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Footballers no match for stronger Cork side

Cork 1-23  Clare 0-11 PREDICTABLE yes but still crushingly dispiriting in equal measure. The mammoth gap between Clare and the higher echelons of Gaelic football was coldly exemplified in Pairc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.The players who lined out are not exclusively culpable in this latest Clare football debacle.Granted, most of them were outclassed by better footballers but Cork do have access to a much higher level of preparation. Two examples highlight this. The physique of the Cork players underline the quality and longevity of the gym and fitness work they have undergone over several seasons. Clare were physically blown out of it, losing the ball in contact dozens of times and totally unable to match Cork’s legitimate aggression and athleticism.Cork have almost 50 players on their senior panel, comprising an A, B and C team for training purposes. None are available to the Cork junior team, which last Sunday beat Clare by 14 points. Of course, Cork have almost 300 …

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Clare’s decade of abysmal failure

EVER wonder how deep into the quagmire Clare football has lunged? Take a look at the county’s Munster Senior Championship record over the last decade and the stark facts impart an insightful tale. In 11 seasons of Munster championship football, including last Sunday’s game, Clare have only beaten one county. They beat Waterford in 2008, 2005 and 2002. Clare haven’t beaten anyone in Munster since ’08. In their 11 first-round championship games since 2001, Clare have lost eight. They have a 100% losing record against every Munster county except Waterford in that period.Throw in the fact that the county will be lining out in Division 4 for the fifth successive season in 2012 and it becomes quite clear that football in the county is at an exceptionally low ebb.  Even when Clare were not competitive in previous generations, they would have been confident of turning over Limerick, Waterford or Tipperary. Not these days. Since 2006, Clare have been knocked out …

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O’Donovan injury a blow to Clare hopes

DOMHNAILL O’Donovan is a major doubt for Clare’s Munster senior hurling semi-final against either Tipperary or Cork on June 19.The Clonlara man, one of the team’s better performers in the recent Division 2 league final against Limerick, is sidelined with a ruptured disc, which has ruled him out of this weekend’s Clare Senior Hurling Championship game in which Clonlara will meet Broadford at Cusack Park on Sunday evening.“I was a bit sickened when I saw the results of the scan. I didn’t think that there was much there but the scan showed up the problem,” he told The Clare Champion this week.“It started with a pain in the week leading up to the Limerick game and it got worse after the game, sending pains down the leg. An MRI scan showed up the problem,” the Clonlara man explained.While he is holding out hope of making the Munster semi-final, the odds looked to be stacked against him at this stage.This is …

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