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Captain’s prize time at Gort

LAST weekend it was the turn of the ladies to battle it out for the captain’s (Ann Marie Cradock) prize at Gort and the event attracted a big entry.This week it’s the turn of the men who will play for Bernard Gillane’s prize with the leaders coming back for a play off on the following Friday evening.The format for the ladies prize was 18-hole stroke and the winner was Patricia Skehill with 66. She had two strokes to spare from Ruth Naughton with Siobhán O’Connor, also with 68, in third spot. They were followed by Kathleen Sands on 69, Ros Burke with 69, Olga Price with 71, Maura O’Grady with 71, Marie Hannon Healy with 71, Mandy Cosgrove with 72 and Maura Hanrahan with 72. Judith McGann won the gross with 79 while other prize winners were Mary Fahey Coen (past captain), Sara Broderick (committee prize) Pat Wynne (back nine), Josie Collins (front nine and nearest the pin), Mary Kilroy …

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Murphy and Shannon share spoils

THE Clarecastle 10k Road Race was held in wet conditions on Saturday, with more than 200 competitors taking part.After a mighty contest, Brian Murphy, Ennis Track, and Michael Shannon, Kilnaboy, crossed the line together with a time of 31.31, with Keith Whyte, St John’s, third in 33.45. Rachel Molloy, Limerick, recorded a big win in the ladies’ race in 42.13 from Noreen Mackey, Kilmurry-Ibrickane/North Clare and Mary Carthy, O’Briensbridge.Clarecastle man Brian Murphy, along with Michael Shannon, Kilnaboy, had gone over 100m clear of Keith White, St John’s at the 2k mark with Pat Hogan, Ennis Track, working hard in fourth spot from Michael Killeen, Damian Roche and Tom Mackey, both Kilmurry-Ibrickane/North Clare.Murphy and Shannon had moved well away from the rest of the field at the 8k mark and they crossed the finish line shoulder to shoulder. The ladies’ race was a well-supported event and Ennis Meet and Train, along with a number of Clare clubs, were well represented. Rachel …

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Final countdown for the Markets Field

IT WILL be an occasion full of nostalgia. Memorable races of the past will be recalled, the names of famous dogs and owners will be mentioned and a night fitting of the occasion has been arranged to mark the final night of racing at the Limerick Greyhound Racing Stadium on Saturday night next.After the final race, the Markets Field will be a thing of the past as far as Bord na gCon and greyhound racing is concerned. The curtain will be coming down on what has been a glorious chapter and a great venue for dog racing since the 1930s. And fittingly one of the highlighhts of the night will be a Farewell to the Markets Field Munster Challenge Open 550 in which a greyhound representing all of the six counties in the province of Munster will go to traps. There will be €800 for the winner/owner who will have the honour of putting the last winner to traps at …

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Rags-to-riches story for Sixmilebridge trainer

SIXMILEBRIDGE trainer Denis Quinn was part of a real rags-to-riches story when his bargain-basement purchase, Captain Coke, realised 80,000gns at last week’s Tattersalls Sales at Newmarket. The three-year-old was purchased by Qatar-based trainer Ibrahim Al-Malki and may race in Britain before heading to the Middle East, where the Dubai Carnival will be his main target. Speaking in the aftermath of the sale, a delighted Quinn explained, “I paid €4,200 for Captain Coke as a yearling at the Gorsebridge Sales for my brother, Peter, who is in the plumbing trade in New York. We offered him at the Breeze-Up sales as a two-year-old but he was thought to be too much of a National Hunt-type and there wasn’t that much interest. We always felt he was a nice horse and we had no notion of throwing him away, so we bought him back for €5,000.” Happily, the decision to hold on to the colt by Fath was a wise one and …

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Friendly foes draw battle lines

WHEN Anthony Daly and Ger O’Loughlin first went into team management taking charge of the Clarecastle minors along with Padraic Russell back in 1994, little did they think that 16 years later they would find themselves in opposition in Croke Park.That’s the position that the close friends who grew up a few doors from each other in Madden’s Terrace in Clarecastle find themselves in this week, putting the final touches to their plans for Saturday’s eagerly awaited qualifier clash when O’Loughlin will lead his native Clare against Daly’s adopted Dublin.“It’s unusual but it will have no bearing on the game. That’s just the way the toss of the coin went. There was always a chance once we went out of Munster that we would end up with the losers of this Leinster semi-final. We had a fair idea a couple of weeks back. It doesn’t have any bearing other than the hype that goes with it,” O’Loughlin said.“The two of …

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Best form needed to secure U-21 victory

WHAT a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago, as Clare finalised preparations for the opening round of the Munster U-21 Hurling Championship against Limerick at Cusack Park, there were hopes that the long wait for honours at this level could finally be ended. Yet followers were conscious of the many disappointments teams had suffered at this level over the previous 40 years.History now shows that Clare won the Munster and All-Ireland titles in impressive fashion in 2009, so both titles will be on the line when they make the short journey to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick next Wednesday next (throw in at 7.30pm) for their first game in the 2010 race.Clare go into the tie with seven of the starting line-up from last September’s All-Ireland final win over Kilkenny available for selection, together with a further six players who played at some stage in last year’s memorable campaign.“We really don’t know much about Limerick but the word is …

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Tough task for minors

WHILE management and players alike would have preferred to know the identity of their Munster minor final opponents earlier, the reality is whether it is Waterford or Cork that get through to Sunday’s final, Clare have a major task on their hands.The replay took place on Wednesday, saw the defending champions Waterford emerge triumphant, and leaves the Déise with just four days to prepare for the decider. The reason for the delay was due to Cork’s involvement in the Munster minor football final last Sunday where they beat Kerry. Five of those involved are part of both minor panels.Getting to the final was Clare’s target from the start of the season but few, outside of the panel, believed they would get through. The view hadn’t changed after the opening round when Waterford won comfortably. Three days later, Clare justified favouritism when accounting for Kerry but they had to work hard for the victory, which gave them a date with Tipperary …

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Great London Swim success for Chris

SHANNON swimmer Chris Bryan finished ninth in the Great London Swim last weekend, ahead of former Olympic and world medallists.The 20-year-old was competing in the event, held in the Thames, which attracted some 5,000 swimmers.Chris completed the course ahead of Britain’s David Davies, who won Olympic bronze in the 1,500m and was also a silver medallist in the open water 10km at the Beijing Games.Bryan, a member of Ennis Swimming Club, was right in the mix all the way. He held third place for a while before his group took the less favourable line back to the finish. He beat David Davies from Britain, who won an Olympic bronze in the 1,500m and silver in the open water 10km at the last Olympics. He also beat Brendan Cappell (Australia), world 25km open water champion, David Carry and Ross Davenport, who are Commonwealth Games gold and silver medallists for Britain.The race was won by Thomas Lurz, a bronze medallist in Beijing …

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