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O’Grady not using past heartache to fuel Kildysart challenge

Kildysart manager Noel O’Grady insists his side will not be using past final heartbreak as added motivation ahead of his side’s showdown with Corofin Despite this being his side’s fourth final in six year at the intermediate grade, O’Grady believes his charges must look forward and not back as they prepare for a final, which many predicted would come to fruition before the competition started. “We are just focused on this year. The lads have to work hard and do their jobs on the pitch. “We have a new management team this year so we have just been focusing on the task at hand The past defeats haven’t been mentioned by us. They (the players) may be thinking of it themselves but we’ve not mentioned it.” O’Grady knows his side cannot afford the slow start that ultimately cost them in their semi final defeat to Corofin last year as they fell nine points behind in the opening quarter. “There is …

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Clare prepared for feast of minor hurling finals

The Minor Hurling Championship Finals dominate the underage landscape, with five Under 17 deciders taking place this weekend, writes Eoin Brennan. Unquestionably, the eagerly-awaited Minor A decider between Inagh-Kilnamona and Clooney-Quin in Clareabbey on Sunday morning (11.45am) will capture the bulk of the attention as these sides have been earmarked as clear favourites from the outset. Inagh-Kilnamona in fact secured the spoils in their group meeting at the beginning of October by 2-17 to 1-15 which was originally postponed. However, with both sides not at full strength, it can only be viewed as a phoney war ahead of the ultimate rematch this Sunday. Backed by the wave of momentum surrounding the club at the moment as they prepare for a first ever county senior hurling final, Inagh-Kilnamona will be favoured to prevail for a first Willie Chaplin Cup in four years but certainly won’t have it all their own way as Clooney-Quin look to bridge a 15 year gap to …

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First minor honours go east

A dominant opening quarter laid the foundations for Scariff-Ogonnelloe to secure the first Minor silverware of 2021 as they held off any Kilmaley revolt to garner the Under 17 Academy B title in Hamilton Park in Kilkishen on Sunday morning. An early unanswered 1-6 blitz capped off by a John Walsh goal provided the amalgamation with a healthy cushion that they would cling to for the remainder as Kilmaley, led superbly by Thomas McGuire and Joe Casey, tried their utmost to grab a lifeline. Scariff-Ogonnelloe perhaps should have been out of sight by the opening water break though when only taking one of three glorious goal opportunities. Fronted by a potent forward line led by Sean Treacy, John Walsh, Liam Madden, Colin O’Grady and Mici Sheedy, the East Clare combo hit the ground running with six points without reply in the opening twelve minutes through Walsh (2), O’Grady (2), Madden and Sheedy. Their efforts to add a goal initially proved …

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Stars align for Gleeson’s men

Killaloe have always had a healthy rivalry with Tipperary, with only the Shannon separating the town from nearest neighbours Ballina. Most famously depicted with memorable photos on the bridge ahead of the then novel All-Munster All-Ireland Final between Clare and Tipperary in 1997, there has always been no shortage of craic and banter from both sides on the divide. That relationship could change on Sunday if Tipperary native Tony Gleeson can work the oracle of delivering an Intermediate hurling crown for Smith O’Brien’s in what is only the club’s second ever decider. The Burgess clubman, who has been coaching at adult level since his teenage years is in his second coming for the Killaloe-Bridgetown based side, having coached them in 2018 and ’19 before taking a break to finish his masters degree last year. However, the fact that he was so eager to come back on board as manager is a statement in itself of the potential that he sees …

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Parish to raise Halloween spirits

Intermediate Hurling Final Smith O’Brien’s v St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield at Cusack Park, Sunday 2.45pm The spoils will be divided between trick or treat on Sunday when arguably the most important intermediate final since 2014 will finally be decided. Considering the calibre of the teams embroiled in the senior relegation series in which Clarecastle, Clooney-Quin, Crusheen and O’Callaghan’s Mills have all contested top flight semi-finals in the past seven seasons and the last three have reached a county senior final in that time, there are two major sides set to come down to intermediate level which only heightens the necessity for either St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield or Smith O’Brien’s to seize their timely opportunity this Sunday. Overall, it’s definitely not outlandish to suggest that the Parish are better equipped to not only go up but stay up such is the strength of the squad and the continuous conveyor belt of underage talent who have been playing at the highest level. Equally as …

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Banner and Kilmihil likely to renew rivalry in senior final

Senior Ladies Football Championship Semi-Finals Kilmihil v St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield at Hennessy Memorial Park, Sunday 12pm (Michael Talty, Kilmurry Ibrickane) EXPERIENCE was the key separator when the sides clashed in Kilmihil at the start of October as the hosts weathered the storm to eventually carve out a 3-8 to 1-6 victory over the Parish. With a perfect championship record under their belts before coming up against champions Banner Ladies in a sobering group decider a fortnight ago, Kilmihil have managed to hone their side and blend the likes of exciting talent Edel McNamara into their established core of Ellie O’Gorman, Becky Mahon, Laura Egan, Micaela Glynn, Rosie Currane, Dervla Higgins and Catriona Callinan. That consistency is something that St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield have struggled to match but their arduous dual commitments of having to play two senior championship ties in the same weekend certainly would have played a part in that. With the camogie side out of the running, the Parish’s …

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Clonlara see off Scariff to set up Feakle senior B final date

A slick moving Clonlara side had too much all over the field for Scariff and set up a meeting with Feakle next weekend as the Senior B holders never once look troubled against the 2020 Intermediate champions in Sixmilebridge on Friday night.   Clonlara displayed greater pace and precision in passing with Cathal O’Connell totally at ease in a loose role in the half forward operating as conductor of proceedings.   In a game that required Scariff avoid wastage of scoring chances, they sent half a dozen eminently scorable first half chances abegging. Kieran Galvin and Cathal O’Connell with a dozen scores once again led in the scoring stakes had the opening scores before Martin Cunningham responded for Scariff. Micheal Stritch, Ian Galvin, and Kieran Galvin added to their sides tally before Pat Crotty and Sean Minogue hit back by the 10th minute.  Pat Ryan set up Conor McNamara for the first goal after 12 minutes to level matters, however this only kickstarted …

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Kilmaley snatch Under 13A Shield with dramatic finish

An injury-time goal from Andy Clancy snatched a dramatic Under 13A Shield title victory for Kilmaley following a thrilling seesaw derby battle with Éire Óg on away soil on Sunday morning. Led by the ever-impressive marksman Luke Vaughan, who accounted for all but one point of his side’s tally, Éire Óg had finally reeled in their opponents by the three-quarters mark and duly hit the front at the perfect time when Vaughan produced a superb solo goal in the 50th minute to move 1-11 to 0-11 clear. Crucially, Kilmaley didn’t panic however and having reshuffled their pack, got back on track with a Sean Daly point before chief threats Jason Keane Hayes and Odhran Murphy teed up Andy Clancy to fire to the net from close range in the 61st minute followed immediately by a brace of Seanie Connellan points to cement a remarkable late turnaround. While it was the perfect way to win a final, it was also exceedingly …

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