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Brendan Bugle is struggling with injuries but Clare still have a great chance of winning on Sunday..

Two changes on hurling team

  There are two changes in personnell on the Clare team to face Dublin in Sunday’s relegation play off from that which started against  Waterford last week. Brendan Bugler returns to the starting line up at wing back in place of Jason McCarthy while David Reidy returns to the team and he is named at corner forward in place of Ian Galvin. Otherwise the team is unchanged from last week and it is Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); David McInerney (Tulla), Cian Dillon (Crusheen), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Conor Cleary ( Miltown St. Josephs), David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona); Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge), Tony Kelly (Ballyea); Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Podge Collins (Cratloe), John Conlon (Clonlara); David Reidy (Éire Óg), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones na Sionna), Cathal McInerney (Cratloe); The game throws in at 4p.m. By Seamus Hayes

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Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor.

Hurlers aim to stay in top flight

The quality of games in Division 1A of the National Hurling League has put Clare under pressure in each of their games and, according to selector Jimmy Browne, “ultimately you learn most about yourself when you are under pressure”. Ahead of Sunday’s relegation play-off with Dublin at Cusack Park (throw-in 4pm), he continued, “We have learned a lot this year. We had very good displays against Kilkenny and Tipperary but we did not get the result we wanted and against Waterford for a big chunk of the game. We have a chance to put that back into the mix for Sunday. That is the strength of playing in this league. “The great beauty of playing in this division is that you are testing yourself to the upper limit every day you go out and Sunday is another very important test for us,” added Browne. “We have to perform. There is a lot of importance from a Clare point of view, …

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Heartbreaking defeat for footballers in Newbridge

Kildare 0-18 Clare 1-14 CLARE fell to a heartbreaking one point defeat in Newbridge on Sunday afternoon. Five points down at half-time, they took the game to the home county in the second half, with Shane Brennan scoring a crucial goal. He flicked to the net following a Keelan Sexton angled delivery. Fifteen minutes from time Clare led 1-12 to 0-13 and at that point, the pendulum seemed to be swinging in their direction. However late points from Fionn Dowling and Paul Cribbin swung the result in favour of Cian O’Neill’s team, who are now promoted. Eoin Cleary had an opportunity to equalise from an injury time free but it drifted wide. Unless Clare beat Meath in their final game in Ennis next Sunday, they will need Down and Derry to lose their final league ties, to stave off relegation to division 3. Kildare led 0-11 to 0-6 at half-time, with their midfielder Kevin Feely kicking 0-5 from frees. Clare …

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Clubs assisted by 300 isolated players

APPLICATIONS by close to 300 isolated players formed a large part of discussions at the latest Clare County GAA Board meeting. At the outset of the meeting at Hotel Woodstock in Ennis, secretary Pat Fitzgerald read the applications from adult players. Joe Pender, on behalf of the underage hurling board, and Joe Kelly, on behalf of the underage football board, followed with two further lists of applications. Some adult applications had been dealt with at the February board meeting. After the lists had been presented, Tulla GAA Club delegate Brian Torpey observed that “one club has received assistance from 54 players”. “We don’t want to stop anyone from playing but for those of us that are landlocked [no exclusive football club adjacent], it’s hard. Some stipulations must be introduced. Maybe when a club passes a certain number of isolated players, they must play in A grade competitions,” he suggested. Supporting Torpey, Feakle delegate Mike Daly said, “If we could only …

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Tony Kelly returns for vital tie

Ballyea’s Tony Kelly is named at midfield on the Clare side to face Waterford in a crucial national hurling league game at Cusack Park tomorrow, Sunday throw in at 3p.m.) from where he will captain the team. His return is one of four changes in personnell from the side which beat Dublin two weeks ago. Kelly’s Ballyea team mates Jack Browne, Paul Flanagan and Gearoid O’Connell are named amongst the substitutes but, surprisingly, Niall Deasy is not included in the match day squad. Colm Galvin is also named amongst the substitutes. In addition to Kelly, Whitegate’s Andrew Fahy, Inagh-Kilnamona’s Jason McCarthy and Cratloe’s Cathal McInerney are all named in the starting line up. They replace Patrick Kelly,  David Reidy who is ruled out with an ankle injury, Peter Duggan and Brendan Bugler. Three of the starting line up, Inagh-Kilnamona due Jason McCArthy and David Fitzgerald along with Clonlara’s Ian Galvin, were in action in the under 21 A championship semi-finals last …

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Inagh-Kilnamona and Feakle-Killanena meet again

The under 21 A hurling final will be a repeat of last year with Inagh-Kilnamona (holders) taking on Feakle-Killanena on a date to be confirmed. Feakle-Killanena were first to qualify when they scored a 2-18 to 0-17 win over Clonlara at Gurteen earlier this evening.. A contribution of 1-12, 1-9 from frees from Fiachra Donnellan, played a key part in Feakle-Killanena’s victory. Clonlara led by two points at half time when the score was 0-11 to 1-6, the winner’s first half goal having come from Darren Keehan and this was still the position five minutes into he second half after the sides had exchanged points. Donnellan’s goal, seven minutes into the second half, proved to be a crucial score and gave his side back a lead they held to the finish. Evan McMahon, Con Smyth, Cathal Noonan and Tobias O’Meara gave most support to Donnellan on the evening. Ian Galvin who contributed a dozen points, Cian and Sean Moriarty and …

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Clare footballers need bench impact

As Clare prepare to head to Newbridge on Sunday, in Round 6 of NFL Division 2, one statistic from their first five games stands out. While Clare have made 22 substitutions up to now, 15 of which were from midfield up, no substitute has yet kicked a score. Of the 15 attacking players introduced, seven were brought on in the last 10 minutes. The 15 substitutes referred to have played for a total of two hours and 52 minutes, without adding a score to Clare’s tally. This fact illustrates Clare’s lack of impact from the bench and while it is difficult for substitutes to immediately get up to the pitch of a game, particularly if it is getting away from their team, it is an area that Clare must try to improve on. Of course, in recent games they have been down personnel, with Seán Collins injured and Shane McGrath opting out of the panel. Ciarán Russell was a big …

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Seadna ready for ‘all-out battle’

To secure victory over Waterford in the National Hurling League at Cusack Park on Sunday, Clare must hit the ground running, according to defender Seadna Morey. “We know each other well. We have played at underage, as well as at senior in recent years. We all know the way Waterford play and we must focus on that this week,” he said. The Sixmilebridge man went on, “It’s nice to be injury free and getting a chance. There is a great buzz with the team and it’s a great scene.” Acknowledging that it’s a huge game, he said, “Look at the league. We are second at the moment but we can still get stuck in relegation. That shows the competition. Going into the last game, it’s important to get that final win. The competition is very keen, as evidenced by the fact that a team can perform one week and then get turned over the next. “In the Kilkenny game, the …

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