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A long road with Clare GAA

Jim O’Sullivan first came to Shannon in the mid-1960s and a short time later he accepted a job offer. This led to his family moving from England to what was about to become Ireland’s newest town and, over 40 years later, the O’Sullivan family is firmly settled in Clare.A native of Caheragh in West Cork, O’Sullivan emigrated to England in the early 1960s. “I came from a farming family and football was a huge part of our lives. I suffered a serious knee injury when I was just 17. I didn’t know it then but it was a cruciate injury and it effectively put paid to my playing days,” Jim recalled last week.Jim, a road mason by occupation, had a cousin in England at the time and he was able to arrange work for him. While in England, Jim met and married Theresa O’Connell, a native of Miltown Malbay parish. Their sons, Tony and James, were born in England, while …

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New championship format ratified

An altered Clare ladies senior football club championship was ratified at Monday’s AGM. The new format means that the counties five strongest ladies football clubs will compete in one group, with the five remaining senior clubs in the second group. County senior and All-Ireland intermediate champions West Clare Gaels will be joined by beaten finalists Banner Ladies, Kilmihil, Liscannor and Cooraclare in the strongest group. The top three of these five clubs will automatically qualify for the county semi- final, while the fourth placed team will play off with the winner of the second group for the fourth semi-final spot. The second group will consist of junior A champions Newmarket, Miltown, Crusheen, Coolmeen and Fergus Rovers. The winner of this group will have the opportunity to challenge for a place in the senior championship semi-final, while the top two teams in this group will contest the county senior B final. West Clare Gaels won their first senior title in 2010. …

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Ennis fighters heading to their first European Championships

Two Ennis-based martial artists will be heading to Portugal this week to compete in the European Brazilian Jiujitsu Championships, the biggest competition of its kind to be held in Europe this year.John Eustace, who runs Fight Sports Clare and one of his students, Jack Darmody, will head to Lisbon next week in advance of tournament that begins next Saturday.“For this one for sure I want to see how good I am against other guys, other blue belts,” Eustace said this week.“It’s a good test, it’s the reason you do any competition. Why I started doing competitions was to put myself in the stressful environment.“When you’re training here (in the gym) it’s very relaxed – though it’s a little bit stressful when you start – after a while you get used to it and it’s very relaxed it’s not like a fight really it’s more like you’re playing a game. But when you go into a competition it’s more like a …

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Flynn’s goal proves decisive

Newmarket Celtic   0 Avenue United       1 (after extra time) Gary Flynn scored the decisive goal for Avenue United in the first minute of extra-time in this Munster Junior Cup tie played at McDonough Park in Newmarket on Sunday morning. The match was scheduled for Lees Road but, following heavy rain on Saturday, soccer games scheduled for the Lees Road venue were moved and Avenue opted to go to Newmarket.The meeting of two of the premier league’s leading sides aroused a lot of interest and it was no surprise that extra-time was required to separate the teams.The game produced few chances, with most of the play in the midfield area. The respective defences held firm.Overall, Avenue looked the better-balanced side on the day and just about deserved their narrow victory.The all-important goal came after a fine move involving Colin Smith, Pa Wilson and David Smith before Flynn ran on to the latter’s cross to shoot low to the corner of the …

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Rineanna shine away from home

Premier division Bridge Celtic A  1 Rineanna Rovers A  3 In the only premier league game played on Sunday, Rineanna Rovers A accounted for Bridge Celtic A at O’Briensbridge. The visitors took the lead early in the game when Gary O’Connell was on target.Ciaran Aherne scored from the penalty spot for the home side to tie up the game but the visitors were back in front before the break when Johnnie Okoru scored.Midway through the second half, Okoru struck again and this sealed the points for the Shannon side. Bridge Celtic A: Adrian Dhouig; Rob Cassidy, William Slattery, Trevor Howard, Rob Seymour, Cathal O’Connell, Ciaran Aherne, Paul McEvoy, Ger O’Connell; Conor Hynes, Noel Howard.Subs: Barry O’Connell, Ryan Morris, Stephen McCarthy. Rineanna Rovers A: Jason Casey; Neil Mills, Pat Fahy, Dean Richter, Enda Kelly, Kieran Keane, Johnnie Okoru, Gary O’Connell, Niall Murphy; Brian Kelly, Sean O’Connor.Subs: Danny Sweeney, Paddy Finlay, Thiago.

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Glynn’s Old McDonald lands maiden hurdle at Naas

OLD McDonald stung the bookies for a tidy sum when landing a gamble for Spancilhill owner-trainer Noel Glynn in the opening two-mile, three-furlong Irish Stallion Owners maiden hurdle at Naas last Saturday.A market springer from a very generous 12/1 into 8/1, Old McDonald was always travelling with ease under Robbie Power on the raid-sodden ground at the Kildare track and turning off the home bend, the powerfully built son of King’s Theatre moved up to launch his challenge.Two out, Old McDonald hit the front and while a clumsy leap at the final flight didn’t help matters, nothing was coming from behind in this 25-runner contest to trouble the leader as he galloped on relentlessly, passing the post in splendid isolation four and a half back in front of Noel Meade’s 3/1 shot Jetson.A non-runner, when road conditions prevented his connections from getting there, at Leopardstown the previous Sunday, Old McDonald was mightily impressive on this occasion, earning an immediate 20/1 …

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Clare’s Clonmel strike gets bigger

Clare’s representation for Clonmel is stronger after the weekend’s activities and the withdrawal of the Cooraclare qualifier from the Oaks.Clogher Road (Janey Mac Aroo-Jeru), owned by Alphonsus Tubridy from Mullagh and Mullingar-based and Mullagh native Dr Paddy Kelly, won the Oak trial stake (16) at the Kilcreevin-Ballymoate coursing meeting over the Tubbercurry field last Sunday. Trained by Gerry Holian, she beat Stand by Me in the semi-final and in the final got the better of New Era (Janey Mac Aroo-Ardnalee Orla), owned in Leixlip by the Brian O’Donnell syndicate. She also had outings in Miltown Malbay, Doon and Cooraclare and on each occasion was beaten by the eventual winner.Another who is making a return to Clonmel for a shot at the Oaks is John Quinn from Woodpark, Newmarket-on-Fergus. His Woodpark Blaze (Murtys Blaze-Woodpark Rebel) was runner-up at the Cooraclare meeting, where she was beaten by the Ted Hegarty and Liam Foley-owned Wizard West. However, the winner has been withdrawn from …

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Return to racing in Galway

AFTER the interruption caused by the bad weather, racing resumed at the Galway Greyhound Racing Stadium last Friday night when there were two Clare winners and five Clare qualifiers from opening round heats of the Gain Garmivit A4 event over 525 yards.The main race of the night was the A2 graded 525, which was won by the John McDonagh-owned and trained Tyrur Crowley in trap three. The trap two contestant, Chapelane Donie, owned in Shannon by Trina McLaughlin, was first to show in front of Tyrur Crowley but the Shannon-owned black went wide at the first bend, giving the advantage to the eventual winner, who went two lengths clear of TJ McMahon’s Bodyshop Flame as they entered the back straight. The Tuam-owned Tyrur Crowley held onto his lead and was well clear at the final bend to win by four lengths in 29.16 from Bodyshop Flame. Third home was Annagh Toffee, trained by Sean Cooke for Sean Cooke-Moore, Kilbeacanty.The first …

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