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Delooze returning to Oz

The Clare senior footballers will have a new strength and conditioning coach for 2016. Chris Delooze, who has filled the role for the past two seasons, is returning to his native Australia and has announced that he will not be available. This leaves manager Colm Collins with the task of appointing a completely new management team, as 2015 coach Ephie Fitzgerald announced some time ago that he will not be seeking a second term, while selector Ger Keane has stepped down after three years in that role. While Collins has yet to name a new backroom team, speculation is rife that Miltown St Joseph’s clubman David O’Brien will be included. By Seamus Hayes, sports editor

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Quarter finals to provide lively fare

The capacity of Cusack Park where the main stand side is closed, is expected to be tested next week when the quarter finals of the senior hurling championship take place. The draw has thrown up four very interesting pairings, each of which is expected to attract a big attendance. Champions Cratloe will put their title on the line when they face their neighbours Sixmilebridge who won the title in 2013. Ballyea and Kilmaley will face each other in a repeat of round 2 when Ballyea were victorious. There will be another local derby clash when neighbours Crusheen take on Clooney-Quin while the final game will see Clonlara and Newmarket in opposition.. The winners of the Sixmilebridge /Cratloe game will go on to play Crusheen or Clooney-Quin in the semi-final which leaves the winners of the Ballyea v Kilmaley game going on to play either Clonlara or Newmarket In the senior B championship the semi-final pairings are O’Callaghans Mills v Eire …

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Hurling quarter final line up is complete

There were no major surprses as the third round of the senior hurling championship was completed with title holders Cratloe, Crusheen, Kilmaley and Newmarket booking their places in the last eight where they will be joined by Sixmilebridge, Clonlara, Ballyea and Clooney-Quin. Michael O’Neill contributed 1-4 from play for Kilmaley in their six point win over Inagh-Kilnamona(1-20 to 1-14) on Saturday evening. Kilmaley lost centre back Conor Cleary with a leg injury early in the second half. A surprise looked to be on the cards when Eire Og led by three points against Crusheen at half time on Sunday but Crusheen dominated the second period outscoring the town side 0-11 to 0-4. Fourteen points behind at the three quarter stage, O’Callaghans Mills looked to be heading for a heavy defeat from champions Cratloe when the teams clashed at Cusack Park on Sunday evening. However, the Mills put in a storming finish which yielded a hat trick of goals from Adrian …

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Fighting for quarter-final places

Attendances at hurling and football championship games to date have, for the most part, been disappointing but an improvement is expected this weekend as it gets to the business end of the season. Four quarter-final places remain to be filled in both the senior and intermediate hurling. While there is much to look forward to in each of the four senior games, the clash of neighbours Inagh-Kilnamona and Kilmaley on Saturday evening is expected to be the top attraction. At whatever grade these clubs have played each other over the years, they have rarely failed to provide plenty of talking points. They have both had a lot of success at underage levels and this is particularly true of Kilmaley, who have won minor A and U-21 A titles in recent years. Many of the players who featured in those wins are now filling key roles at senior level. Champions Cratloe know there are no second chances from here on. Already …

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Glorious Galway must find a sweeper

IT can be cogently argued that Galway and Tipperary have contrived to save the summer of 2015. Until Barry Kelly threw the sliotar in at 3.30pm last Sunday, the year had been pock-marked by rain, immovable layers of cloud, footballers going to ground after a bit of hair ruffling and dull hurling. The country could probably put up with most of the aforementioned issues but eyes glazing over as the summer’s hurling evolved was almost definitive proof that the season would go down as one that had nothing going for it. The Galway and Tipperary hurlers were almost the last hope and how they delivered. The 70 minutes of hurling that unfolded contained more sub-plots than a week-long viewing of Coronation Street. Under less sublime circumstances, anyone from Colm Callanan, David Burke, Cathal Mannion, Darragh Gleeson, Cathal Barrett or Tipperary substitute Noel McGrath would have had their input immortalised. Their magnificence was dwarfed however by the rapier finishing of Seamus …

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Ennistymon face Kilmurry-Ib in round 2

Fears that champions Cratloe would be drawn against Kilmurry-Ibrickane in round 3 of the senior football championship weren’t realised when the draw was made at GAA headquarters in Clareabbey on Monday evening. A repeat of three first round games was possible when club representatives attended a meeting of the CCC where the draws took place. At the outset it was confirmed that there was no stipulation preventing repeat pairings. Title holders Cratloe, surprisingly beaten by Cooraclare on Sunday evening, were first out and they will face St. Senans Kilkee on Sunday week. Kilmurry-Ibrickane were drawn to play Ennistymon is what is already being billed as the tie of the round. The maroon and white  colours will be evident when St Josephs Doora-Barefield face St. Breckans as both wear these colours. Lissycasey, another club whose colours are maroon and white who are  fresh from their merited, if surprise, win over Eire Og will take on O’Currys on Saturday week in Cooraclare. The …

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Shock results in senior football championship

Round 2 in the Clare senior football championship produced a number of shock results, not least of which was the defeat of champions Cratloe who went under by a point to Cooraclare on Sunday evening in Clarecastle. There was little between the sides throughout the contest and they went to the break at 1-5 each. Cooraclare showed the greater hunger in the second half and this helped them to get over the line and into the quarter finals while the champions will be in round 3 action as they seek to keep their hopes of a third title in a row alive. Last year’s beaten finalists Eire Og are out of the title race after suffering a two point loss to Lissycasey on Saturday. A strong second half showing from Lissycasey proved decisive as they outscored the town aside 0-6 to 0-1 in the final twenty five minutes to book their passage to round 3. Eire Og now find themselves …

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New World for recycled Cusack Park stand

People currently building their homes could be getting a piece of Cusack Park over the coming weeks and months. Tony Donlan is an owner of Limerick-based company, United Metals and this week he has been dismantling the famous Cusack Park stand, which is being exported to northern Spain and is due to be melted down, recycled and returned to Ireland. Limerick man Tony, who is the son of Clare parents, owns the company with his business partner, John Hegarty. Between the pair they have 85 years experience in the metal recycling industry. There are 120 people working with the company and, speaking to The Clare Champion, Tony said the process gives the company a niche for their demolition work and their site clearances. “It’s providing employment and it’s being exported and recycled. We have an industry in Limerick, where we put it through a process and put it through a shears,” he said. “It’s exported out to Bilbao in northern …

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