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Motivation and experience will be key

Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Finals Truagh-Clonlara v Kilkishen/Bodyke @ Fr. McNamara Park, Saturday 12pm (Noel Quinn, Gort) NOT many of the few souls that were scattered around the fencing in Fr. McNamara Park last September for the Senior B decider between the pair could have predicted a rematch at this lofty stage but it isn’t really that much of a surprise. After all, up to last year, Truagh-Clonlara were knocking on their door of a breakthrough to the McMahon Cup final, with a trio of semi-final battles with Newmarket all being edged by the Blues despite back-to-back bouts of extra-time in 2018 and ’19. However, it was Kilkishen/Bodyke who would take out Newmarket on Truagh’s behalf and it’s refreshening that a newcomer will line up in this year’s knock-out stages. There was little between the sides in last year’s Senior B final as Truagh-Clonlara trailed for over 45 minutes before springing to life late on capped off by an Aine O’Loughlin clinching …

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Little between protagonists in first Clare SHC semi-final

Eoin Brennan previews the first of this weekend’s senior hurling championship semi-finals Inagh-Kilnamona v Éire Óg at Cusack Park, Saturday 3.30pm Opportunity knocks for either Inagh-Kilnamona or Éire Óg in what is arguably one of the most important matches in their entire history. Both have been hammering at the door but frustratingly always seemed to come up short against a more experienced opponents when needed most. However, with the Townies taking out three-in-a-row chasing Sixmilebridge last time out, the Canon Hamilton race has been blown wide open but only one of these candidates can earn a long-awaited place in the final. Since permanently amalgamating in 2008, Inagh-Kilnamona haven’t yet been able to perfect the art of alchemy of turning underage talent into senior success. There were previous close calls in the 2012 and 2019 semi-finals but it’s only this year that their maturity has been noteworthy, having emerged through the group of death unscathed before seeing off another main rival …

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All guns blazing as Ballyea take U17 academy thriller

Michael O’Connor reports on a thrill-a-minute shootout for the U17A Academy title BALLYEA 5-16 INAGH KILNAMONA 4-14 ONE of the better games in the minor of 2021 was reserved for this thrill a minute Under 17A academy final in Éire Óg GAA grounds on Sunday morning. It must be acknowledged that both clubs turned out two well drilled second teams and based on the abilities of those on view they will be strong adult players in the coming years. Gearoid Barry opened the scoring for Inagh/Kilnamona as the favourites tag was resting on the shoulders of the Ballyea players who were missing the services of Cody Killoughrey, Robbie Markham and Jade Gallery. The skilful Fiachra Kirby responded for Ballyea’s opening score. At the end of a pulsating end to end action first quarter Ballyea held a slender (2-3) to (1-4) lead. Fiachra Kirby and a long range free from Eoin Kennedy that went all the way to the net were …

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Four Clare women in Irish rugby squad

Eimear Considine, Alana McInerney, Maeve Óg O’Leary and Edel McMahon have all been called up to the Irish rugby squad for tests against the USA and Japan, writes Ivan Smyth. McInerney and O’Leary have received their first call ups after both impressed when helping Munster become Interprovincial champions earlier this year. Ennis RFC’s McInerney made her debut in the second round of the Interprovincials when she lined out for Munster in a 31-7 win against Connacht while she also started in their win against Leinster which sealed the title. Alana’s twin brother Mark is aiming to help Éire Óg claim the Jack Daly Cup in their eagerly anticipated final with Kilmurry/Ibrickane. Ballina RFC’s O’Leary has also earned her first call up after impressing in the Interprovincial series. She made her debut against Ulster in August and started all three games for her province as her rich vein of form has been rewarded with a call up to Adam Griggs’ side. …

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Clare Junior A hurling final postponed

The Junior A Hurling Final between Ogonnelloe and Crusheen which was down for decision this weekend has now been postponed, writes Ivan Smyth. The decision comes after the accidental death on holiday in Spain of Ogonnelloe’s Gerard McMahon, a son of Pat and Carmel. Gerard had just had just returned home from a six-month tour of duty with the 63rd Infantry Group in Syria. Speaking on the decision to postpone the game, Ogonnelloe manager Alan Maher believes the correct decision was made. “Gerard is coming home so we couldn’t go ahead with the game. His removal is on Saturday afternoon and the funeral is on Sunday so we had no choice. Hurling hasn’t been to the forefront of our minds recently for obvious reasons so we are just trying to rally around and look after the family.” Maher also thanked Crusheen for their understanding of the situation as the clubs and the county board will be working together to find …

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Delightful title double for Parteen Under 13s

When titles are rarely captured by a club the delight is evident when in three weeks a hat trick of honours are annexed, and this is the case with Parteen. Junior B football and now the double achieved by their busy U13’s as the hurlers with a late salvo of scores took the honours in Broadford on Saturday morning. Whitegate will look back that despite a solid honourable effort they let chances go abegging and with Parteen possessing slightly the more physical side these misses were costly. Leo Bogenberger, Jake Gibbons and a long range free by Whitegate team captain Matthew Ryan gave the large Whitegate following a lot to cheer about in the first seven minutes as they raced three clear and looking more than capable. There was no further score in the first quarter as Parteen managed to curb the attacking tendencies of Whitegate. Finn Cahill and Sean Geoghegan got Parteen on the scoresheet in the 17th and …

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Old foes fight for Clare SFC Final spot

Kilmurry Ibrickane v Lissycasey at Cusack Park Ennis, Sunday 2pm The trap of familiarity has snared many a favourite but for Kilmurry Ibrickane, such has been the complexity of their journey this year in terms of personnel, injuries and retirements that complacency certainly shouldn’t be an issue for the champions. After all, being a fourth championship meeting in as many seasons, no other team outside of their nearest neighbours Miltown have caused the ‘Bricks as many headaches. In 2018, they had to scramble for two late goals just to force extra-time before completing a nine point turnaround to win by four, the following season Lissycasey’s profligacy in front of goal saw Kilmurry Ibrickane grind out a 0-9 to 0-7 win while last year’s semi-final showdown was a brilliant high scoring spectacle. Level on six occasions as late as the final water break, the fact that only the minimum separated the sides in the end was a testament to Lissycasey’s never-say-die …

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Three goal Talty tips title towards Parish

The perfect advertisement for 2021’s new underage structure as St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield and Ballyea served up a thrilling inaugural Under 13A decider that was only edged by the former with a spectacular late three goal blitz in Clarecastle on Saturday afternoon. Considering the transformation of playing non-competitive Under 12 ties in a reduced field twelve months previously to being thrown in at the deep end of an Under 13 competition installed as the first major championship title, the standard of play and quality of personnel was admirable in a final that pitted the best two sides in the county against one another for the ultimate showdown. After all, a combined tally of twenty previous championship matches only yielded one defeat, ironically an opening reverse for the Parish against Ballyea. However, while Ballyea had remained unbeaten up to Saturday’s final, St Joseph’s only seemed to grow in confidence and understanding as the championship developed. The rivalry was enhanced by the fact …

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