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O’Donovan powers his way to another national title

CLARE boxers Paddy O’Donovan and Martin J Mongan met with mixed fortunes in the welterweight and heavyweight finals of the national senior and U/21 championships at the National Stadium in Dublin last Friday night. Welterweight O’Donovan, who boxes out of the Our Lady of Lourdes club in Limerick, prevailed for his tenth national title in as many years with a superb performance against Jason Kyne (Celtic Eagles) while Mongan came up short on a split 3-2 decision, against Dubliner Daniel O’Brien . Mongan, with height and reach advantage over O’Brien, carried all the big shots in the first round and looked as if he might overwhelm his opponent but O’Brien rallied in the second to tie up matters with a series of solid and accurate right-handers. It was ‘ tit for tat’ in the early seconds of the final round. O’Brien took the initiative midway through the round with a good left hook to Mongan’s head and the punch seemed …

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Sixmilebridge want ref swapping deal with Limerick

TWO Clare GAA clubs will table motions at the upcoming Clare GAA convention to alter the refereeing situation for senior championship games within the county. Sixmilebridge will propose to implement a referee-swap system, whereby referees from outside Clare would officiate at all senior club matches within the county and, likewise, Clare referees would travel outside the county to officiate elsewhere. The move, described in the motion, is to “avoid the current situation of clubs not being able to agree on referees and would provide the utmost impartiality”. Ruan GAA will propose that, “The appointment of referees for all adult championship games in both codes from 2020 onwards be the responsibility of the Clare GAA Referees Association”. This would effectively move control of referee appointments to games from the fixtures committee to the referees association solely. Sixmilebridge PRO Syl O’Connor stressed that his club’s motion was considered two years ago and that while some might “see this in a different light”, …

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Malone urges on Miltown from the sidelines

HE will be completely behind Miltown on Sunday and will celebrate as much as anyone if they create history and win their first Munster senior club final. Yet deep down, Seanie Malone will feel slightly adrift. While 2018 has proven a superb season for his club, Malone has been injured for most of it. The 26 year old, who works  as a Quality Technician at Mincon in Shannon, currently has a broken bone in his foot and unfortunately it is his third long term injury this season. “I tore my hamstring at the Brian Casey tournament in Lissycasey. I was out for six weeks with that. I was back and played in the Wolfe Tones game in the championship. We were training on the following Tuesday night. I tore a cartilage in my knee and had to have an operation on that. I was out for about eight weeks and came back from that. I had put a lot of …

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Tayto keen to keep crisp Miltown moving

Miltown corner-back, Eoin O’Brien, talks about nicknames, tyres and his mother ahead of Sunday’s Munster club final against Dr Crokes in Limerick. ASK for Eoin O’Brien in Miltown Malbay and chances are you will be met with a blank stare. ‘Who?’ Ask for ‘Tayto’ and they will know exactly who are talking about. The Miltown defender is the type of back that forwards would prefer to be placed well away from. Tenacious, tight and a man whose full on approach lifts the crowd, Tayto is a key part of Miltown’s back line. The big question though is how did Eoin lose his identity to Tayto? “My neighbour John Murrihy,” he revealed. “I was in sixth class in primary school and he said my head looked like a spud. But there was a fella in Miltown called Spud already so I was called Tayto. And it stuck,” the Miltown man laughed. On balance one would opt for the Tayto moniker ahead …

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Feakle’s Donnellan flying high over ‘unbelievable buzz’ in the parish

THE run of the parish’s hurlers has shortened the winter in Feakle and Oisín Donnellan has really enjoyed the atmosphere. “In the last few weeks there has been an unbelievable buzz around the parish. Everyone is looking forward to it, just wishing you the best of luck and all that. It’s a real community thing,” he says. A graduate of NUI Galway, further study may be on the horizon for Donnellan in the future. “I said I’d give myself a years break and see what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure whether I’d go back and do a Masters or not. I’ll start think about that after the hurling finishes.” At the moment he is working in Clare Fruit and Veg in Ennis and at times there is a lot of hurling talk on the premises. “I’m on the shelves and at the tills and all of that. It was good, we had a good bit of banter the …

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Feakle ready for their date with destiny

FEAKLE are on the cusp of creating history as they face into their first ever Munster final this Sunday, taking on Charleville of Cork in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Feakle last won a senior county title in 1988 but lost their Munster semi-final to Waterford side Mount Sion. Thirty years later, Feakle made no mistake with an authoritative display against a Waterford side when they beat Clonea by nine points. Feakle is far from a massive parish but supporters flocked in their droves from East Clare to Fraher Field in Dungarvan and Gary Guilfoyle paid tribute to those who did. “I think they outnumbered the Clonea crowd by two to one. The whole place has been buzzing for the last few weeks, since before the semi-final. We are even getting crowds at training now,” Gary said. The name Guilfoyle is synonymous with hurling in Clare and in Feakle. But bad luck with injuries and the name Guilfoyle also go …

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Feakle one step away from a Munster final

AFTER realising their primary goal, of getting back to senior in their first attempt, Feakle now embark on the provincial journey that so many Clare teams have enjoyed success in down through the years. After last years relegation, Val Donnellan’s men bounced straight back up to the first tier of Clare hurling in emphatic style, coming out the right side of it, 0-27 to 0-16 against Tubber in the Clare intermediate final. Next up for the east Clare team is a trip to Waterford on Saturday. They will face off against Clonea, with the Rathgormack based side having seen off Limerick champions, Garryspillane in the Munster quarter-final, 1-25 to 1-10 in Faher field last Sunday. The Waterford men come into this one in imperious form, averaging 2-19 in their nine outings to date. Feakle will definitely be missing one starter from their victory over Tubber. Ger Hanrahan won’t be participating as he is in New York for the fixture, while …

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Ballyea aim to gun down Waterford champions

TWO weeks after winning just their second Canon Hamilton, Ballyea travel to Waterford on Sunday at 1.30pm, looking for a performance that can stun favourites Ballygunner in the Munster club semi-final. Sunday’s encounter promises to go right to the wire, providing both teams perform to their capabilities. A big performance from Tony Kelly will be required for Ballyea yet again, although players like Brandon O’Connell and Martin O’Leary were superb in the county final. More of the same will be required on Sunday along with big performances from Gary Brennan and Jack Browne. The unerring accuracy of free taker Niall Deasy will also play a pivotal role in Ballyea’s performance in Waterford as the 2016 Munster champions seek to conquer Munster again. Deasy has a superb record from placed balls and that has been pivotal to their unexpected 2018 championship success. Ballyea will also have to keep an eye on their oppositions centre forward, Pauric Mahony. The 26-year-old tallied 25 …

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