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Cratloe dethroned…..again

What a difference a year makes. In the space of a week in October 2014, Cratloe made history when they won the Clare senior hurling and football titles becoming the first Clare club to achieve such a feat of winning both in the same year on the field of play. [doptg id=”79″] Just under twelve months on they have been stripped of both titles in the space of seven days, both defeats coming at the quarter final stage. At rain swept Cusack Park today, Sunday, they lost their bid for a third senior football title in a row when they went under to Clondegad. And there can be no arguments as to the merit of Clondegad’s victory over the champions who started  brightly and raced into a three point lead in the opening quarter. Indeed they had a few chances to have increased this lead but failed to capitalise Gradually Clondegad got a grip on proceedings and when they half …

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Wolfe Tones knock out minor A hurling champions

The minor A hurling championship title holders are out of this year’s competition. At rain lashed O’Garney park in Sixmilebridge on Friday evening Kilmaley had to give best to a stronger and better balanced Wolfe Tones outfit. When the final whistle sounded the Shannon club had four points to spare, 0-16 to 1-9 and they were full value for their win. However, they will have to wait a while to learn who will be their opponents in the final as the game between Inagh-Kilnamona and the Broadford-Smith O’Briens amalgamation was cancelled as the pitch at Shannon wasn’t playable. Wolfe tones led by the minimum margin, 0-8 to 0-7, at half time and they were a little unlucky not to have had a couple of goals at this stage. They were four points clear early in the second half but a goal from Padraig McNamara brought Kilmaley to within a point. However, the holders were unable to break down a strong …

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Free-wheeling rugby men talk the talk in Kilkee

GIVEN the thousands of visitors from Limerick who decamp to Kilkee every summer, rugby talk isn’t exactly foreign to the resort town. There was plenty of rugby speech heard beneath the soft September air earlier this week and those loosening their tongues, in advance of the Rugby World Cup, knew what they were talking about. Former All Black number eight Zinzan Brooke, Scottish fly half Craig Chalmers and Welsh international Leigh Davies found time to project ahead to the autumn tournament, while on a brief break from the Mizen to Malin cancer fundraising cycle. Before they got to the rugby though, these rugby men couldn’t but have the odd dig at each other, or at themselves, regarding their cycling skills. “When you’re in the peloton and there is a big pothole coming up, you need your other team members to warn you. When you start getting to the hills, you sort of stop talking. On the flat you can get …

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Minor win not enough for Galway

Kilkenny 1-22 Galway 1-18 It was another disappointing day for followers of the Galway senior hurling team when they took on reigning champions Kilkenny in the All-Ireland senior hurling final on Sunday. A full house of over 82,000 patrons flocked to Croke Park with many predicting that Galway were about to end a 27 year wait. They won the last of their four titles back in 1988. Things were looking good in the opening half at the end of which the Tribestmen were three points clear, 0-14 to1-8 and they would not have been flattered had this margin been a few points greater. It was a different story in the second half, however and once Kilkenny drew level, eight minutes after the resumption of play, they took control in the key areas. T.J. Reid delivered another top notch display and once he put them ahead in the twelfth minute of the second half, there was no looking back. With Michael …

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Last minute winner for Kilmaley

Crusheen, Clonlara and Kilmaley booked their tickets to the semi-finals of the Clare senior hurling championship at Cusack Park on Saturday afternoon with victories over Clooney-Quin, Newmarket and Ballyea respectively. Overall the standard of play was disappointing with most of the excitement generated in the clash of Kilmaley and Ballyea which required extra time. From an early stage it was clear that there would be little between these neighbours. Kilmaley had marginally the better of the first half and were deserving of their four point interval lead, 1-9 to 0-8, with the goal coming from Michael O’Neill. Ten minutes from the end Tony Kelly converted a penalty awarded for a foul on substitute David Egan and from here to the final whistle, extra time looked likely. Tony Kelly pointed Ballyea into the lead in the final minute of normal time but Cian Moloney levelled in the second minute of ‘injury time’ to leave the sides at 1-13 each when Rory …

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Galway must match Kilkenny’s intensity

THE intensity and work rate that Galway will need to beat Kilkenny on Sunday must be twice what it was against Tipperary, according to captain, David Collins. The Liam Mellows clubman said the positivity that is in the squad this year has helped him. “If it wasn’t, I would be sitting down and out and would not be playing. The depth in the squad is massive and we need that going forward,” Collins told The Clare Champion. Asked at what stage in their semi-final against Tipperary did he feel that it would be their day, he replied, “When I saw Johnny Glynn hooking Maher and Mannion picking the ball up and putting it over the bar, I said ‘this is it, this is our game, we are on the curve’. The work rate and the intensity that the boys kept bringing was superb and we need to keep that going now. “We have kept it going in training and we …

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A wonderful time for GAA in Gort

HAVING players from one’s club involved with the county panel on All-Ireland final day heightens the interest within the club, Gort club chairman John Quinn believes but he equally holds the view that being involved in the All-Ireland final means as much to the clubs that don’t have a player on the panel. “Having club members involved creates additional interest and gives a connection with what is going on. It also creates a problem with the distribution of tickets, which is a challenge as well and it’s a nice problem to have. It is a policy in our club that members will be looked after first, in particular working members who are active in the club week in and week out. It would be the right thing to do to distribute the tickets amongst the grassroots of a club.” Aidan Harte and Greg Lally from Gort are part of the Galway senior panel this year, Jack Grealish is a member …

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Cunningham believes in players’ talent

A little over 12 months ago, there were doubts as to whether or not Anthony Cunningham would be given another term in charge of the Galway senior hurlers. They had been knocked out of the All-Ireland race and some supporters were impatient but the St Thomas’ clubman, who had just completed three years in charge, clearly believed in the players. “You always want to stay with a team you believe in and I believed that these guys have talent. We have worked hard in the last three to four years in bringing the standards up. Kilkenny have led that. The work that goes into inter-county teams now and what they do on their own is massive and I am delighted to have had the chance of working with this group,” he said. Looking ahead to Sunday’s date with Kilkenny, he confirmed that the Tribesmen have no injury worries. “We came out of the game the last day [Tipperary] really well. …

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