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Banner stars set to shine at nationals

The 40×20 Irish junior handball nationals 2010 take place this weekend at Ulster venues and there will be plenty of Clare interest as over a dozen Banner handballers from a number of clubs across the county will make the journey north to Kingscourt, Cavan; Bawn and Carrickmacross, both in Monaghan.

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Gaels girls breeze into All-Ireland final

West Clare Gaels 5-19 St Patrick’s, Dromahair 3-9 LAST weekend, the country was warned that a huge storm was about to envelop the nation. This would have had particular significance in the westerly villages of Carrigaholt and Kilbaha if a gale force wind had whipped up. The predicted weather didn’t materialise, although there was plenty of rain. Perhaps there was an exception in Shanahan McNamara Park in Doonbeg, however, as the lady footballers of West Clare Gaels produced a thrilling display, which diverted their supporters from thoughts of the weather or the equally inclement economy, to that of football.Even if the winter turns out to be a harsh one, the Clare senior champions’ feat in reaching the All-Ireland intermediate club final has already shortened it for their ardent supporters in Kilkee, Carrigaholt, Kilbaha and Cross.With a Clare senior and Munster intermediate medal already nestling in their grasp, along with memories of that rather expensive quarter-final trip to London, West Clare …

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Duggan goal the key to St Joseph’s win

Doora-Barefield 1-5 Ennistymon 1-4 Has a minor championship ever created such excitement on and off the field? Unlikely. It was apt therefore that the 2010 Minor A Football Championship wasn’t decided until the fifth minute of injury time in an eventful, albeit free-filled final in Miltown. Brian Houlihan’s inspirational 60th minute goal pulled Ennistymon to within a point of Doora-Barefield to set up an incredibly exciting finish. After a lung-bursting run from his own full-back line, Houlihan linked up with Cathal Malone and Cathal McConigley before he fired past Liam Slattery. St Joseph’s four-point lead had suddenly evaporated and Ennistymon sensed they were not without hope. Two minutes into injury time, a sustained Ennistymon attack, where they virtually camped in front of their opponents’ goalmouth, culminated in Barefield winning a free out. It looked as if that was it. Not so. Two minutes later, Ennistymon midfielder Cathal Malone stole inside the winners full-back line but his shot on goal was …

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