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Ballyea all set for Thomas’ challenge

As the Clare and Galway champions gear up for the All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship semi-final at Semple Stadium on Saturday at 5pm, there is huge speculation as to the roles of the inter-county players on either side. Other questions are what effect playing under lights will have, while returning to competitive action after a break of over two months is also up for discussion. While it will be the first time that either side will play a competitive game under lights, both sides have been training under lights since October and have played challenge games, so neither side is making an issue of the throw-in time. On the way to their first county title, Ballyea produced some stunning performances in October and November. Many believe they would have benefitted had the championship continued throghout December. Whatever one’s view on that break, however, the Galway title-holders have had a longer spell without a competitive game. St Thomas’ won their second county …

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Clare U/21 footballers win Peter McNulty tournament

Clare 1-12 Limerick 0-12 INSPIRED by  0-9 from Lissycasey’s Conor Finucane, who put over 0-8 from play, the Clare U/21 footballers won their fourth successive game in this competition in capturing the Peter McNulty Memorial Tournament. The final was played at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday evening. Ironically the only game Clare lost was to Limerick in Kilmihil in early January. Since then they have beaten Kildare, Wexford, Galway and now Limerick, all away from home. Clare led narrowly, 0-8 to 0-7, at half time with Finucane and Eimhin Courntey accounting for all of Clare’s points. Hugh Bourke kept Limerick competitive with 0-6 from frees over the hour, although he missed a couple of scoreable frees towards the end. Approaching full time, Clare were just two points up, 0-12 to 0-10 but a close range goal from Joe McGann, following build up playing involving Keelan Sexton and Finucane, placed the St Breckan’s man for the goal. Limerick responded with points …

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Carron to host ladies football game

Carron will host the Clare lady footballers’ first league game, when they play Waterford at 2pm on Sunday. All-Ireland intermediate finalists in 2016, where they lost by just a point to Kildare, Clare are likely to field up to four débutantes this weekend. With a number of key players from last year not involved this season, Clare will field a much less experienced team. Younger players like Lizzie Roche, Anna Courtney, Amanda Mulcair, Tara Kelly and Nicole O’Doherty are very likely to feature on Sunday, as Clare comes to grip with the absence of Louise Henchy (retired), Niamh Keane, Emma O’Driscoll and Laura Egan. Eva O’Dea is still absent due to a long-term knee injury, picked up in Clare’s 2016 All-Ireland semi-final win over Tipperary. Manager Neil Moynihan is hoping for the best against what are senior opponents. “Home advantage will be no advantage whatsoever when you’re playing the likes of Waterford, who are a senior team. We played them …

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Kilmihil leads the challenge in Clonmel

THE Clare contingent will travel with a fair degree of confidence to the National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel this week-end, with some worthy representatives in the classics. Pride of place goes to Kilmihil, with three runners representing the parish at Powerstown Park. A lot of attention will also be focused on Mullagh native, Dr Paddy O’Kelly, whose unbeaten and Gerry Holian-trained Reikers Iskand (Adios Alonso – Blades of Glory) is second favourite for the Boylesports Derby. He won a good trial stake at Westmeath United and his prospects have been given a huge boost since then by winning the Corn na Féile puppy stake at Abbeyfeale, an event regarded as a good barometer for Clonmel. The favourite is his litter brother, Blades of Fire (6/1), also trained by Gerry Holian. He is owned by Mary Guiney (Rathkeale). The draws were made in the Horse and Jockey Hotel, the sponsor of the Oaks, on Friday night last. Out of the hat …

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Clare hurlers defeated by stronger Cork

Cork   0-19     Clare   0-15 CLARE relinquished the Munster Senior Hurling League title at windswept Sixmilebridge on Wednesday evening when they went under to Cork in their final group game. Cork will play Limerick in the final on Sunday. A strong wind blowing directly down the field made matters difficult for the players and it was the visitors who adapted better to the conditions. That said, Clare will rue some missed chances, especially in the opening half. However, it was Cork’s superior strength and better ball control in the second period that proved decisive. Clare did not want to play the game due to the involvement of more than half of their panel in Fitzgibbon Cup games on Tuesday but their efforts to delay the game failed. Cork had already qualified for the final of the competition before Wednesday’s game, which Clare needed to win to get to the final. Clare made seven changes in personnel from …

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Hurling team shows seven changes

  There are seven changes in personnell to the  Clare team which beat Waterford on Sunday for this Wednesday evening’s Munster senior hurling league clash with Cork at Sixmilebridge. In a team which includes five players that saw action in the Fitzgibbon cup on Tuesday, Cratloe’s Conor Ryan will make his first appearance of the season. He is named at centre back. The team is Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona), Cian Dillon (Crusheen) Capt., Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge), Conor Ryan (Cratloe), Brendan Bugler (Whitegate); Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge), Colm Galvin (Clonlara); Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin); Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara)

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Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor.

Clare v Cork game still stands

Clare’s request that this Wednesday’s Munster senior league fixture with Cork be deferred has been turned down and the fixture will go ahead in Sixmilebridge at 7.30p.m. Cork have already qualified for next Sunday’s final where their opponents will be either Clare, who are the competition holders or Limerick. Victory for Clare over Cork this Wednesday evening will see the Banner side into the final. Joint clare managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor stated after last Sunday’s win over Waterford that they had made it clear from the outset that they did not want to play this Wednesday. “We have thirteen players involved in Fitzgibbon cup (third level colleges) games this week and we cannot ask these players to play three senior games in one week, then play Fitzgibbon and then ask them to play a fourth senior game against Cork. We cannot ask some players to play five games in ten days and we are not going to torture …

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Clare still in race for final spot

Clare 2-19 Waterford 3-13 Clare’s hopes of contesting the final of the Munster hurling league remain alive thanks to this three point win over Waterford at Fraher field in Dungarvan this Sunday afternoon. They must now beat unbeaten Cork in their final group game which is set for Wednesday night in Sixmilebridge. However, Clare have informed the authorities that they are not prepared to play on Wednesday. “We have seventeen players involved in the Fitzgibbon cup and they have first round games on Tuesday. It’s not fair to ask them to play again on Wednesday”, joint manager Donal Moloney said after the victory in Dungarvan. While they will be pleased to have returned to winning ways following their midweek loss to Limerick, There wil be s ome concern in the Clare camp at the fact that the defence again leaked some soft scores and also with the fact that they went twenty four second half minutes without scoring. Clare played …

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