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Brave Clare caught out by late Offaly resurgence

CLARE footballers came within a whisker of causing a major shock in the first round in the championship qualifiers when they came up against Offaly at O’Connor Park in Tullamore on Saturday afternoon.In the end, a lack of experience and failure to match the fitness of the midlanders cost the Claremen in the tie, which required extra time to produce a result.Rank outsiders Clare made the running for much of this tie and looked to be on their way to a shock win when they led by seven points with 14 minutes remaining. They were still four clear with six minutes to go but Offaly managed to level and force the game into extra time.A strong opening period in extra time decided the issue, as Offaly opened a six-point gap and while Clare fought back superbly in the second period, they had left themselves with too much to do.Clare were well on top in the opening half and were full …

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Clare close to earning shock

Tipperary 1-12  Clare 1-9 CLARE almost pulled off a major shock but came up just short against Tipperary, who prevailed 1-12 to 1-9 in this All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship tie played at Corofin on Saturday. The Premier women led by 1-6 to 0-2 at the interval, Claire Grogan scoring 1-2, but the Banner stormed back into contention after the resumption.Points from Chloe Morey, Claire McMahon and Róisín McMahon galvanised them and Naomi Carroll bagged a goal on the stroke of normal time to reduce the deficit to three points.Clare thought they had carved open an equalising opportunity deep in injury time but were penalised for throwing the sliotar and the chance was lost.  Claire McMahon hand passed to Deirdre Murphy, who only had the keeper to beat when the Dublin referee, Eamon Mac Suibhn, blew his whistle signalling that the ball had been thrown. It was one of many decisions that frustrated the crowd and players, which meant the game …

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Newmarket edge closer to semi-final

Newmarket 0-13  Inagh-Kilnamona 0-11 Newmarket kept up their strong challenge for a place in the semi-final of the Clare Champion Cup with a hard earned win over Inagh-Kilnamona in Division 1 on Saturday.Inagh-Kilnamona played with the aid of the wind in the opening half and led by four points at half-time, when the score was 0-10 to 0-6.However, they could only manage a point in the second period against the breeze. With just over two minutes remaining in the game, the teams were on level terms but the Blues had the last two scores to seal victory and stay on course for a semi-final date. The respective free takers, Ger Arthur for Inagh-Kilnamona and Bernard Gaffney, were the top scorers on the day.Another plus for Newmarket was the return of Anthony Kilmartin for his first game this year. He has been out of action due to a serious leg injury suffered last year. Newmarket: Kieran Devitt; Brian Clancy, Stephen Kelly, …

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Féile na nGael leaves great memories in the county

A WEEK after hosting Féile na nGael, the national festival of U-14 hurling, camogie and handball, Clare can review the hosting of a very successful event.While there will be disappointment throughout the county that Clare didn’t win any honours in the top division in hurling or camogie, the hosts did have quite a bit of success over the weekend.Tulla won the Division 1 handball title, repeating the success achieved by their neighbours O’Callaghan’s Mills a year earlier.In the camogie, Éire Óg upset the odds when deservingly winning the Division 2 crown while both Wolfe Tones (Division 3) and Killanena (Division 4) were runners-up in their divisions.St Breckan’s won the Division 4 hurling title while Ogonnelloe were runners-up in Division 5.In conjunction with the Féile, Cumin na mBunscoil an Chlair officials Barbara Guilfoyle, Sheelagh Daffy and Sean O’Neill  organised a number of competitions and the results are listed below. Colouring competition1. Fionn Carmody, Clarecastle NS, senior infants; 2. Lara Begg, Quin …

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Clooney-Quin hold on for two-point victory

SO Clooney-Quin took the two points in Round 2 of the Senior Hurling Championship but their second-half fade-out will give manager Pat O’Rourke something to think about over the next few weeks.At half-time, it looked like being a complete rout, Clooney-Quin leading by 0-13 to 1-2, with the score flattering the East Clare men more than the winners. However, with nine minutes to go, the deficit had been cut to just two points and the annihilation that had looked very possible hadn’t come to pass.From the off, the Scariff full-back line looked in trouble, Martin Duggan drawing a fine save from Brendan McNamara with just one minute gone, after he should have been headed off by defenders.Veteran Cathal Egan opened Clooney-Quin’s account in the second minute, after a lay    -off from Fergal Lynch, while two points from Derek Ryan and one from Martin Duggan gave them a 0-4 to 0-0 lead with less than five minutes gone.The tone was set …

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Champions Cratloe make a winning start in championship

THE race for the Clare U-21 A football championship title got underway last Sunday when title holders and favourites Cratloe made a winning start by accounting for St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield.When the final whistle sounded, the champions were 10 points clear after a disappointing contest in which goals from Joseph O’Connor (2), Dean De Loughrey and Conor McGrath helped them to a 4-5 to 1-4 victory. Cathal Nolan scored the Doora-Barefield goal.They will play their quarter-final tie this Friday, when their opponents will be Kildysart-Coolmeen. The mid-Clare amalgamation go into this tie without the benefit of a first-round game as their proposed clash with the amalgamation of Michael Cusacks-Tubber, Kilfenora and Liscannor did not materialise as the North Clare side failed to field.Ennistymon, another of the teams fancied to be in the shake-up for the title, got their campaign off to a winning start when they proved too strong for Éire Óg at Corofin.A Danny Rouine penalty early in the game …

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Everyone’s a winner

THE Golden Vale Clare Community Games athletics finals were held on Sunday at a sunny Lees Road. After a short parade, the opening ceremony was addressed by County Chairman Fiach McHugh and by the Mayor of Clare, Councillor Tony Mulcahy. The Clare chairman congratulated all the children who participated in the area competitions while Councillor Mulcahy paid tribute to the volunteers for their efforts in promoting the games and for helping to give the children ‘a valuable outlet’.The Community Games pledge was read in Irish by Rianat Sobayo and in English by Aaron Bradley. Jamie Roche of Ennis lit the Flame of Light, a task performed by his mother Marie (Gormley) some years ago. Jamie went on to win his event, again repeating history, as Marie won the same event for girls the year she lit the flame. Doora-Barefield won the shield for the best mascot while the O’Sullivan family shield for the best turned out small area in the …

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Duggan wins Dromoland captains prize

NICKY Duggan won the captain’s (Con Ryan) prize at Dromoland on Sunday. There was a huge turnout for the event and after 27 holes Duggan with 104.5 had a shot and a half to spare over Flan Downes. In third spot was Brian Hickey on 107.5 followed by John O’Connor on a similar score, Gay O’Gara on 108.5, and Leonard Shanahan on 109. Mark Reynolds won the gross with 74.Other prizewinners were Donnie Hassett 109 (over-18 handicaps), Brian Kelly 113 (past captains), John O’Donnell 32 nett (front nine), Declan O’Leary 30 nett (back nine, Jason Ryan 46 points (captain’s prize to the boys).Suzanne McConway was the winner of the captain’s (Corn Ryan) prize to the ladies at Dromoland. In this 18-hole stroke competition, Siobhan Dyar was second followed by Ann Nix and Julie Newman Joan Ryan won the gross.This week the North Munster mixed foursomes final is taking place in Lahinch and Dromoland will fly the Clare flag. Their opponents …

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