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Ennis to host national chess championships

The 2010 All–Ireland Junior Chess Championships will be held in Ennis, over a three-day period, from Friday, April 9 until Sunday, April 11. The championships will be staged in the Auburn Lodge Hotel and are organised by the Irish Chess Union. The event has never before been held in Clare.Children from as young as five up to 19 will be travelling from all parts of Ireland to compete at the event, with each aiming for a national title.Last year, the tournament was held in Kilkenny, where Clare secured one All-Ireland title. Hiram Wood-Hennessy from Carrigaholt finished joint first in the U-10 age group.This year, the Kilkenny cats want to make an impression in Clare and they are determined to take home a title or two. So far, there are bookings from Derry, Donegal, Kilkenny and Dublin, as well as a large entry from the local chess community.Great chess is expected and the Clare chess community is also planning to showcase …

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Battle for intermediate title gets underway

THE race for the 2010 Intermediate hurling league title got underway at the weekend when there were five games listed for decision.Inagh-Kilnamona had eight points to spare over Wolfe Tones whom they defeated on a score of 0-15 to 0-7.The winners were always comfortable in this one and went in at half-time 0-7 to 0-3 ahead. They stepped up a gear in the second half and some excellent points from Jimmy Carmody, Seán Arthur and Brian Hehir left the game beyond Wolfe Tones. Best for Inagh Kilnamona on the day were Brian Arthur, Brian Hehir and Jimmy Carmody. Meelick opened their season with a comprehensive victory over Corofin. Meelick were cautious going into the game as Corofin were winners of the Junior A Championship last year. The winners were 0-10 to 1-2 ahead at half-time. The introduction of Kenneth Keane worked well as he set up the goal for Adam Sherlock. There were further fine scores from Andy White, Kenneth …

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County Clare Hunt on track at Tubber

COUNTY Clare Hunt are looking forward to a great day’s racing as they unveil a brand-new left-handed track on the lands of the Lee family at Quakerstown, Boston near Tubber for their annual point-to-point on Sunday. Locals recall that racing went ahead in this area in the past with the last known action having taken place as far back as 1948. Lesabelle, who won the 1973 Galway Hurdle for the Christy Lee/Mark Scully partnership, was put through her paces on these lands prior to scoring at Ballybrit so the link with horse racing at the Burren venue is well established. Action on-track kicks off at 2.30pm with a four-year-old maiden. This is followed at 3pm by a maiden race for five-year-old geldings. A six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden is next on the list with a winners’ race going to post half an hour later. A six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden is the penultimate event with the always popular five-year-old and …

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Clare students honoured at NUI Galway sports awards

TWO Clare people have been honoured at the NUI Galway annual sports awards.Ollie O’Flaherty from Lahinch, one of the country’s most consistent surfers in recent years, has been presented with the surfing award.He was part of the Irish team that finished eighth at last year’s European Championships and he followed his runner-up spot in the 2009 Intervarsity Championships with a win in this year’s edition. Fifth at last year’s national championships, Ollie’s choice of course Earth and Ocean Sciences complements his passion for surfing. Jose Ramirez from Scariff has been presented with the club’s captain award. He is captain of the Muay Thai club and he shares the award with David O’Reilly Healy from the snow sports club. Jose is a second-year arts student.The NUI Galway Awards were presented at a special ceremony last week in the Ardilaun House Hotel, Galway.It was a successful year for NUI Galway sport that included many international caps for students, a Fitzgibbon Cup win …

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St Flannan’s crowned champions

St Flannan’s College 2-17St Louis Grammar School 2-3 HISTORY was made at Ratoath in Meath on Sunday when St Flannan’s College captured a national camogie title for the first time in the school’s history.The foundations for the win against St Louis Grammer School, Ballymena were laid early on when Flannan’s raced into a 1-6 to 0-0 lead in the opening ten minutes. Full-forward Rebecca Culligan was the goalscorer with points from Nikki Kaiser, Sara O’Keeffe, Orla Devitt and Culligan.The northern outfit came into contention for a while but St Flannan’s finished the half strongly and another goal from Culligan left them 2-10 to 1-1 in front at the mid point in the game.The Ulster champions scored 1-2 in the opening minutes of the second half as they threatened a comeback but Flannan’s regained the upperhand and they finished the game with the last six scores.Midfielders Ashling Darcy and Rachel Mulcaire dominated throughout, while Orla Devitt, Rebecca Culligan, Sarah O’Keeffe, Nikki …

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Banner success across the water

NOW that the dust has settled on last week’s Cheltenham’s Festival, it is time to look back at the fantastic meeting that was, thankfully, sprinkled with a good deal of success for representatives from the Banner County. Without doubt, the victory of A New Story in Tuesday’s Glenfarclas Cross-County Chase was the highlight from a local point of view and his success was very much deserved as the now 12-year-old has been a model of consistency for his Ennis owners, Christy Guerin and Sean Moran, who make up the victorious Storey’s Over Syndicate.  Sent off at 25/1, A New Story was by no means ignored in the market having been as high as 50/1 at one stage and the betting shops in the Ennis area were reported to be hard-hit with a flurry of bets on the successful son of Fourstars Allstar. Fourth over hurdles to his stable companion, Dancing Tornado at Naas just nine days earlier, A New Story, …

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Tulla into another Munster final

Tulla 1-15 Abbey CBS 0-6 ST Joseph’s Tulla qualified for the Munster U-15 B hurling final with victory over Abbey CBS, Tipperary on Tuesday last in Ballybricken. St Joseph’s played against the wind in the first-half when they laid the foundation for the win. Eoin Touhy, who ended up scoring eight points, had his first in the third minute. Abbey replied with points from corner-forwards Seamus Kinnane and Sean Kiernan, before Mark Lynch got the crucial goal which settled Tulla, after great work from Shane Taylor and John O’Brien. The Tulla backs were well on top, particularly the half-back line of Damien Keniry, Niall Bolton and Taylor, along with Michael Burke in goal. O’Brien and Diarmuid Bane added two points before Colm Ryan got a pointed free to close Abbey’s first-half scoring, leaving it 1-4 to 0-3 in favour of the East Clare school.Abbey came out with a very physical approach in the second half but this was met head …

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Cooney launches Smith O’Brien’s development plan

AN achievable, realistic but still very ambitious plan was how GAA president Christy Cooney described the development plan produced by the Smith O’Brien’s club in Killaloe, which he launched on Sunday last.Addressing the gathering, he said he is delighted to be associated with the launch of development plans for clubs and he praised the Smith O’Brien’s officials for drawing up a plan which encompassed “the entire community”.Club member Michael Culhane gave a presentation on the plan for all present. It includes the construction of a hurling alley, the upgrading and extension of the clubhouse, upgrading the existing playing facilities, the purchase of more land to develop further playing pitches and the construction of a covered stand and scoreboard and increased car parking.Club secretary Tony O’Brien was MC for the occasion, while club chairman Naoise Lawlor welcomed all to Killaloe.“The response from the community has been very positive to date,” according to secretary O’Brien this week.The first in a series of …

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