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Limerick trainer beats down a winning path at Listowel

FANS at last week’s Listowel Harvest Festival enjoyed a feast of racing with Limerick trainer Charles Byrnes taking the major prize on offer as his Alfa Beat continued his remarkable rate of improvement with a popular success in the Guinness Kerry National.Rated just 93 over the larger obstacles when moving to Byrnes’ Ballingarry yard back in the spring, Alfa Beat had risen to a rating of 137 by the time he went to post for last Wednesday’s showpiece and the flying grey showed that stunning rise in the handicap was well merited as the 6/1 shot strode to victory under an inspired Barry Geraghty ride. A talented field of 18 chasers faced the starter for the €96,000 winner’s purse in this competitive three-mile test and this season’s Galway Plate winner, Finger on the Pulse, kept the entire line-up honest when setting a decent pace up front. It was noticeable from about the halfway stage that Geraghty was bringing Alfa Beat, …

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Liscannor opens another New Season

LISCANNOR will again have the honour of opening the new coursing season this coming weekend. And they will stage the fixture on their usual days, Saturday and Sunday.The situation up to lunchtime on Monday last was that coursing could not go ahead prior to Sunday, September 26. Liscannor had resigned themselves to coursing on Sunday and Monday but on Monday last, the ICC was informed that the Minister for the Environment had given permission to course a day earlier.Liscannor had no problem in the switching to Saturday and Sunday but Kilflynn have opted to stay with their original dates of Sunday and Monday.When asked to comment on the minister’s decision, DJ Histon, ICC secretary, told The Clare Champion that even though they had received notification of the change only a few days prior to the start-up of the new season, it was welcome nonetheless. Liscannor were availing of the new situation and he had no doubt that they would able …

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Hilltop Tomboy wins with late surge

WEST Clare owner Jer Lernihan was the sole Clare winner in Galway last Thursday night when his Hilltop Tomboy obliged in the ninth race.This was an A3 graded 525-yard affair in which the Seamus Fahy-trained Astronomic Luke in trap went off the 6/4 favourite. From the opening bend, it was obvious it was going to be a battle between the favourite and the Clare-owned black dog. And as they swung down the far side, the favourite cut inside to head off Hilltop Tomboy. At the half-way stage, Astronomic Luck had gone into a two-length lead and while Hilltop Tomboy was forced to go wide as they turned for home, the son of Droopys Vieri-Clonreddan Tina got up close to the line to win by half a length. His time was 29.49.In the first race of the night, Scatteri Vieri, owned in West Clare by PJ O’Halloran and the Gort-owned Fast Fit Sky set the pace in this S9 350 affair …

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Kilrush going for four in-a-row

THE 14th annual running of West Clare National Schools cross country races will be held on the lands of the Ryan Family, Kilmihil, on Monday starting at 11.30am sharp. This event has been a huge success over the past 12 years. Over 450 national schoolchildren, boys and girls, took part last year despite the absence of some of the schools. Kilrush are the holders of AIB Perputual Cup and this year, they are going for four in-a-row. As in previous years, all the national schools in any parish will combine to form teams representing that parish. There are 13 parishes involved, Killballyowen, Carrigaholt, Kilkee, Doonbeg, Kilmurray Ibrickane, Cooraclare. Kilmihil, Kilrush, Killimer/Knockerra Kilmurray McMahon, Cranny/Coolmeen, Kildysart and Lissycasey/Ballynacally.There will be six races in all: boys U-8 400m; girls U-8 400m; boys U-10 600m; girls U-10 600m; boys O-10 800m; girls O-10 800m. North Clare Schools THE eighth annual North Clare National Schools Cross Country Championships will be held on the lands …

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Tug O’ War

Coach PJ Bracken of Killoughey Team urges on his charges  during the Club Tug-o-War competition pull at The Falls Hotel, Ennistymon. Photograph by John Kelly

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Parent rule could benefit the Banner

A number of Dublin club footballers whose parents hail from Clare could well be lining out for the Banner County in 2011.Some years ago, the GAA introduced a rule that allows players to declare for the county of their parents.Leitrim, in particular, has benefitted from this ruling in the past decade. Declan Darcy, who captained Leitrim to Connacht honours when John O’Mahony was their manager, is from Dublin but declared for the home county of his father. He eventually transferred to Dublin and played with them for a number of years.“It’s something we are looking into but it’s very much in its infancy at the moment,” Clare senior manager Micheál McDermott confirmed this week. “We are investigating the possibility and we are having a closer look at a number of players currently playing in the Dublin championship who would be eligible to declare for Clare,” McDermott added.Aidan and Brian Downes are sons of former O’Curry’s and Clare player Michael, who …

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Kilmurry on track for three-in-a-row

Kilmurry-Ibrickane 0-10 Cratloe 1-6 Clare senior football champions Kilmurry-Ibrickane remain on course for an historic three-in-a-row Clare titles but they were given a rare fright by outsiders Cratloe at Cusack Park on Friday evening.It could be argued that Kilmurry did not win this tie, given claims that Enda Coughlan’s equalising point, six minutes from the end, was in fact wide. As the umpire reached for the white flag a number of Cratloe players raced in to protest that the ball was outside the upright but they were waved away.That incident apart, Cratloe will rue a number of missed chances as Kilmurry-Ibrickane struggled in a number of positions. The loss of experienced midfielder Paul O’Connor at the end of the first quarter was certainly a blow to the titleholders. He picked up a leg injury in the second minute and, while he tried to play on, he was clearly in difficulty and must now be a major doubt for this weekend’s …

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Level pegging at the Park

Clarecastle 0-12 Clooney-Quin 0-12 KILMALEY’S hopes of being involved in the knock-out stages of the Clare Senior Hurling Championship were ended at Cusack Park on Saturday evening despite the fact that there wasn’t a Kilmaley player on the pitch.There were, however, quite a few amongthe attendance for the meeting of Clarecastle and Clooney-Quin, hoping that one or other of the teams involved could win by a margin that would bring Kilmaley back into the title race.In a group that had already produced three draws, it wasn’t a major surprise that this tie ended all square. After all the teams were level nine times and a share of the spoils was a fair result on this occasion.By the end, Kilmaley, despite being unbeaten, are out of the title race. At the end of the group stage in this division, three of the five teams are unbeaten which is somewhat surprising.Saturday’s contest won’t go down as one of the better games this …

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