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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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Rebels comfortably defeat Clare

Cork 5-13   Clare 2-9 THREE goals in the first 10 minutes meant that an upset could be ruled out at an early stage last Saturday evening in Castletownroche.Facing a side chasing their seventh consecutive Munster title, outsiders Clare needed a good start but Cork blew them away. To their credit, the Banner women stuck at the task until the final whistle but there was never going to be a way back.The tone was set when Cork centre-forward Ciara O’Sullivan won a penalty after just 37 seconds. Emma O’Driscoll managed to stop Valerie Mulcahy’s effort but the Cork full-forward sent the rebound to the net.It took Clare a while to settle but points from Eimear Considine and Niamh O’Dea brought the score to 0-2 to 1-1 after six minutes. But those scores just preceded another burst from Cork. Ciara O’Sullivan pointed after a great run through the middle of the Clare defence, Mary O’Connor added another point and an outstanding move, …

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Paterson paddles her way to white water silver

A COMPETITIVE white water canoeist with ties to Feakle paddled her way to a silver medal at the world championships that were held in Spain last week.Dee Paterson, whose family reside at Coolagoree near Feakle, took second place at the in the women’s class 2010 ICF Wildwater Canoeing Masters event in which she represented Great Britain. She missed out on the gold medal by just under four seconds to Hiroko Sasao from Japan.Davida, known as Dee, explained her Clare connections to The Champion. “My family live on a farm in the Feakle area where they mainly breed Connemara horses. My younger sister went to school in Scariff. I work in the UK but take every opportunity to return home when I have enough annual leave to spare after taking holidays to compete, so sometimes I may only get to Clare at Christmas.” White water racing is a discipline of canoe sport in which each competitor negotiates a section of rapids, …

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First half blitz sets Crusheen on the path to final victory

Crusheen 0-14   Clonlara 1-8 THE foundations for Crusheen’s victory in the Junior A Hurling League final at Newmarket on Saturday evening were laid in the opening half when they ran up a lead of seven points.Clonlara stepped up their performance in the second period but they found the margin too much and Crusheen went on to deservingly take the honours in a tie that produced some good hurling.Crusheen made a blistering start and scored five points in the opening seven minutes, three from Niall McMahon and one each from David Forde and Trevor Corbett.The game was 10 minutes old before Alan O’Connell opened Clonlara’s account from a free. The full-forward and captain was his side’s only scorer in the opening half. Niall McMahon scored six for the winners who went to the break 0-9 to 0-2 in front.Indeed, such was Crusheen’s play in the opening period, they would not have been flattered had they been a few more points in …

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