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Clare make winning start to McGrath Cup

Clare 1-10 Waterford 0-8 VERY slow to settle in the opening quarter, Clare eventually ground out a five point win in their opening McGrath Cup fixture in Meelick on Sunday afternoon. The match was played in perfect underfoot conditions on what was an overcast afternoon. If Clare beat Limerick on Wednesday evening in the Gaelic Grounds, in their second game in this group, they will qualify for their second successive final in this competition. Clare gave a debut to Ballyhaunis corner back Eoghan Collins, who is a nephew of manager Colm Collins while Kilmaley’s Mikey O’Neill also also started his first inter-county game. Others to play their first minutes of senior football included David Egan and Darragh Bolton while Liam Markham also featured for the first time in several seasons as did John Hayes. An Eoin Cleary goal, made by Jamie Malone and David Tubridy helped Clare into a 1-3 to 0-3 interval lead. That 19th minute goal was Clare’s …

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Henchy retires from Clare ladies football

THREE of Clare’s most capable and experienced lady footballers will not be part of the 2017 panel, as the county team prepares for their opening league fixture at home to Waterford on January 29. Clare manager Neil Moynihan has confirmed that midfielder Louise Henchy has retired, while her Banner Ladies club colleagues Niamh Keane and Emma O’Driscoll have opted not to be part of the panel for this season. All three won All-Ireland intermediate medals in 2009 and were central to Clare’s run to the 2016 All-Ireland final, where they lost to Kildare by a point in Croke Park. Kilmihil’s Laura Egan, a regular last season, will also not be part of this year’s panel, while Eva O’Dea (Banner Ladies) is still recovering from an injury picked up in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Tipperary. “We knew after the All-Ireland final that was going to happen,” Moynihan said of the loss of the experienced trio. “It was openly spoken that …

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Ballyea preparing for All-Ireland semi-final

THE Ballyea panel, winners of the Clare and Munster senior hurling titles for the first time in the club’s history in 2016, are back in full training ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final date with St Thomas’ from Galway. The game is scheduled for Semple Stadium on Saturday, February 4. “We took two weeks off over the Christmas but we have done a bit on the ball wall and a bit on the Astro Turf, just to keep ticking over. The county lads did a bit with the county and it was important for them to re-group,” Ballyea manager Robbie Hogan told The Clare Champion this week. He continued, “We are hoping to play a few college teams in the next few weeks ahead of the All-Ireland semi-final. We are injury free at present but there are a lot of flus and coughs and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will stay clear of these”. A few of the …

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Footballers face Waterford in Meelick

THE Clare footballers will play their first competitive match of the new season when they meet Waterford in Meelick at 2pm on Sunday in the McGrath Cup. Next Wednesday, Clare will play Limerick at 7.30pm in the Gaelic Grounds in their final game in the three-team group. The group winners will play Kerry, Cork or Tipperary in the final on January 22. On Sunday, Clare will be without their Ballyea players, who are preparing for their All-Ireland Club Hurling Championship semi-final, against St Thomas’ from Galway, on Saturday, February 4. The county footballers will play Derry away the following day in their opening Division 2 league fixture. Clare manager Colm Collins said they will use the McGrath Cup to give a game to as many players as possible. He also noted that the two upcoming games are more useful than challenge matches. “There is no question, they are way better than challenge games. Anything that’s organised properly and officiated at …

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Memorial to legendary Dr Tommy Daly

THE 80th anniversary of the death of the legendary Dr Tommy Daly from Tulla was recalled last weekend, when a memorial was unveiled in Tuamgraney at the spot where he was tragically killed in 1936. According to the inquest, he died following a single vehicle collision, after he swerved to avoid a cyclist on the road between Tuamgraney and Scariff. Harry O’Meara, the winner of two senior championship medals with Scariff, came on the scene of the accident. He was 10 years of age at the time and he was present on Saturday when the unveiling took place. Speaking at the unveiling, Denis Corry (Tulla), who wrote a detailed article on the great goalkeeper for the Tulla GAA history book, The Claret and Gold, recalled the achievements of the man after whom the GAA park in Tulla is named. An All-Ireland junior medal winner with Clare in 1914, Dr Daly won three championships with Collegians in Dublin and six Fitzgibbon …

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Title holders Clare seal quarter final spot

Clare 1 Roscommon 1 Title holders Clare are through to the quarter finals of the Oscar Traynor inter league junior soccer competition having sealed their place in the last eight with this draw with Roscommon at Frank Healy park this afternoon. The win also means that Clare are unbeaten in competitive action in 2016, something which has pleased their manager Donie Garrihy. For much of this afternoon’s game, Clare struggled and a share of the spoils didn’t look likely as the visitors dictated matters. Roscommon came to Ennis needing at least a draw to progress to the knock out stage of the competition. They took the lead midway through the opening half when Ronan Curran drilled the ball low past Barry Ryan in the Clare goal. [data-ps-embed-type=slideshow] > iframe {position: absolute;top: 0;left: 0;} _psEmbed(“http://photos.clarechampion.ie”); The home side’s goalie, captain on the day in the absence of the injured Stephen Kelly, produced a couple of good saves to prevent Roscommon from …

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Clare face tough Oscar Traynor tie

TITLE holders Clare, who have made it through to the knock-out stage of the Oscar Traynor competition, will go into their final group game against Roscommon on Sunday without their captain Stephen Kelly. The Newmarket Celtic junior international suffered a leg injury when helping his club to victory over Aungier Celtic from Dublin in the FAI Junior Cup last week and the injury is likely to keep him out of action until the new year. Clare manager Donie Garrihy hopes to have forward Dave McCarthy available for Sunday’s game. Like Kelly, he missed last Sunday’s Munster Junior Cup tie with Newmarket, ruled out due to ’flu, but Clare boss Garrihy is confident that he will be fit for Sunday’s contest. Tulla’s Darragh Corry has been out of action for a number of weeks and will again be an absentee on Sunday. While Clare have already qualified for the next phase in this competition, they want to top the group and …

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Oscar Traynor winners honoured

THE Clare and District side that won this year’s Oscar Traynor was granted a civic reception by Clare County Council this week, which manager Donie Garrihy said was one of the highlights of his life. The civic reception took place on Monday evening and Garrihy said he was extremely grateful to the local authority. “We are so humbled as a group of players; we are so humbled as a league. It is spectacular to be here.” He said he was delighted that many figures from Clare soccer were in attendance, saying he was in “super company”. Garrihy added, “It’s an emotional time for me as manager. I see the squad here and they are dressed immaculately. They are dressed immaculately in respect of the people who are giving us this opportunity here in the county council chamber. I always said they were men; they are real men. I love every one of them to bits. The league has always supported …

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