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County juvenile boys’ handball champions crowned

The Clare boys’ juvenile county singles A handball finals were held over the past week and saw some great matches across the age groups. The U-12 decider was an all-Kilkishen affair, with Tiernan Agnew defeating Gary Cooney in a tie-breaker. Both U-15 finalists were also from the Kilkishen club, with Sean Donellan overcoming Jacob Loughnane in a match that also went to the third game. Clarecastle’s Jack Hayes is U-13 champion after beating Tulla’s Shane Hunt while the U-14 final between Fergal Coughlan (Clooney) and Liscarroll winner Brian Fahy from Tulla was postponed due to injury. Tulla man Niall Bolton defeated his All-Ireland-winning doubles partner Barry Nash to take the U-16 crown while Glen Murray of Newmarket took the U-17 decider after an entertaining match with Aidan O’Gorman (Kilkishen).Meanwhile, the prestigious Liscarroll club annual U-14 tournament took place recently at the Cork venue. With a large entry from right across the country, Clare had great success, with Banner players taking …

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Fundraiser for Down Syndrome Ireland

Limerick and Galway greyhound racing stadiums will be among the 10 tracks across the country to stage a meeting on Saturday, February 26 in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland. This will be the first multi-venue family benefit night hosted by the Irish Greyhound Board in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland. The event will take place across 10 locations – Limerick, Cork, Tralee, Galway, Mullingar, Dundalk, Dublin, Newbridge, Thurles and Waterford, with all funds raised being distributed both nationally and to regional branches of Down Syndrome Ireland.Tickets to this family friendly evening will include access to the races on the night plus a race programme.  All venues taking part will have entertainment, goodie bags for children and auctions as well as all the thrill of the races. There will be a fantastic weekend break for two up for grabs at each venue, courtesy of Select Hotels Ireland. Orla Strumble, head of marketing for the Irish Greyhound Board, outlined that this is …

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Betheholygobbs in shock win for Brassil

Newmarket-on-Fergus trainer John Brassil tasted success as his Betheholygobbs sprung a 14/1 shock under Kerry jockey Tim Doyle in the www.thurlesracecourse.ie Handicap Chase at Thurles last Thursday. In front three out, Betheholygobbs looked beaten when headed at the second last by Burnt Oil Babe but the son of Insan rallied again close to home, putting his head in front on the run-in to beat that rival by three lengths. Remarkably, this was Betheholygobbs’ first racecourse success on his 20th attempt since he won a point-to-point at Avaune back in December ’07. Brassil, who trains the winner for Castletownroche, County Cork farmer Eddie Farrell, was thrilled that his charge finally broke his duck. “It’s great for the owner, he has been a very loyal patron of mine over the years. As a jockey, I rode Hamers Flame to win the 1983 Galway Plate for him and he was also involved in How’s The Boss, whom I trained to win the then …

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Loughnane talks up senior hopes

In the view of Clare’s most successful hurling manager, the county is on the verge of getting back to the top of the senior hurling ladder at national level.“We now stand at the cusp of our next potentially successful team with Clare. In the next three or four years a chance to win an all-Ireland for Clare is going to come. That is an absolute certainty. It’s a certainty that is brought about by the amount of talent in Clare at the moment,” Ger Loughnane told a large gathering when he presented medals to the Munster minor hurling champions at the Auburn Lodge Hotel, Ennis, at the weekend. “This is reinforced by the fact that the county board we have now is probably the best we have had in my time, from minor to now. The work they are doing in Tulla in developing facilities along with what has been done in developing a huge pool of great coaches, is …

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Munster minor champions will never forget 2010

Three-hundred people attended a gala function at the Auburn Lodge Hotel last Sunday night when the members of the Clare minor hurling team that won the provincial title last July were presented with their medals.Clare GAA chairman Michael O’Neill told the players that they, combined with the U-21s of last year “are the future of Clare hurling”.“We are not too far away from a senior All-Ireland title. We will win one in the not-too-distant future. There is a lot of work going in at development level, in the game and in facilities, which will bring success at different levels.  We have the management and the clubs and I have no doubt that we will have senior wins,” he said.Sean Walsh, chairman of the Munster GAA Council, said, “This is a special night for Clare and particularly for the players.” A Kerry minor selector for five years, the provincial council official told the players that the friendships they made this year …

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Galway beat Clare in Oscar Traynor battle

Galway 3 Clare 1 CLARE’S Oscar Traynor outfit travelled to Terryland Park in Galway last Thursday knowing that they had to beat the home side to have any chance of remaining in the race for this year’s Inter League Junior Cup title. A goal ahead early in the final quarter, things looked good for the visitors, last year’s beaten finalists but it wasn’t to be and this defeat means that Clare are out of this year’s Oscar Traynor Cup title race.Having lost to Limerick in their first match at the County Grounds in Doora, Clare needed to beat Galway to remain in the competition and the importance of victory was evident in their play from the outset.When Clare officials sit down to review this tie, they will point to some decisions by the home county officials as being amongst the reasons for their defeat. They had two penalty claims waved away in the opening half while a dubious free kick …

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New year’s fairytale for Droim Toll

QUIN trainer Donie Hassett enjoyed the best possible start to 2011 when his improving chaser Droim Toll landed the featured €28,500 Porterstown Handicap (Grade C) Chase at Fairyhouse on New Year’s Day. A dual point-to-point winner, Droim Toll went off at odds of 10/1 in this three-mile, five-furlong test and was given a smashing ride by the talented Paul Townend. Held up for the most of this marathon trip, Droim Toll began to make eye-catching progress as the 15-runner field turned into the home straight. Jumping two out, Droim Toll was really motoring on the stand side, finally putting his head in front when Edward O’Grady’s 6/1 joint-favourite Rocco’s Hall blundered badly at the last, unseating Andrew McNamara, allowing Droim Toll to freewheel home for a facile seven-length success over runner-up Lios Na Bearnaí. While the winner’s task was eased by the final fence fall of Rocco’s Hall, it appeared as if Droim Toll was travelling much the better in …

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All-age cups remain in Clare

The South Clare coursing meeting at Cooraclare turned out to be a rewarding one for the Clare connections of Windfarm Eiscir and Atlantic Ashmore, who won the all-age cups and collected more valuable wins in their quest for Clonmel glory.While the Pat Curtin-trained Windfarm Eiscir (Bexhill Eoin-Windfarm Lady) owned in Ennis by Clare Eustace, was a decisive winner of the South Clare Cup for 16 all-age dogs, there was huge controversy surrounding the final of the all-age bitch final when the judge waived the flag in favour of the Paddy Marrinan, Miltown Malbay, owned and trained Atlantic Ashmore (Ardmore View-Atlantic Beauty) against a very unlucky Summerfield Bex, owned by Jean Carr, Claregalway.Already a cup winner at the East Donegal fixture and beaten in the Doon final, Windfarm Eiscir rubber-stamped his Clonmel qualification with his victory at the South Clare meeting, which was held on Thursday and Friday last after being postponed on St Stephen’s Day because of the frost.Gerry Meehan’s …

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