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Keane for atonement 12 months on

WHEN Niamh Keane returns to work in Caherciveen next week, the Clare full-forward would love to have an All-Ireland medal jangling in her pocket. Employed as a physiotherapist at a medical centre in the West Kerry town, the Banner Ladies player cannot escape talk of football. Definitely not over the past two weeks in The Kingdom. Not that she is attempting to though. In fact, Niamh has embarked on a recruitment drive of sorts, encouraging her patients to lend their support to Clare from 2pm on Sunday. “As long as you’re talking football down there, the patients are happy. They’re all going to have their Clare flag out next week, they tell me,” she said, before predicting dire consequences if her new friends in Kerry don’t back Clare for the day. “I’ll be very tough on them if they don’t tune into to TG4 on Sunday to support us,” the Roslevan girl laughed. With a few of the Clare intermediate …

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Planning a Croke Park shut out

Crusheen goalkeepers who wear the Saffron and Blue are enjoying a riotous time of it lately. Whatever way the ball has come at them, be it the big one or the small, they have thrown themselves in its path, diverting it over or outside them at times when their county desperately needed their intervention. Donal Tuohy’s save in the U-21 All-Ireland final has gone down as one of the greatest saves ever made by a Clare goalkeeper. Without it, Kilkenny may well have won the title. Two weeks before that heroic Sunday, the Clare lady footballers qualified for the All-Ireland final. They wouldn’t have done so without Denise Walsh’s magnificent goalkeeping display. The Crusheen girl, an academic researcher at NUIG, made two critical saves when the game was there to be won, while she also stopped a late Waterford penalty. Clare’s goalkeeper when the county won the Munster senior title in 2001, Denise won’t be heard complaining if she doesn’t …

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Ladies must focus on defence

The Clare ladies head to Dublin this weekend with a singular, unsurprising, focus – winning. Roll the calendar back a year and they embarked on the same journey. It ended in disappointment last September 28 when Tipperary trundled over Clare’s intermediate championship winning aspirations. Although it didn’t appear to impact upon Tipperary, perhaps the Croke Park sideshows disturbed Clare’s concentration. This time they have no excuse. Apart from a number of players, including Louise Woods, Rachel Lenihan and Sarah Hoey, who have forced their way onto the team, or at least into the first 20, the remainder have sufficient experience to know what’s ahead. So far, Clare have played some excellent attacking football in reaching their second successive national intermediate final. They have averaged 0-21 per game in their four outings but have conceded an average of 0-15. Putting it simply, Clare will have to be a bit more conservative defensively this weekend but maintain their attacking threat. For example, …

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Captain Henchy focused on performance

When Clare glide onto Croke Park on Sunday, they will be led by Louise Henchy, who also captained the team last year. The Banner Ladies player, an accountant by profession, is confident that Clare will be purely focused on the game this weekend, having experienced what it’s like to play in Croke Park almost exactly 12 months ago.

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Kilmaley and ’Bridge in final

Defending champions Kilmaley will take on Sixmilebridge in the final of the senior camogie championship after both were victorious in last weekend’s semi-finals. The final is scheduled for Saturday week. Sixmilebridge 2-11   Kilnamona  1-5 SIXMILEBRIDGE qualified for their first senior final in a number of years with a strong win over Kilnamona at Wolfe Tones camogie field on Sunday. Chloe Morey, who won the inaugural Gala senior championship award for her performance against Limerick, was first on the scoresheet for Sixmilebridge with a pointed free in the fifth minute and they went on to have five points on the board before Fiona Lafferty opened Kilnamona’s account after 16 minutes. Rachel O’Halloran stretched Sixmilebridge ahead with a goal a minute later. Fiona Lafferty was again on target from a pointed free in the 20th minute. Sinéad O’Loughlin had Kilnamona’s final score of the half with a great point in the 26th minute but it was the winners who dominated the remaining …

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