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This Sporting Life – Thursday February 14th 2019

There have been many obituaries written in memory of the great game of Gaelic football over the last few years. Pundits have lamented the seemingly long forgotten days of the catch and kick game that brought the likes of Mick O’Connell, the Bomber Liston and the mighty Tom Morrissey to prominence. Gone, we are told, are the days when the game was played out between 30 men who would fight to the death in a survival of the fittest. The emergence of the hand-pass and the blanket defence have left many pining for the days of old, with the roar of “let it in” ever more prominent now at games. Such was the clamour to end the dark practice of possession based football, the GAA trialled their ill-fated three hand-pass rule which thankfully never saw the light of day again after the pre-season competitions had ended this year. I think everyone will agree that the last three or four years …

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Mick Kennedy Remembered: A Tribute

Tributes have been flooding in after the passing of former Portsmouth great and Clare man Mick Kennedy. The former Republic of Ireland international passed away last weekend at 57 years of age, having spent his later years in Ennistymon. Mick’s parents hailed from Kilmaley, and moved to Salford where Mick was born in 1961. His first club was Halifax, and during his career he made over 500 league appearances for 10 different clubs. Described as the quintessential hard-man in midfield, Kennedy was known for his no nonsense style. Portsmouth was where he came to real prominence, after he was signed by the then manager Alan Ball for a fee of £100,000. He quickly became a cult figure at the club, and captained his beloved Pompey to the First Division in 1987. He made 144 appearances for Portsmouth, and in 2018 was inducted into their Hall of Fame. Mick also came to the attention of Irish manager Jack Charlton during this …

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Champion Sports Chat Podcast Monday February 11th 2019

On this weeks podcast: It’s a football special as we focus on Clare’s win over Cork in the NFL with former Clare boss Micheal McDermott. [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/573679899″ params=”color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

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Tubridy Guides Banner To Rebel Victory

1-7 from David Tubridy helped Clare to a second successive National League victory over Cork in this Division Two encounter as Clare ran out winners by 3-13 to 1-10. The Doonbeg veteran took less than a minute to get on the scoresheet, with Jamie Malone playing a teasing ball across the Cork goalmouth which Tubridy palmed to the net. Cork responded with a point from Matthew Taylor, but great work from Clare captain Gary Brennan saw Conal O hAinifein thunder into space and finish a brilliant shot low to the Cork net to put the Banner into the driving seat. Cork hit back with the next two scores to leave just three between the sides, but this was as close as they would get. Tubridy notched a brace which was answered by Stephen Cronin, but another Banner double through Dale Masterson and Dean Ryan left Clare 2-4 to 0-4 clear with ten minutes to go to the break. Luke Connolly …

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Ennis RFC Girls Claim Munster Conference Title

A polished performance from Ennis saw them claim the Munster Girls U18 Conference A title with a well deserved victory over their Tipperary opponents on a 28-13 scoreline. It comes just two years after girls rugby was introduced by the club, with a number of the panel also catching the eye of the Munster Development Squad coaches in the past 12 months. The Clare side were always in control of the game at Irish Independent Park, and raced into a 14-0 lead midway through the opening half with two brilliant tries from the impressive Chisom Ugwueru. Both tries came after good work at the breakdown by the Ennis pack, as they pressured their opponents into conceding possession, before Ugwueru pounced on the loose balls to dance clear under the posts. Ennis full-back Aoibhin Donnelly was in good form from the tee and landed both conversions to leave her side well in control as the half-time whistle loomed. Credit to Carrick-on-Suir …

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Clare Set For Rebel Backlash In Cusack Park

Clare and Cork go head to head in round three of the National Football League Division Two in Cusack Park this Sunday at 2pm. Both sides come into the game having picked up one point from their opening two games, with the Rebels drawing against Fermanagh in Enniskillen before losing out to Kildare in Pairc ui Chaiomh. Kilmurry Ibrickane’s Keelan Sexton will be central once more to the Clare challenge as they look to build on last weekend’s draw against Armagh, but he says being without his club-mate Dermot Coughlan is a huge blow. “You hate seeing injuries like that happen and it is such a pity that it had to happen to him. He’s just after coming in to the panel and it’s only his second league game. He’s an outstanding player and it was awful to see it happen. I know Dermot very well and I have no doubt that once he gets on the mend, he will …

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Clare Look To Build On Positive Start To LGFA National League

Clare travel to Wexford this Sunday as they bid to pick up more vital points in their Ladies National Football League Division Two campaign. A storming first-half performance almost saw the Banner off to the perfect start against Kerry last weekend, before a late rally from the Kingdom saw them take a share of the spoils. Clare management and players have made no secret of their ambition to reach the semi-finals of this year’s league, and a point against one of the favourites to win the title outright will do their chances no harm at all. Clare boss James Murrihy admits while they are delighted to have picked up their first point, it’s a bittersweet feeling that it wasn’t more. “On one hand we gained a point but on the other you could say that we lost two. The overriding feeling is that we would have asked the girl for work-rate and to have a good attitude heading into the …

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St Anne’s In Search Of Munster Hurling Glory

It is a busy time for the students of St Anne’s Community College in Killaloe. Mock exams start this week as the big build up to June gathers pace, and there’s the small matter of a Munster Colleges Hurling final to be dealt with too. If second-level schools are the mould in which the character of future generations are formed, then the students in Killaloe are in safe hands. Not only are they juggling academic and sporting commitments, but for four of them, a trip to Missionvale in South Africa to volunteer their time and services is also on the horizon. Two of the those students, Dylan McMahon and James Power, are due to fly out on Saturday February 16th, which was the original date of their Munster Colleges Final against Borrisokane. After some negotiations between the two schools, it was agreed to bring the game forward by a week that both players wouldn’t have to miss out on one …

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