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Orthlaith on the comeback trail

ORLAITH Duggan cut a lonesome figure at Clare training session in Shannon. The captain, who is from Spancilhill, was fully togged and keen to train but a niggling Achilles tendon injury has kept her on the sideline. However Duggan, who plays her club camogie for Clooney-Quin, is confident that she will be fit to tog against Dublin on Saturday in Parnell Park. “When you’re out for a few weeks, you could come to training and you mightn’t speak to anyone,” the speech and language therapist, who works in Ennis, reflected, before realising that maybe things weren’t that bad. “This is making things sound really depressing,” the NUIG graduate laughed. The late evening sun was beating down as Trisha O’Grady incessantly roared instructions in the background. “That’s what you want to be doing, especially on evenings like this. If it was lashing rain, I wouldn’t mind missing training too much. I hope to be togging anyway and to be able to …

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Clare back in Munster final after nine year wait

Clare 3-17 Limerick 2-16 Clare will contest the Munster senior hurling final for the first time since 2008 thanks to a merited win over their arch rivals Limerick at Semple stadium in Thurles this afternoon. There can be no denying the merit of the Banner outfit’s victory but there will be concern at the manner in which the allowed Limerick close the gap on a number of occasions. Back to full fitness having missed the league due to injury, Shane O’Donnell and Conor McGrath sparkled and between them contributed 3-5 of Clare’s tally. Both of O’Donnell’s goals came in the opening quarter and helped Clare into an eight point lead before the twentieth minute by which time Limerick still hadn’t got a score from play.At this time it looked like Clare might pull away for an easy win but, in the space of six minutes Limerick had drawn level. They hit 1-5 without reply, their goal coming from David Dempsey …

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No place for Dillon on starting team

Crusheen’s Cian Dillon has failed to find a place in the Clare team which will face Limerick in Sunday’s Munster senior hurling semi-final at Thurles The All-Ireland winning defender who jointly captained the team with Tony Kelly to the National league title last year, is, however, named amongst the substitutes. Brendan Bugler, another regular for much of the last decade is also included in the substitutes in a match day squad in which there is no place for All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Patrick Kelly The team is Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge), David McInerney (Tulla), Patrick O’Connor (Tubber) captain; David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), Conor Cleary (St. Josephs Miltown), Gearóid O’Connell (Ballyea); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), David Reidy (Éire Óg Inis); Tony Kelly (Ballyea), Podge Collins (Cratloe), John Conlon (Clonlara); Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), Conor McGrath (Cratloe), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg Inis) Substitutes: Donal Tuohy (Crusheen) Cian Dillon (Crusheen), Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge), Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge), Jason McCarthy (Inagh Kilnamona), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Ian …

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Judgement day at Thurles

Sunday is judgement day noted joint Clare senior hurling manager Gerry O’Connor. “We will be judged as a management and the players will be judged. Being absolutely honest, we have targeted this day and that brings its own pressures but so be it. “I remember 1995 in Thurles and ’96 in the Gaelic Grounds and form went out the window on both days. Donal [Moloney] and myself have been involved in a huge amount of U-21 games and form goes out the window. It comes down to the team that is most focussed on the day and best prepared. “Then there is the Paul Kinnerk and Joe O’Connor factor also. It’s very unusual. We have soldiered long and hard and Donal, Paul and myself have had our greatest memories from Thurles. These guys [Clare players] have grown up performing in Thurles. We expect a top-class display.” When it was put to him that the public perception is that Clare will …

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Clare and Limerick face-off in Thurles

A NUMBER of cross-overs between Clare and Limerick makes this Sunday’s Munster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final in Thurles even more exciting than usual. Paul Kinnerk, such a central figure in much of the success Clare enjoyed at provincial and national U-21 and senior levels in the past half-dozen years, is now the Limerick coach. Their physical trainer is Joe O’Connor, who trained Clare’s All-Ireland winning team in 2013 under manager Davy Fitzgerald. If that wasn’t enough, there is the involvement of Wolfe Tones clubman from Shannon, Alan Cunningham as part of the Limerick backroom team. He played a key role in the success achieved by Limerick city club Na Piarsaigh in winning the Munster and All-Ireland club titles and is still part of the Limerick city club’s backroom team. On Sunday, the former Clare player and coach finds himself in the opposite camp to his son Aaron, who is a key member of the Clare panel and likely to feature …

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Hayes’s strike keeps Traynor title in Clare

Clare League 1 Inisowen league 0 An Eoin Hayes strike in the third minute of the second half helped Clare to soccer history at Maginn park in Buncrana this afternoon. In winning, Clare retained this inter league title for the first time in their history on a day when Hayes’ fellow Irish international Stephen Kelly was named as the team manager. Kelly was outstanding in a magnificent defence which dominated, particularly in the final ten minutes when they were under huge pressure as the home side piled on pressure in search of an equaliser The second half was particularly entertaining with chances at both ends. Three minutes after the resumption Dave McCarthy created the opening and Eoin Hayes, as he has done so often in recent seasons, applied the finish, shooting low to the corner. Defending champions Clare received a timely boost to their chances of retaining the title when Avenue United’s Colin Smyth passed a late fitness test which …

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Banner to claim 24th championship win over Limerick

IN what will be the counties’ 40th Munster championship meeting, Clare will be looking for their 24th win over Limerick on Sunday when the teams meet for the third year-in-a-row. If Clare win, it will be their fourth successive championship win over Limerick, who operated in Division 4 of the National Football League this season, while Clare played in Division 2. While the Banner County retained their league status, one issue encountered was lack of impact from the bench. Clare made 31 substitutions during the league but none of them managed a score in any of the seven games. At times, Clare were without some key players, which weakened their options on the bench. The fact they have a full panel to pick from this weekend should mean that Clare will have players who can come in and impact the game in the closing 20 minutes. Although Clare were the only county in the entire league to score a goal …

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Garrihy looking forward to Oscar showdown

FACING Inishowen in Sunday’s Oscar Traynor decider is the final Clare manager Donie Garrihy wanted last year. “We were up there, we watched them beat Galway in Deacy Park and they won well. They are very passionate players. We watched them against the Leinster Senior League. They had an man sent off and Leinster Senior League caught them in the last five minutes. I was on the pitch afterwards with Denis Hynes and I shook hands with Inishowen manager Denis O’Brien, whom I admire very much. I said ‘we are so disappointed’. We were looking forward to playing the final there; it’s such a brilliant pitch.” The Doolin man added, “We went on and won the final and there were great celebrations followed by a civic reception, which was brilliant. It fills you with pride but you must keep your feet on the ground as well. The target again this year was to get out of the group. It was …

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