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20 years on from All-Ireland hurling victory

IT’S the small things that stick in Anthony Daly’s mind. On Saturday, September 2, 1995, the night before Clare’s first All-Ireland final since 1932, Daly went for a walk through his home village. One last look at the old place before life changed the following afternoon. “Half the village was gone. I went for a walk at about 10 o’clock with a hoodie on me but there was hardly anyone around. The pubs were half empty. Everyone was in Dublin,” Daly recalled, as the 20th anniversary of Clare’s second All-Ireland win closed in. “I stayed at home at my mother’s. My brother (Paschal) was home from England, Lord have mercy on him. He used to come home for all the big games. I went to bed around half eleven and I definitely slept for five hours anyway, I’d say. I was afraid I mightn’t but I nodded off. We had to be up at about half six because the bus …

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’95 All-Ireland, a vivid journey for Marty

TWENTY years ago, September 3, 1995, Marty Morrissey carried out one of the shorter but more dramatic interviews of his career. With Clare were trailing Offaly in the All-Ireland final, he approached a tightly-wound Ger Loughnane as he came back onto the field for the second half. After some preliminaries, the Mullagh man asked the Feakle man, ‘Do you think you’re going to do it?’ With absolutely certainty and burning intensity Loughnane responded “We’re going to do it”. Twenty years on, managers never speak to reporters between the throw-in and the final whistle but, at that time, it happened in virtually every live match at half-time. Marty says he’d like to see it coming back. “I think it’s an awful pity to be honest with you. When there’s hundreds of thousands watching, or millions on All-Ireland final day around the world, every little bit contributes to a unique occasion. It’s something I’d love to see reintroduced, but I have my …

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26 clubs to take part in Kilmurry-Ibrickane organised All-Ireland 7s

KILMURRY-Ibrickane ladies will play hosts to 26 teams for the third annual All Ireland U-16 Club 7s on Saturday. Games will be hosted in Kilmurry’s GAA field in Quilty, Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay and Mullagh Community Sports Field. The club was inspired to establish the competition ,when their U-14s participated in the Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland 7s in 2012. Since then, Kilmacud Crokes have given Kilmurry the benefit of their knowledge and will take part again on Sunday. Therese Doohan is the Kilmurry-Ibrickane 7s co-ordinator and outlined why the club established this tournament three years ago. “We started this event to help to ensure the continued participation of ladies in clubs nationally and to help stop the fall off, of girls aged 15 upwards playing this wonderful sport. This All-Ireland is a huge opportunity for the girls to meet and befriend girls from all over Ireland and for management to pass on ideas, experiences and knowledge of what works in their clubs,” …

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Champion focus on All-Ireland final

As All-Ireland hurling final day fast approaches, this week’s  Clare Champion (out September 3) provides comprehensive coverage of the build-up. Galway face the formidable Kilkenny in the senior decider, while their minors, after beating Kilkenny in a replay, take on Tipperary for the Croke Park spectacle. After many disappointments, the Tribesman believe 2015 is their year to bring both the Liam MacCarthy Cup and the Irish Press Cup across the Shannon. There’s great excitement in Galway, following their single point win over Tipperary in a pulsating All-Ireland semi-final clash a couple of weeks ago. Several members of the team are from clubs in the South Galway area and they have many links with clubs, families and friends in neighbouring Clare. The Clare Champion has interviews with players, former players and club officers, as a well as an overview on  Sunday’s Croke Park showdown, and the underlying air is that of confidence, but with the caveat that nothing short of a …

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Football champions to face Clondegad

Title holders Cratloe have been drawn against one of the favourites for the title, Clondegad in the quarter final of the Clare senior football championship. The draw has thrown up two repeat pairings from round two with Ennistymon facing Miltown St. Josephs and St. Breckans taking on Kilrush while the remaining tie will see O’Currys take on Cooraclare. The games are set to be played on Saturday and Sunday week. In the semi-finals Cratloe or Clondegad will take on O’Currys or Cooraclare which leaves Ennistymon or Miltown to face St. Breckans or Kilrush. Meanwhile in the senior B championship semi-finals, Lissycasey will face Kilmurry-Ibrickane while St. Senans, Kilkee will come up against St. Josephs Doora-Barefield. The junior football quarter final pairings have also been determined and they are Ennistymon v St. Josephs, Doora-Barefield; Ml. Cusacks v Clondegad; Coolmeen v Cratloe; Meelick v Kilmurry-Ibrickane; As already announced the intermediate semi-final pairings are Kilfenora v Corofin and Kilmihil v Clarecastle By Seamus …

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Queally going Flat out for world title

North Clare jockey Ian Queally  cemented his position as one of the top young flat jockeys around, when he earned a place in the final of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR). The Ballydoyle-based Fanore man partnered Qatari-owned Karar to glory at Sandown Park on Friday. The win meant he secured the fifth spot in the grand final of the competition, which will take place in Abu Dhabi in November. The 19-year-old is delighted with the win. “I cannot wait to go over. I have never been in that part of the world before so it will be a great experience,” he said. “Getting to the final is a very big deal. The prize money is very big out there so, hopefully, I’ll be on a horse that has a good chance of winning,” he added. Ian flew to the UK for the race at Sandown on Friday morning after an impressive win in Killarney on …

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Tulla ladies soccer a big hit

Tulla United has championed ladies soccer in recent years but trainer Murdoch Gleeson noted it was his daughter, Tara, who set the wheels in motion for ladies soccer back in 2010 when she asked ‘why girls can’t play soccer?’ On Thursday last, Ireland played Scotland in an historic U-19 women’s international friendly in Tulla. The impressive Cragg grounds looked immaculate as the sides played out an entertaining 1-1 draw, seven years after the FAI promised the club an underage international match. Speaking to The Clare Champion about his daughter’s eagerness to play soccer, Murdoch said Tara had a strong desire to play for her home club. “I had an U-16 boys team at the time and my daughter Tara asked me one day ‘how come girls can’t play soccer?’ “She’s 17 now so, at the time, she would have been about 11. She would have been playing with her older brother and younger brother basically kicking a ball around.” Murdoch …

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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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