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Surprise defeat for McDonagh twins

WITH hopes abounding of a sizeable yield of titles, all of the 15 Clare boxers travelled to the Munster Youths Championships in Cork last weekend with an added incentive of a ticket to the national championships for the winners. However, there was much disappointment for the boxers from the Kilfenora and Ennis clubs and while five were victorious, many of the pre-championship bankers failed to live up to their promise.Twin brothers John and Simon McDonagh from the Ennis club have been unbeaten so far this season but both succumbed in their respective finals on Sunday. John went down 5-3 to the superb Aaron Ronan from the Glen Boxing Club in Cork, while Simon’s power and aggression could not counteract the accuracy and craft of reigning champion Michael McDonnell from St Paul’s in Waterford. He lost out on an emphatic 11-5 scoreline. Wayne Danaher, who hails from Lisdoonvarna and boxes out of the Ennis club, missed out narrowly in a pulsating …

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Championship draws made

LISSYCASEY and Kilmaley have been handed difficult tasks in the opening rounds of the 2011 senior football and hurling championships. They will face the defending champions, Doonbeg and Crusheen, respectively.The draws for the senior, intermediate and junior A hurling and football championships, all of which are run on a league system, were made at Tuesday’s March meeting of Clare County Board and they have thrown up a number of interesting groupings.In hurling, the semi-finalists from last year were seeded, which resulted in Clonlara, Cratloe, Sixmilebridge and Crusheen avoiding each other in the group stage.An open draw applied in football where, as per last year, the format for the knock-out stage is already known. The teams qualifying from group one will play group four, with group two and group three qualifiers meeting. This will also apply for senior B with the teams that finish third in their groups meeting and it will also be the system for the relegation play-off, with …

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Munster titles for Clare handballers

CLARE claimed more Munster championship titles in the past week, as the adult 40×20 handball championships continue.Sisters Sarah and Paula Loughnane were crowned Munster junior B ladies doubles champions after they beat Aisling Fitzgerald and Edel O’Grady (Tuamgraney) in three entertaining games, winning Sunday’s final in O’Callaghan’s Mills on a 21-15, 15-21, 21-8 score.Ashling Fitzgerald has the chance to claim silverware when she plays the Munster singles final this Saturday in Galbally against Laura Keevers from Waterford at 2pm.Pat Donellan, Kilkishen, added to his golden masters A singles success when he partnered Newmarket’s Mike Kelly to take the doubles title, beating Pat Griffin and Tony Flaherty in the Munster final at Tuamgraney on Saturday (19-21, 21-15, 21-9).There was double success also for John Cawley of Shannon, who won Munster championship honours at golden masters B singles grade when he beat Cork’s Brendan Hurley on a scoreline of 21-9, 21-11. He added the doubles title on Tuesday night when he partnered …

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Narrow challenge victory for Clare over Waterford

  Clare  1-19  Waterford  2-15 In a senior hurling challenge at Sixmilebridge on Saturday evening, Clare emerged with a one point win over Waterford.Both sides were in experimental mood for this contest, with Clare lining out without the players who were involved in the all-Limerick Fitzgibbon Cup final earlier in the day, which UL won.The visitors, who were in Clare for the weekend, enjoyed the better of the first half exchanges, helped by goals in the eighth and 17th minutes from Maurice Shanahan and Eamonn Murphy. At half-time they were eight points clear, 2-9 to 0-7, and were full value for this lead as they had looked by far the sharper side in the opening half.The introduction of Diarmuid McMahon at full-forward allied to a number of positional switches brought about a big improvement in Clare’s play in the second half.The visitors had the first scores of the second period with points from Brian O’Sullivan and Eamonn Murphy but Clare …

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Great start for McEnery

Ennis navigator Charlie McEnery’s first outing with Monaghan driver and 2010 West Coast rally champion, 21-year-old Shane Maguire, saw them score maximum points on last weekend’s Birr Stages Rally, round one of the 2011 West Coast Rally Championship.The rally, which was based in Abbeyleix, was also the opening round of the 2011 Dunlop National Rally Championship. The pair were also awarded the Dunlop National Drive of the day in their Subaru N11. The pair worked very well together on their first rally and apart from being held up by slower drivers on some stages, their Subaru ran perfect all day and they eventually finished ninth overall.Charlie’s sister Gráinne, who navigates with Kerry driver Mike Quinn, slotted into second place overall in the West Coast Rally Championship after finishing 13th overall in Sunday’s event in their Mk2 Escort.Leading from the start, Tim McNulty (Subaru WRC) and co-driver Paul Kiely won the rally, the first round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship.  …

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Share of the spoils a fair result

Presentation 6 Scariff 6 Scariff and Presentation shared the spoils in a tense league tie in Ruthard on Sunday afternoon. Both sides displayed good attacking and defensive performances through out the game.The windy conditions however, made it difficult for ­players throwing into the line-outs to meet their targets and both teams lost a raft of line-outs.A tense first half ended with the sides scoreless. Poor discipline in the first few minutes of the second half handed Presentation a penalty in front of the posts. Scariff responded well and replied with their own penalty through James Kelly. A further penalty apiece left the scores 6-6 at the finish. Kelly also kicked Scariff’s second penalty.This week, Scariff will have home advantage against Douglas in the league. Scariff: Joe McGrath, Colin Bugler, Paul Maternal, Daire McNamara (cap), Rory Slattery, Pat Managua, Darren McNamara, Robbie Madden, Tom Cronin, James Kelly, Barry Gibbons, Eagan Collins, Kenny Mason, Trevor Kelly, Connor McNamara.Replacements: Joe Brody, Steve Madden, …

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Lots of demands on GAA finances

CLARE County Board are constantly keeping an eye on their finances, delegates were told at this month’s board meeting.Replying to a query from Doonbeg delegate, Michael Neenan as to what steps are being taken to cut down on team expenses, Clare GAA treasurer Bernard Keane told those in attendance on Tuesday night, “It’s a constant battle as there are a lot of demands. We have to be prudent and we are constantly keeping an eye on our finances. “We are also carrying out improvements on an ongoing basis at Cusack Park, which we have to do and we will continue to do this. I am worried about what will happen when Caherlohan comes on stream as it will have to be maintained.”Keane went on to stress the importance of promoting the annual draw, both for the board and for the clubs. “Last year the clubs of Clare earned €125,000 from this promotion, while the board earned €92,000. Every club must …

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Ard Scoil Rís in cruise control

Ard Scoil Rís 3-19 Charleville CBS 0-3 SIX young Clare hurlers were part of the Ard Scoil Rís, Limerick team that retained the Dr Harty Cup, Munster colleges senior A hurling championship, in a very one-sided and disappointing final at Pairc na nGael in Limerick on Sunday.Damian Moloney and Oisín Hickey (Meelick), Martin Moroney (Parteen) and Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge) were all in the first 15, while Meelick’s Colin Ryan and Bobby Sherlock were amongst the substitutes. Moroney and Shanahan were also in the first 15 when the Limerick school made the breakthrough to win the title for the first time 12 months ago. Both were also members of the Clare minor panel, which won the Munster title in 2010 and went on to contest the All-Ireland final.Ard Scoil Rís went into Sunday’s final as hot favourites but few expected the gap to be so wide at the final whistle.In what many have described as one of the greatest ever games …

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