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Houghton drops in at relaunch celebrations

RAY Houghton’s goal against England in 1988 lit the fuse on a great period for Irish soccer, with the win over the old enemy really getting the whole country behind the national team. It was a famous win for Ireland, perhaps the sweetest there has been, but it could have been very different. After Houghton’s strike, England dominated the next 84 minutes, laying siege to the Irish goal for long spells.Packie Bonner was outstanding on the day and his string of saves helped Ireland hang on for a highly improbable win.The goalscorer was at the Clare Inn last Friday night for a function organised by the Ennis Town Club and he reflected on that triumph. “He (Bonner) made a lot of saves but that’s what he’s supposed to do! It wasn’t as one sided as you might think but certainly England had chances. When we went 1-0, up we didn’t know what to do really, so we sat back and …

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Impressive win for Carrigerry

Saddle Source NEWMARKET-on-Fergus trainer John Brassil tasted success at last Saturday’s Dromahane, County Cork point-to-point fixture where his Carrigerry (3/1-4/1) ran out an impressive winner of the first division of the concluding six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.

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Powerful performance puts Kilmurry-Ibrickane in final

Kilmurry Ibrickane 0-9  Stradbally 0-6 A STRONG defensive display, particularly from the full-back trio, inspired Kilmurry-Ibrickane to a deserved win over their Waterford opponents in the provincial semi-final played at Fraher Field in Dungarvan on Sunday.This latest win by the Clare champions has seen them qualify for the provincial final for the second year in succession and they will play Kerry representatives Kerins O’Rahillys for the Munster title on Sunday, December 6.The third meeting of these teams – their 2004 final went to a replay – ended with Kilmurry-Ibrickane repeating their ’04 victory. Ironically, in all three matches, Kilmurry’s tally has been the same, 0-9.While the rain stayed away, the players had to contend with a near-galeforce wind that blew directly into the roadside goal at the Waterford venue. The winners had the aid of this wind in the opening half and when they went to the break with just five points to spare (0-7 to 0-2), their supporters, who …

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Clinical Cratloe outclass Rovers

Cratloe 3-4  Valley Rovers 0-5 Cratloe footballers booked a place in their first Munster intermediate football final after outclassing Cork champions Valley Rovers in windswept Clarecastle last Sunday.Victory over Kerry kingpins, The Spa, Killarney in the provincial decider next Sunday would crown a fairytale season for Cratloe, which has confounded sceptics in their own club, who questioned the wisdom of trying to actively pursue championship success in both codes at their last annual general meeting.The doubters who felt it wasn’t possible for adult players to try to win a senior hurling championship and triumph in the intermediate grade at the same time have now been silenced. Not only have Cratloe managed to achieve this feat and the U-21A football title in the one season, the men in blue and white are now only 60 minutes away from a Munster intermediate football crown.It has been a remarkable year for the South-East Clare club, who have successfully managed the challenges of juggling …

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League crown for Clonlara

Clonlara 0-12  Crusheen 1-8 CLONLARA bounced back from the disappointment of losing the county senior championship final to retain the Clare Champion Cup (senior league) crown when they beat Crusheen at Clarecastle on Saturday. While Crusheen will point to the fact that they had 12 wides in the second half when they had the assistance of the strong wind, Clonlara just about deserved their victory as they made better use of the chances that came their way.A five-point lead at half-time hardly seemed enough for the title holders after they had enjoyed the assistance of what was a very strong wind.Indeed, their supporters in the small crowd that braved the bad weather conditions were concerned that they would rue the fact that they didn’t run up a bigger tally in the opening half.In view of the atrocious weather conditions, it surprised many that the game went ahead and, for this, full credit must go to Clarecastle GAA, whose pitch was …

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