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Clare club players the freshest in Ireland

A FULL eight weeks after senior club footballers in Clare last got a chance to play championship football, they will go back at it on Saturday and Sunday. Teams who were beaten in their opening group matches and who go the same way this weekend, will have plenty of time to reflect on how their season imploded. Eight weeks after their first championship game of 2010, they will have more than eight months to get it right for next year’s championship. Although they might get to play senior B or relegation semi-final football to keep them occupied for another few weeks. While there have been league fixtures in the interim, it is worth pointing out (yet again) that Clare GAA sees little problem with having a huge gap between the first and second round of the senior football championship. In a successful county there would be some excuse. Yet both the Clare footballers and hurlers exited their respective championships after …

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Minors seek to banish previous All-Ireland defeats

THE disappointment felt by players, mentors and supporters in Athy in 2008 and in Thurles last year after the All-Ireland U-18 finals is something that followers of Clare camogie don’t want to experience again.Heading into their third successive final at this level, it is understandable that the memories of the defeats suffered from Kilkenny in both of those finals come flooding back.However, there is an air of confidence sweeping through the county, that it will be ‘third time lucky’ and that the All-Ireland trophy will be carried back to Clare on Saturday evening by Chloe Morey, a member of the squad for the past two years.That Clare are facing a huge task is without question. Galway have won the All-Ireland U-16 title for the past two years and were installed as favourites for this title at an early stage.Clare lost to Tipperary 1-7 to 1-10 in the opening round but they then went to Cork and scored a two-point win …

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Rivals look good for Champion Cup final

IF form in last weekend’s round three of the senior hurling championship is an accurate guideline, then near neighbours and arch rivals Sixmilebridge and Newmarket will contest this year’s final.Both were comfortable winners while their league semi-final opponents, Smith O’Brien’s and Broadford, suffered heavy defeats and are now in danger of not making the play-offs.Dr Daly Park in Tulla will host the meeting of Sixmilebridge and Smith O’Brien’s on Saturday at 7pm when the ’Bridge will start as warm favourites.Despite missing a lot of scoring chances last week, Sixmilebridge still managed a comfortable win over Tubber and with team captain Niall Gilligan leading the way with regard to scores, they should prove too strong for their Killaloe opponents this week.Smith O’Brien’s disappointed in their performance against Newmarket last week and they will be keen to show that they can play much better. They were without the experienced Trevor Howard and Shane O’Brien last week and both are likely to be …

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Race for senior title begins

THE race for the Clare Senior Camogie  Championship got underway at the weekend when the meeting of neighbours Clooney and Kilkishen produced some great action before the sides ended on level terms.Elsewhere, Newmarket, Sixmilebridge and champions Kilmaley emerged victorious in their opening ties. Sixmilebridge  8-21   Wolfe Tones  1-3 As the scoreline suggests, Sixmilebridge were always in control and had the points secured long before the final whistle. They were 7-9 to 0-2 ahead at the halfway point on an evening when they dominated in most positions.Naomi Carroll with 2-9 and Sinead Tuohy with 4-2 were the team’s top scorers while Rachel O’Brien accounted for all of the Shannon side’s scores.Sixmilebridge will play Tulla-Bodyke in the next round. Sixmilebridge: Áine McNamara; Orla Chaplin, Maire McGrath, Sinead Hyland; Aiveen O’Shea, Sinead Crowe (capt), Shauna Chaplin; Niamh Corry, Sinead Costello; Rachael O’Halloran (0-3), Chloe Morey (0-6,3f), Mairead Hyland (1-1); Sinead Touhy (4-2), Orla Fitzgerald (1-0), Naomi Carroll (2-9,2f).Subs: Anne Sweeney, Jean Chaplin, Ciara …

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Clarecastle net comprehensive victory

  Clarecastle 2-18 Broadford 2-6 ULTIMATELY, the significance of the hole on top of John Casey’s net was usurped by the excellence of Clarecastle’s second-half display in Shannon last Saturday afternoon.If Clarecastle had lost by a couple of points, Broadford’s 12th minute goal would have rankled with the Mapgies every bit as much as Sixmilebridge’s floodlights did two years ago. That evening, the lights were switched on without consultation in the ’Bridge, on an evening when Clarecastle lost to Cratloe by a point.  This time, Clarecastle goalkeeper John Casey was adamant that Niall Moloney’s shot dropped on top of the net at the scoreboard side before it slipped through a hole in roof and dropped behind him. Immediately, Joe Kelly raised the green flag, prompting ructions from Clarecastle, who had Eric Flynn booked amid the protests. Casey was yellow-carded before a ball was pucked at the start of the second half, for another comment on the issue to his ‘new’ …

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Crusheen win with late flourish

  Crusheen 1-14  Ballyea  1-8 The result shows a win for the favourites but for three quarters of Friday evening’s senior championship clash between Crusheen and Ballyea the underdogs looked the likely winners.They led from the third minute until two minutes into the final quarter. A further seven minutes passed until Crusheen took the lead for the first time with a Fergus Kennedy goal but Ballyea should have been awarded a free out because Gerry O’Grady’s pass to the goalscorer wasn’t a proper hand pass.It was an evening when Ballyea should have done better and Crusheen players and mentors were the first to admit this after the game. A goal in the third minute by Tony Griffin after Gearóid O’Connell made the break gave Ballyea a lead they would hold until midway through the second half. Crusheen closed the gap to the minimum on a couple of occasions but their finishing on the evening was atrocious, a fact highlighted by …

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Ennis reach Munster semi-finals

ENNIS will host Nenagh in the Munster semi-final of the JB Carr seniors’ inter-club competition next Monday. This is one of the most popular inter-club competitions, as the numbers playing seniors golf have increased in huge proportions in recent years.Ennis beat Ceann Sibeal from Kerry in their last outing and now face a difficult assignment as Nenagh have a formidable team. Lahinch The captain’s (Eugene Gilligan) prize was played at the weekend and there was a full timesheet on both Friday and Saturday. The leading qualifiers from both days went through for a nine-hole play-off on Sunday.West Clare native Pascal Looney emerged as the winner with 60 points and he had two to spare from Jim O’Leary, with Gerry Buckley in third spot on 59 followed by Diarmuid Leonard on 59, Parry Mandal on 58, Jimmy Condon on 57, Frank Keating on 57, Danny McGrath on 56 and Matthew Griffin on 55.The gross was won by Thomas Neenan on 49 …

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