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Young Magpies finally earn their wings

Doonbeg 0-11 Liscannor 0-7   DOONBEG parish is littered with retired footballers whose pockets jingle full of county championship medals. For the first time in their careers, the current Doonbeg senior football team can look their medal-laden fathers, uncles and neighbours in the eye, knowing that last Sunday they proved themselves worthy of the black and white jersey.Championship medals are the sole currency by which Doonbeg footballers are paid heed to and heading into the 2010 final, Doonbeg’s first since 2001, only Nigel Dillon, Padraig Gallagher, Conor Whelan and Kevin Nugent from this year’s team started in their 17th championship winning county final nine years ago.Until 4.50pm on Sunday, the rest had yet to dissuade their doubt-fuelled critics, most of them Doonbeg people, that they were champion material.Team captain Colm Dillon, who scored the game’s most crucial points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, encapsulated his side’s relief at establishing themselves in the annals of their club’s …

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Newmarket crowned champions

Newmarket 2-11 Kilmaley 0-10   Newmarket are back on top in Clare senior camogie after they overcame defending champions Kilmaley in the 2010 final at Cusack Park on Saturday.Chasing a third title on the trot, Kilmaley were always struggling against a Newmarket side that laid the foundations for success in the opening half when Iris Kaiser, later named as the player of the match, scored both goals.Kilmaley, winners of the title for the first time in their history in 2008, fought back strongly in the third quarter and closed the gap to four points but that was as close as they got, as Newmarket regained control and went on to record a merited win.Having lost to Kilmaley in the final in 2008 and in the semi-final 12 months ago, Newmarket’s determination to turn the tables on their great rivals was evident from early in the campaign.In Saturday’s final they took an early grip on the game and were in front …

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Scoring power may decide it

It’s not the final pairing widely predicted but, as the campaign progressed, both Cratloe and Crusheen put down a marker as to why they would contest this year’s Clare senior hurling final.They have travelled somewhat similar routes to the final stage in that they both lost a group stage game and finished as runners-up in their respective groups.A draw with neighbours Sixmilebridge meant Cratloe dropped three points in the group stage. This left them depending on their neighbours to win their final game to ensure the champions’ passage to the play-off stages.Ironically, the winners of the two groups were the beaten semi-finalists with Cratloe requiring a second chance to repeat last year’s final win over neighbours Clonlara.Crusheen have a very strong defence but their attack is not to the same level. That said, it’s worth noting that they scored 8-79 in their six games to date, just 11 points less than the holders, who have played an extra game.There were …

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World gold for Norma and Oisin

Clare representatives in the Irish Lifesaving team at the World Championships in Alexandria, Egypt last week scored remarkable successes.Competing in the masters’ competitions, Norma Cahill won seven gold and a silver medal, while Oisin McGrath (both pictured below) returned with three gold and a silver.The contribution of the Clare members was phenomenal and brought huge success to the Irish team which was placed 17th in the world.Five members of the 10-strong Irish team hailed from Clare. They were: Colm Fitzgerald, Oisín McGrath, Bernard Cahill, Dylan Barrett and Siobhan McGrath. Norma Cahill travelled to compete in the masters’ section. Beach and ocean All Clare competitors progressed to finals in the beach and ocean competition as follows: Siobhan McGrath, B final in rescue tube event; Dylan Barrett (15th), A final of swim event; Bernard Cahill (17th), A final of swim; Oisín McGrath (10th overall); Taplin relay (9th overall) with Clare competitors Oisín McGrath, Colm Fitzgerald and Dylan Barrett on the Irish team …

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Two Clare players nominated for camogie All-Stars

Two Clare players have been included in the shortlist of 45 nominees, from which this year’s camogie All-Stars will be chosen.Deirdre Murphy, Clooney-Quin and Fiona Lafferty, Kilnamona have been nominated for positions in the half and full-forward lines respectively.Wexford, the All-Ireland and National League champions, have received 11 nominations as have defeated All-Ireland finalists, Galway.The winners will be announced at a banquet in the Dublin on Saturday, November 6. “For those that received a nomination it is a testament to their tremendous sporting calibre. I am delighted that this particular group of players from seven counties will be afforded national recognition for their excellent displays during the year,” commented association president, Jean O’Flynn.

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All hail the comeback kid

  There were a number of occasions in the past two years when it appeared that Gerry O’Grady’s hurling career was over. A serious ankle injury meant he saw little action with  Crusheen last year. Things had started very brightly for the talented player as he led Clare to the Waterford Crystal Munster Hurling League title. He was named as Clare vice-captain at the start of the season and in the absence of captain Brian O’Connell, he was handed the captain’s role and played a leading role as Clare beat all opposition to claim the title with a final victory over Tipperary.A short time later, the ankle injury flared up resulting in little action for the remainder of the season. Indeed, there were fears that he would be forced to give up the game he loves. The injury required surgery and while he was in recovery at the start of the current season, he made the decision to withdraw from …

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Can lightning strike twice for the Cratloe skipper?

SHOULD Cratloe manage to retain the Clare Senior Hurling Championship title on Sunday, team captain Barry Duggan will join a special group of people, those who have captained their clubs to more that one county senior title.The team’s inspirational leader was retained as skipper this year after he led the club to a historic first Clare senior crown 12 months ago.“Last year’s success was a huge boost to confidence. We got a bit of belief into the club, the team and the players. Setting out this year, we said we don’t want to go out in the first round, we don’t want to go out in the group stages. We were lucky enough that the ’Bridge did us a favour, the result was out of our hands. We got to the semi-final and we said we want to go on to the final, go one step further. We are in the final and we want to retain the title,” the …

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‘We want to be here for a long time’ – Deegan

MOMENTS after Cratloe had made history 12 months ago by winning the Canon Hamilton Trophy for the first time, team mentor Mike Deegan recalled what he and his fellow mentors said to the players. “Nobody remembers teams beaten in county finals. It’s the people who win county finals that are remembered,” they said.Cratloe are now just one hour away from retaining the senior hurling title and there is little doubt but that those involved will hold a special place in parish history and, indeed, in Clare GAA history if they manage to achieve that.Delighted to be in the final, Deegan admitted this week that they started the year by concentrating on getting out of their group.“We had to take it one step at a time. It was a tough group we were in. Every game was a serious challenge. We were county champions and everyone wanted to beat us and that’s to be expected but fair play to the lads. …

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