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New championship format ratified

An altered Clare ladies senior football club championship was ratified at Monday’s AGM.
The new format means that the counties five strongest ladies football clubs will compete in one group, with the five remaining senior clubs in the second group.
County senior and All-Ireland intermediate champions West Clare Gaels will be joined by beaten finalists Banner Ladies, Kilmihil, Liscannor and Cooraclare in the strongest group.
The top three of these five clubs will automatically qualify for the county semi- final, while the fourth placed team will play off with the winner of the second group for the fourth semi-final spot.
The second group will consist of junior A champions Newmarket, Miltown, Crusheen, Coolmeen and Fergus Rovers.
The winner of this group will have the opportunity to challenge for a place in the senior championship semi-final, while the top two teams in this group will contest the county senior B final.
West Clare Gaels won their first senior title in 2010. They defeated Banner Ladies in the final when the Ennis club were seeking their third successive title.
In winning Munster intermediate and All-Ireland titles, West Clare Gaels have ensured that the winner of the 2011 Clare senior championship will have to participate in the Munster senior club championship.
While West Clare Gaels, Banner Ladies, Kilmihil and Cooraclare have been the strongest Clare club teams in recent years, a gap has developed between the leading senior teams and the remaining senior clubs.
The new championship format should ensure that the weaker senior teams should be much more competitive in their group, while only one of the five strongest clubs will be eliminated in the group stages.

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