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Is Simon heading for Croker?

THE surprise announcement on Monday last by the chief executive of Munster GAA, Simon Moroney, that he will step down from the post in May, has fuelled speculation that he will be the association’s next director general. Paraic Duffy, the GAA’s ard stiúrthóir is to leave his position at the end of March and, this week, the closing date for applications for the post was extended by two weeks. Ennis man Moroney was first appointed to the position of Munster Council secretary in 2004, when he replaced Donie Nealon. He resigned from the post in 2008 but he returned to the position in 2013, when he agreed to take on the role for nine months initially. “This became one year and after that year, I agreed with the then management committee to do up to five years, one year at a time. I have really enjoyed the last five years and when I finish up on May 6, I will have served just …

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Shannonside deby hurling final

Beaten by a point by Cork in last year’s final, Limerick will be keen to go a step further and capture the Munster Senior Hurling League title. While Cork followers were ultimately disappointed when the side didn’t go on to contest the All-Ireland decider, patrons will point to the fact that following their Munster league win, they won the Munster championship title, beating Clare in the final. This statistic is something that will not have escaped either Clare or Limerick. In the overall picture, winning the Munster league isn’t a priority but both Clare and Limerick have used the competition to give game-time to players. Many will argue that both sides have used a greater number of regulars than other counties currently competing in their respective provincial leagues, so it’s reasonable to assume that both will name fairly strong line-up for Sunday’s final. Clare and Limerick clashes tend to be lively affairs, whether it be a challenge, provincial, national league …

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Early goals give Clare the upperhand

Clare 4-17 Cork 0-18 A comfortable eleven point win over title holders Cork has earned Clare a place in the final of the Co-op Superstores Munster senior hurling league where they will play their neighbours and great rivals Limerick Three goals in the opening quarter sent Clare on their way to this merited win, their second in a week (they easily accounted for Kerry last week) and with Limerick also scoring their second win of the campaign both have sealed their places in the final. The teams were due to meet in the third round next week with the final scheduled for a week later but I understand that both are keen to go ahead with the final this coming weekend and its expected that this will be confirmed by the Munster council in the next day or two. While they weren’t in action this weekend, Clare senior footballers are through to the McGrath cup final where they will meet …

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Hurling team shows ten changes

The Clare senior hurling team to play Cork tomorrow in round 2 of the Munster league shows ten changes to the starting line up from that which faced Kerry last week Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona) replaces Donal Tuohy in goal, Eoin Quirke (Whitegate) and team captain Patrick O’Connor (Tubber) come in for Jack Browne and Rory Hayes in the corner back positions while David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) and Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge) are named aright and left wing back respectively in place of Diarmuid Ryan and Mikey O’Malley. David Reidy makes way for Colm Galvin (Clonlara) at midfield while Colm’s brother Ian Galvin comes in for clubmate John Conlon at wing forward, Cratloe’s Billy Connors will make his debut at corner forward in a line completed by Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin) and Conor McGrath (Cratloe) and this trio replace last week’s full forward line of Cathal O’Connell, Shane O’Donnell and Gary Cooney. Cork have also made a number of changes from the side which …

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Killaloe trainer celebrates first Grade 1 success

A KILLALOE horse trainer received a late Christmas present when Poetic Rhythm helped him to land his first Grade 1 winner. Fergal O’Brien was thrilled when his horse crowned what has been a terrific year for him by winning the Betfred Challow Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday. O’Brien, who used to be head lad to Nigel Twiston-Davies and now rents his old second yard, has sent out 46 winners this season, the vast majority ridden by Paddy Brennan from Ardrahan. Having broken his seasonal-best tally back in April, along with claiming a maiden Grade 2 winner at Sandown in February, the Naunton handler celebrated another landmark achievement as the six-year-old came out on top in a thrilling renewal. After chasing down long-time leader Mulcahys Hill, the 15/8 favourite forged on over the last in the hands of Paddy Brennan, before repelling the late fightback from the Warren Greatrex-trained runner by a short head. It was a close-run thing at the …

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Footballers off to a winning start in McGrath Cup

Clare 2-18 Waterford 1-9 ON Saturday in Meelick, 10 Clare footballers started their first game for the county and while Waterford deteriorated as the season opening McGrath Cup game wore on, several Clare players suggested that they will definitely be of help in adding depth to the league and championship panel. When the game was a contest in the opening half, Eimhin Courtney was superb, kicking 0-4 from play and moving impressively. In the opposite corner of the full forward line, Conor Finnucane also demonstrated his ability and if both can keep that up, they will definitely be viable options as will full forward, Gearóid O’Brien. All three would definitely add something either from the start, against better opposition or in the last 20 minutes. That’s exactly what Clare are looking for. Other who looked the part, albeit against limited opposition, included Alan Sweeney, Darragh Bohannan and Aaron Fitzgerald at centre-back, while Killian Roche was very solid in goals, under …

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Comfortable first round victory for Clare

Clare 4-20 Kerry 0-12 Clare had their expected comfortable win over Kerry in the opening round of the Co-op Superstores Munster hurling league this afternoon in a game played at Limerick I.T after Sixmilebridge was deemed unplayable due to the heavy rain of the previous two days. Fielding a new look side that included a number of debutants, there was never la doubt about the outcome. The winners raced into an early lead and were 1-3 to 0-0 ahead after six minutes, the goal coming from David Reidy who quickly added a point while Niall Deasy scored the opening two points. Goals from Cathal O’Connell and Shane O’Donnell in the closing minutes of the half left Clare with a fifteen point lead, 3-11 to 0-5, when the half time whistle sounded. Clare’s workrate was impressive throughout that opening half with newcomers Diarmuid Ryan and Rory Hayes in fine form. Both sides made changes at the interval when Clare brought in …

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Two minors included in senior hurling team

Two members of the 2017 minor team have been named in the senior side which will line out against Kerry in the opening round of the Munster senior hurling league at Sixmilebridge on Saturday (2p.m). In a team which features a mixture of youth and experience, Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe) has been named at wing back while Gary Cooney from O’Callaghabns Mills will line out at corner forward in a side which sees Conor Cleary handed the full back role. Donal Tuohy will fill the goalkeeping position with David McInerney at centre back, David Reidy at midfield, John Conlon at wing forward and Shane O’Donnell at full forward. In addition to Ryan and Cooney, other debutants include Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones) and Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin) The team is Donal Tuohy (Crusheen); Jack Browne (Ballyea), Conor Cleary (Miltown, St. Josephs), Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones); Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe), David McInerney (Tulla), Mikey O’Malley (Kilmaley); David Reidy (Éire Óg Inis), Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin); Niall …

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