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Footballers up against it in Dungarvan

IF Clare are to avenge their nine-point league defeat to Waterford in Dungarvan on April 11, the groundwork for winning Sunday’s Munster quarter-final will have been laid in the six weeks since that emphatic league defeat.The training ground is where a team’s shape and morale is sculpted and that work is invariably evident on match day. To win, Clare will first have to compete resolutely for the 70 minutes and put themselves in position to win a place in the Munster semi-final against Limerick on June 6. If they are to compete at the level required to beat Waterford, who won promotion to Division 3, a renewed belief will have to form part of Clare’s approach. That belief was seriously undermined by their successive league defeats to Limerick and Waterford after they had won six successive league games. Laurence Healy, who played regularly at midfield and corner-back during the league, is out of this weekend’s game with a leg injury, …

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Injury concerns mount for senior hurlers

THERE are a number of major injury concerns for Clare senior hurling manager Ger O’Loughlin and his backroom team as they put the finishing touches to their preparations for the Munster Senior Championship clash with Waterford on June 7.Gerry O’Grady is definitely out due to an ankle injury that has caused him a lot of problems over the past two years. While he did play for his club Crusheen at the weekend, he has withdrawn from the county squad because of the injury.The chances of Newmarket’s James McInerney playing any part in the game are growing slimmer by the minute. He hasn’t played for club or county in more than a month due to a stomach muscle complaint. He is due to see a specialist this week, after which there will be a clearer picture.“It’s a major concern, as he hasn’t played in over a month,” O’Loughlin said this week when conceding that McInerney’s chances of playing are dwindling by …

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Clooney-Quin end Broadford’s unbeaten run

Group 1 Clooney-Quin 1-17Broadford 1-8 PHYSICALLY stronger and sharper throughout the field, Clooney-Quin proved much too strong for Broadford in their first-round championship tie at Cusack Park on Saturday evening.Going into the tie with an unbeaten record in competition this season, Broadford had hopes of adding to their winning run but they were well beaten and this was particularly true of their midfield and attack, which struggled throughout.At the other end of the pitch, they struggled to deal with the aerial power of Cathal Egan and, in particular, Fergal Lynch, along with the pace and scoring ability of Martin Duggan and Derek Ryan.Clooney-Quin have delivered some very impressive performances in recent years in both league and championship but a lack of consistency has proved costly. While they have been doing fairly well in this season’s league, they have disappointed on one or two occasions, so their supporters approached the tie with some concerns.While the sides were level on three occasions …

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Smith O’Brien’s cause a stir against Tulla

  Smith O’Brien’s 1-10 Tulla 1-7 UNBEATEN in Division 2 B of the Clare Champion Cup, Smith O’Brien’s carried their league form into the championship at Scariff on Saturday when the caused a shock by beating Tulla in this first-round tie.While they did experience some anxious moments in the second half, Smith O’Brien’s were worthy winners on the day. With former Irish and Lions rugby captain, Keith Wood in their corner, they took the game to their more fancied opponents and held the lead from the start.Wood, who played underage hurling with his native Killaloe club, has been supervising a training programme for the team this year.They took the lead in the opening minute when John Cusack pointed a 40m free and they were three ahead by the fifth minute after a Shane O’Brien point as Cusack converted from another free. Andrew Quinn opened Tulla’s account in the seventh minute but the favourites continued to struggle in this half. Another …

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Camogie president seeks long term Féile benefit

CAMOGIE Association president Joan O’Flynn believes that the benefit to Clare of hosting Féile will be manifold and not just on the camogie, hurling or handball front. The Kildare-based Cork woman, who is in her second year as national president, maintains that Clare will receive a significant economic boost next month, when up to 5,000 visitors come to the county for Féile weekend (June 18 to 20). “You’ve over 3,000 children participating in the parade and hundreds of families and supporters coming to visit Clare for a couple of days. So it’s a big shot in the arm for the local services sector in particular. It’s important to say that as well because sometimes the economic contribution of sport gets a little bit overlooked,” O’Flynn told The Clare Champion this week. Economics aside the Féile focus will be on what happens between the white lines. This week Joan O’Flynn was part of a combined GAA and camogie troupe that visited …

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Feakle no match for Clooney-Quin

THE race for the intermediate hurling title got underway at the weekend with the big surprise in round one being the heavy defeat suffered by last year’s beaten finalists, Feakle, at the hands of Clooney-Quin. Elsewhere, the first-round results were as expected with Killanena coming out on top in the East-Clare derby with Ogonnelloe.Ennistymon were deserving winners over a fancied Wolfe Tones side, while Ruan turned in a strong second-half display to account for Bodyke. Parteen justified favouritism when accounting for Corofin at Shannon.The meeting of Clarecastle and Meelick will take place in June after the Magpies play in the senior championship.Sixmilebridge and Éire Óg, who had byes in the opening round, will also make their first appearance in this year’s title race in June. Clooney-Quin 1-21Feakle 0-7 CLOONEY-Quin dominated their tie from the outset and had the victory sewed up long before Jim Hickey sounded the final whistle at Dr Daly Park on Sunday.Gary Hogan was the winners’ top …

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Excellent medal haul for Ennis in championships

THE WSKF Ennis Karate Academy made another successful raid on the capital at the weekend, picking up four medals at the Japan Karate Shotorenmei Irish Open Championships in Tallaght. The first success came in the U-19 male fighting, which saw near-neighbours Conall Tunney and Patrick Tierney go head to head in the final. On this occasion, the gold medal went to Tunney but the silver won by Tierney inspired him to a string of victories in the senior men’s event. Eventually, he was narrowly beaten in the semi-final by six-times Irish all-styles champion Mark Sheridan in one of the best fights of the day. The draw for the team fighting category showed groups from Scotland, England, Denmark and Italy in the race for honours. Nevertheless, when it came to the business end of the day, the two Ennis teenagers found themselves anchoring a WSKF Ireland B team that was in the shake-up for the medals. In a clash with the …

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All-Ireland title hopes dashed in the final second

  Christ the King 27  Scoil Mhuire 25 SCOIL Mhuire Ennistymon travelled to UL Sports Arena last Tuesday to take part in the All-Ireland C first-year girls basketball final. Scoil Mhuire’s opposition was Christ the King from Cork City. The North Clare team travelled with a large group of pupils and parents for support. The school was hoping to bridge the 13-year gap since they experienced all-Ireland glory, winning a volleyball title in 1997. Scoil Mhuire started the first quarter strongly, scoring 10 points to Christ the King’s only basket. However, the Cork girls sprung to life in the second quarter and added 14 points to their tally. Scoil Mhuire added five to their score, leaving the half-time score 16 -15 and the Cork side with a one-point advantage. At the end of the third quarter, Scoil Mhuire had taken the lead again with three points to spare, 21-18. In the final quarter, Cork got off to a good start, …

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