their ranks. However, Clare’s greater hunger for victory proved decisive in last week’s clash and they emerged as deserving winners in a tie that required extra time. The fact the Cork v Tipperary tie was still level after extra-time, which led to Monday’s replay, confirms the view held by the Clare management that the four semi-finalists were evenly matched and that there will not be much between the teams on Sunday. In the drawn tie, Brian Turnbull and Daire …

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Clare defence must step up for Munster final

AS the clock ticks closer to the Munster senior hurling final, one of the big talking points is the likely line-up of the side to face Cork. David McInerney is winning his battle to be fit, having suffered a hamstring injury when playing for his club Tulla in a Clare Champion Cup tie almost four weeks ago. He played in an internal game on Sunday last and is expected to be named at full-back on Sunday. Oisin O’Brien has returned to action after a near six-month lay-off due to a knee injury suffered at the beginning of the season. He has participated in training and internal games for the past few weeks, while he played a full league game with Clonlara two weeks ago. Recognised as a leading man-marker, there is much speculation that he will be in the starting line-up and given the task of following Conor Lehane, who has sparkled for Cork in their two championship games to …

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Changes on both Clare hurling teams

The Clare teams to play Cork in Sunday’s Munster senior and minor finals against Cork show two changes from that which started their respective semi-finals against Limerick Oisin O’Brien returns to the senior team after injury and he comes in at wing back in place of Gearoid O’Connell who, surprisingly, has failed to find a place in the match day twenty six. The other change sees Cathal Malone named at midfield in place of David Reidy. the expectation is that Malone will be at wing forward with Tony Kelly moving out to partner Colm Galvin in the middle of the field.  It had been speculated that Peter Duggan or Niall Deasy would be called into the attack. Both are included amongst the substitutes as are veterans Brendan Bugler and Patrick Donnellan. David McInerney had recovered from injury and will take his place at full back flanked by Seadna Morey and Patrick O’Connor Andrew Fahy continues in goal with Donal Tuohy …

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Clare ladies aim to tip the scales

FOR the second year in succession, Clare will face Tipperary in the Munster intermediate ladies football final. The game will take place at Mallow on Saturday at 1.15pm. It is the curtain raiser to the senior final, which sees Waterford face Kerry. “The two sides know each other very well,” Clare boss Neil Moynihan told The Clare Champion this week. “Tipperary will carry the favourites’ tag after their Division 3 league success. They are chassing the treble of league, Munster and All-Ireland titles. Hopefully, we can make things difficult for them,” the Galway man added. There are a number of injury concerns for the Clare side. Nicole Doherty (ankle), Shauna Harvey (quad), Ailish Considine (hamstring) and Becky Mahon (ankle) are all battling to be fit, while there are also doubts about Róisín Considine, who has just returned to training and Lizzie Roche, who returned from holidays this week. “We are working from a new panel this year, as we only …

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Bannermen can test Mayo

Getting the home venue was important was Colm Collins’ view when the draw for round three of the football qualifier pitched Clare against Mayo at Cusack Park. “All three teams in the draw with us are formidable opponents with Mayo, probably, the highest rated. Being involved at this stage of the qualifier means teams are playing good opposition. “They had a tough game with Derry on Saturday and they won’t be taking anything for granted. Mayo bring a tremendous following and, hopefully, Clare can match that,” the Clare boss added, confirming he will have to again plan without the injured Shane Brennan and Liam Markham. Mayo were put to the pin of their collar to get past Derry in Castlebar and indeed, for much of normal time, they played second fiddle to the Ulster side. Once the match went to extra time, they were in control. That scare is sure to have them more alert this weekend and with Ennis …

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