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Reviving the game

IT’S often lamented that hurling is in a geographical straitjacket, unable to move beyond the counties where it is strong for over 100 years.There’s less talk about how confined the game can be within the counties where it actually has a strong base, such as Clare. Despite the All-Irelands of the ’90s, the game has failed to penetrate huge tracts of the Banner and many young people grow up without having any opportunity to play. One club showing progress, however, is St Breckan’s of Lisdoonvarna, whose U-14 hurlers this year captured the Bord na nÓg C Championship and the Féile Division 4 title.One of the driving forces behind the success is Peter Casey, who was over the successful side and who began working to revive hurling in the town less than 10 years ago.Before that the game had been dormant; the previous success of Peter’s father John in getting it going some years back having stalled.Peter hurled for Corofin after …

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Cusack impresses against Sunderland

NEWMARKET-on-Fergus man Shane Cusack played the second half on Tuesday’s soccer friendly at Thomond Park when Sunderland played a Munster selection.Cusack, who recently returned from Colchester where he had spent the last year, turned in an impressive display when he was introduced for the second half in a game played as part of the Shane Geoghegan Memorial Day.

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O’Loughlin takes coaching role at Inagh-Kilnamona

CLARECASTLE’S Fergie O’Loughlin is returning to hurling management in Clare and this week he has teamed up with Inagh-Kilnamona.Davy Fitzgerald coached the mid-Clare club after Waterford bowed out of the All-Ireland title race. The Sixmilebridge man was again the club’s first choice as coach for this season but his involvement with Waterford has meant that he has been unable to give his time to date this year.Inagh native Eoin Garvey, who coached Carlow for a number of seasons, agreed to step in for a few weeks but his commitment to a major walk during the coming weeks means that he is not available to continue in this role.This has led to the appointment of Clarecastle man O’Loughlin who is also training Galway side, Castlegar, this year.O’Loughlin trained Ballyea to the Clare senior final a few years back when they came up against his native Clarecastle who he was also training that year. He committed to the Magpies for the final …

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Clare almost cause a major upset

CLARE came within minutes of beating Galway in the senior camogie championship on Saturday in Corofin and would have achieved a shock result but for a storming finish by the Galway girls. Having defeated Clare on a scoreline of 3-16 to 1-5 in the league and with wins over Tipperary, Wexford and Cork already secure, Galway were assured and confident as they took to the field in abysmal weather conditions.Points from Therese Maher and Veronica Curtin in the opening minutes saw them get off to the start they expected. Deirdre Murphy pointed for Clare after she collected a long Kate Lynch drive to open Clare’s account.Galway’s Aislinn Connolly responded with a point before Galway were awarded a penalty when Clare goalie Susan Vaughan was penalised for pulling Curtin’s jersey as she attempted to clear her line.Fiona Lafferty saved the resulting penalty before Galway put the rebound wide. Curtin went on to point again five minutes later, before Clare started to …

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Mayo minors edge out Banner County

CLARE failed in their bid to reach their second successive All-Ireland minor semi-final in-a-row, when they were frustratingly edged out by Mayo in the shield semi-final in Mountbellew last Saturday. Clare threw everything at the leaders in the final moments, only to run out of time.On reflection, they will rue missed opportunities especially from play and placed balls in the first half that could have seeing them go in level at half-time.Clare dominated the first quarter, scoring 2-1 to Mayo’s two points. Clare’s scores came from Sinéad Sexton (1-1) and Niamh O’Dea (1-0) but in the final 10 minutes of the half, Mayo completely took over, scoring 2-6. Star of the show was centre-forward Carol Hegarty, who scored 2-3. Both sides added points before half-time to leave the score at Mayo 2-7 Clare 2-3.In the second half, Clare made a number of positional changes, which seemed to work. The sides exchanged points inside 16 minutes, with Clare’s points coming from …

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Kilrush’s Spanish connection

IF medics had conducted a spot check of blood pressure levels in Kilrush last Sunday evening, Antonio Cebas would have had the doctors bellowing for an ambulance. The Madrid native has lived and worked in Kilrush since November 1996 but along with his 46 million fellow Spaniards, Antonio put down one of the longest evenings of his life on Sunday.Andres Iniesta’s extra-time World Cup final winner drove his native country wild as they added the World Cup to the European championship, which they won in Austria and Switzerland two years ago.As far as Antonio knows, he is the only Spaniard in West Clare. That didn’t stop him from enjoying the moment though, as he viewed the scenes from his family home in Kilrush.“The rest of the matches I watched in the pub but because of its significance, I felt that I’d prefer to watch it at home. I just wanted to really focus well on the screen and not have …

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Ennis club wins big in Limerick

THE Irish Age Group Division 2 swimming championships were held recently at the University of Limerick Sports Arena.  Twenty-four swimmers from the Ennis Swimming and Lifesaving Club participated in the three-day event. The swimmers came home with 17 individual medals (three gold, seven silver and seven bronze) and eight relay medals (seven gold and one silver).  The boys’ 17 to 24 age group saw Declan Bredin leading the club in the medal count by winning four medals.  His first silver medal came in the 400m freestyle which he finished in a time of 4.43:03. He put in a strong performance in the 200m backstroke winning another silver medal in a time of 2.28:61. His third silver medal in the 100m freestyle was in a personal best time of 1.00:89. Declan also won a bronze medal in the 200m individual medley.  Mark Eisenberg set a three-second pb of 2.15:15 in winning the silver medal in the 200m freestyle. He added to …

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O’Gorman Cup victory for Doonbeg

Doonbeg 1-11 Lissycasey 0-5     AFTER an even opening half, Doonbeg took control and restricted Lissycasey to just one more point to take their first O’Gorman Cup in some style.Throughout the second period their defence had the measure of the Lissycasey attackers. Although the 2007 county champions frequently managed to work the ball into the Doonbeg half, they could make no further inroads, while the home side were less inhibited when they went forward themselves, with man of the match Brian Egan kicking some fine scores.Doonbeg’s Shane Ryan enjoyed a very good first half and he opened the scoring in the third minute, two minutes before Colin Lynch levelled.A move which also involved Alan Nagle and Lynch ended with Derek McMahon pointing, before Ryan levelled it again in the 13th minute.Egan put Doonbeg into the lead before Enda Finnucane restored parity in the 25th minute, 0-3 apiece.Finnucane and Enda Doyle traded points before Shane O’Brien had the game’s only …

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