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Junior leagues at knockout stage

The way is clear for the semi-finals of the junior A hurling league (division 4) and both games will be played next Sunday (July 3). Broadford have finished on top of the league table after the completed their  programme of games with victory over St. Josephs, Doora-Barefield. Ballyea finished in second place thanks to a comfortable win over Tubber this Saturday evening. Despite going down to O’Callaghans Mills, Meelick remain in third spot with the Mills filling the final play off position. In next week’s semi-finals Broadford will play O’Callaghans Mills while Ballyea will face Meelick. Meanwhile, in the junior B hurling league (division 5), Newmarket and Wolfe Tones 1 have qualified from division 5 A, Parteen are through from division 5 B while the qualifier from division 5 C will be confirmed after Wolfe Tones 2 play Broadford on Tuesday. Wolfe Tones must win to stay in the race and then it will come down to score difference between …

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Éire Óg’s tough stance on membership

ONE of the primary reasons why Éire Óg has withdrawn from the Clare Intermediate Football Championship is because the club has adopted a policy of not fielding players who are not registered members. Éire Óg were due to play Clarecastle last Sunday evening in Round 1 of the intermediate championship but they did not fulfil that fixture. They also withdrew from the Division 3 football league earlier this season. “The decision we made was based on two factors. One was the numbers we had and the other factor was membership. We are not allowing any team to take the field unless they are all fully paid members. That’s where we stand,” Éire Óg club secretary Paddy Smyth told The Clare Champion. He cited an instance where a senior club hurler was told he would be dropped from the club’s championship team, unless he paid his membership. “We want everyone to be paid up members for insurance reasons. If there is …

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Orlaigh honoured to captain Clare

Orlaith Duggan was not expecting it when she was approached and asked to be the Clare senior camogie captain. “It’s a great honour to captain any team and a very big honour to captain one’s county senior side. I was, of course, delighted to be considered but it was something that I wasn’t expecting,” the 22-year-old told The Clare Champion last week, as she took a break from training ahead of the opening game of the All-Ireland championship against Ofally. Born into a well-known Clooney-Quin family, Orlaith readily acknowledges, “It’s a really sporting house and my family are delighted for me. They are really supportive”. Ahead of Saturday’s opening tie, she said, “We put in the hard weeks; we did the tough winter training, the circuits, the running. This is the time all camogie players and hurlers look forward to – the championship. We are looking at five weeks in a row. Everyone wants to be playing matches, trying to …

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Early goals cost Clare in Killarney

Kerry 2-23 Clare 0-17 MUNSTER champions Kerry cruised into a provincial final meeting with Tipperary following a very comprehensive defeat of Clare in Killarney on Sunday. The four in a row chasing Eamon Fitzmaurice managed Kerry men finished with 13 players following an injury to Killian Young and a black card for Michael Geaney but it made no difference. They had made six substitutions when Young got injured and couldn’t replace him or the black carded Geaney. Clare, who trailed 2-10 to 0-9 at half-time, were hit by a savage blow as the game ticked into its second minute when a Colm Cooper shot for a point drifted over the head of Joe Hayes and full back Kevin Harnett. Within five minutes Kerry corner forward Stephen O’Brien, who scored 1-4 in the opening half, put away his goal after Bryan Sheehan won a contest for a Clare kick out with Gary Brennan. Paul Murphy made a support run and O’Brien …

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Clare and Kerry teams named for Sunday

THE Clare footballers have named an unchanged team for Sunday’s Munster semi-final meeting with Kerry in Killarney. Despite speculation that Podge Collins and Shane McGrath might have played their way into the starting 15, both have been named on the bench. The Clare and Kerry teams were named a short time ago with the Kingdom giving championship debuts to two players in this weekends provincial semi-final. The Clare team is as follows: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Dean Ryan (Éire Óg), Kevin Harnett (Meelick), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Seán Collins (Cratloe), Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s, Miltown), Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora); Gary Brennan (Clondegad-captain), Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen); Eoin Cleary ((Miltown), Jamie Malone (Corofin), Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare); Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane), David Tubridy (Doonbeg), Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes). Two players will make their débuts for Kerry against Clare on Sunday. Wing backs Brian O’Beaglaoich and Tadhg Morley will play their first championship game for their county. Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice has made five changes to …

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Clare footballers need to out-work Kerry

CLARE’S display against Limerick on May 29 ensured that external expectation will not be an issue in Killarney on Sunday. Supporters will travel in the hope that Clare play well and at least compete with Kerry but nobody will realistically expect a first championship win over their opponents in 24 years. Within the group of Clare players and management, they will presumably head across the estuary with more ambition and belief. Two years ago, Clare competed manfully with Kerry in Cusack Park in that year’s Munster semi-final. Clare were beaten 1-17 to 1-13 on a day when Kerry’s Paul Murphy scored a goal on his championship début at corner-back. That year, Clare played five championship games and were very close to making it to the last 12 of the All-Ireland qualifiers. However, since then, Clare have not reached that level on the championship field, although their second league promotion indicates that significant progress has been made. The thing now is …

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Clare had no answer to Waterford’s sharpness

Waterford 1-21 Clare 0-17 Having travelled to Thurles with high hopes that they would repeat their recent league final win over Waterford and qualify for a Munster final date against Tipperary or Limerick on July 10, Clare fans in the official attendance of 19,715 returned in disappointment on Sunday evening after seeing their charges comprehensively beaten by Waterford. From an early stage it was evident that Clare were struggling in many areas and while they drew level with their opponents on a few occasions in the opening hald and could have taken the lead but for some poor shooting, there is no denying the merit of Waterford’s victory Both sides made changes from the teams which started the league final replay.Clare had John Conlon and Oisin O’Brien back from injury and they replaced Jack Browne and Aaron Cunningham while Waterford included Maurice Shanahan and Pauric Mahony in place of Jake Dillon and Colin Dunford. The Waterford changes played a key …

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Hayes strikes twice as Newmarket make history

Newmarket Celtic A 2 Avenue United B 0 In a year in which they contested the concluding stages of the Munster junior cup, the FAI junior cup and the Munster champions cup, its fitting that Newmarket Celtic should make Clare soccer history. At a sun splashed Clare soccer county grounds at Doora this Saturday evening, they won the Clare cup for a record fifth year in succession, a result that sees them extend their lead at the top of the roll of honour. Eoin Hayes scored both goals for the winners and was later named as the man of the match. The first came just after the mid point when Hayes was adjudged to have been fouled in the area after winning possession from a Stephen Kelly delivery and referee Pa Gleeson had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Brian Callinan picked up a yellow card for the foul and Hayes drilled the ball low to the corner …

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