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Tag Archives: All-Ireland

The O’Donnell impact

BOB O’Brien could afford a wry smile as he listened with interest to the half-time conversation among the Éire Óg U-8 hurlers during a recent underage hurling blitz involving teams from Clare and Limerick. The main topic of conversation among the young hurlers at the tournament in Old Christians was who could be the number 22, as they attempted to repeat Shane O’Donnell’s sensational tally of 3-3, which steered Clare to their fourth thrilling All-Ireland senior hurling success. The Éire Óg hurling academy manager smiled as he reflected. “What Shane O’Donnell has done for the game is incredible. These six or seven-year-olds want to line out in the No.22 jersey and become the next Shane O’Donnell. Players were telling each other, I am 22 in this game and you can be 22 in the next game. It is fantastic for the game of hurling and is a great boost for the club,” he said. This is just one example of …

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Nothing Cork could do about O’Donnell – McGrath

SPEAKING to The Clare Champion after the game, Cork selector Seanie McGrath said his wife, an Ennis native, would torment him later. “She’ll be doing my head in tonight!” he laughed, showing good humour in the face of disappointment. He acknowledged Shane O’Donnell’s three goals in the first 20 minutes had a huge bearing but said the scores had been created further out the field. “I wouldn’t say that we got caught out there. When we knew that Shane O’Donnell was in, we didn’t change our match up because we felt that Shane (O’Neill) was still well capable of handling it. I think that Shane O’Donnell had an outstanding game but a lot of the goals and the creation of those goals came from out the field to be fair. There were overlaps and he was at the end of some great moves. “But, all in all, he had an unbelievable game, 3-3 in an All-Ireland final. I’ve seen him …

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Podge in disbelief at how all this happened

by Peter O’Connell PODGE Collins talks with the same passion, clarity and honesty with which he hurls. The Cratloe dynamo peered out of the doorway that led to the Clare dressing room in Croke Park and was instantly corralled by a bevy of dictaphone-wielding reporters. The speed with which he was surrounded was similar to that of the Clare forwards closing down the Cork defenders, as they tried desperately to rid themselves of possession and drive it downfield. “At the start of the year, if you had told me that we’d be up lifting Liam MacCarthy at the top of those steps, I’d have laughed at you,” Podge replied when asked how this MacCarthy Cup winning lark was going down. “Being honest, you just don’t think that you’re going to get there and to get there today, is just absolutely unbelievable. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life. It has worked out lovely. Week-in week-out, it’s been …

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Clare to face Cork or Waterford

 By Seamus Hayes All-Ireland senior hurling champions Clare will begin their 2014 championship campaign at the Provincial semi-final stage where they will face either Cork or Waterford. A first round win for Cork will result in a repeat of the All-Ireland final which produced two outstanding games before Clare brought home the Liam McCarthy cup for only the fourth time in their history Five counties will compete for the Provincial crown and the second semi-final will be between Tipperary and Limerick. A Cork win over Waterford in the only quarter final game will result in a repeat of the semi-final pairings from 2013. Meanwhile, in the senior football championship Clare will face Waterford in a quarter final with the defending champions Kerry awaiting the winners. In the other half of the draw Tipperary play Limerick with Cork awaiting the winners. Last week the Munster Council, controversially, decided to seed Cork and Kerry for 2014, a decision that has drawn a strong  response …

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Davy basks in glow of victory

DAVY Fitzgerald’s tactics haven’t always been well received, but on Saturday evening he was vindicated and when he met the media under the Hogan Stand he said he wouldn’t be settling scores. “There’s been a tough few years from my point of view, there’s been a lot of stick and different things. God, does this feel good. Am I going to say anything about anyone who was cutting the back off me or saying stuff, nah, I don’t think I need to. I’m just so happy for the lads, so happy for them guys. This is all down to them, they’re a fantastic, fantastic bunch.” The decision to bring in Shane O’Donnell worked in a way that no one could have foreseen, with the teenager rattling the net three times within 20 minutes. Fitzgerald said they had kept the pressure off O’Donnell by letting him think the team that was named in the middle of last week would be the …

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What a day!

WHEN the jubilant fans had streamed out through the gates and into the darkening Dublin streets, Darach Honan and Shane O’Donnell took a quiet moment to sit on the hallowed turf of Croke Park and reflect on the momentous achievement the Clare hurlers had just pulled off. John Kelly’s photo captures perfectly the unity that is within the squad. O’Donnell took Honan’s spot on the starting line-up and turned in a heroic performance to complete the first goal hat-trick in an All-Ireland hurling final since Lar Corbett in 2010. He tagged on three points on his way to being named as man of the match. Honan came on for O’Donnell with five minutes to go and scored a goal at the end of a blistering six-minute spell that opened up a six-point window between the sides and put a lid on the Rebels’ hopes of swiping the Liam MacCarthy Cup from the Banner men’s grasp. Honan was understandably disappointed at …

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The stuff of dreams

By Seamus Hayes Man of the match in Saturday’s All-Ireland replay, Shane O’Donnell, did not know he was in the starting line-up until just over two hours before the throw in. “We were getting food at St Patricks College when Davy brought me aside and told me I was starting ahead of Darach. I was delighted. The way the game went is just the stuff of dreams. It was absolutely amazing,” the 19-year-old Éire Óg clubman said. “Anyone of 24 or 25 could have started. Cathal McInerney has been getting on before me in recent games. It’s just testament to how hard people are working inside at training. I was just lucky enough to get the call and it worked out well. The lads gave me the ball and it was handed on a plate to me to score the goals,” according to the second-year genetics student at UCC. He quipped that he will be returning there “early enough this …

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Showstopping performance

EVEN though Clare are All-Ireland champions, Pat Kelly argued that Tipperary and Kilkenny are still the two best teams in the game. “To me Kilkenny and Tipp are still the best two teams in Ireland. I know we’re All-Ireland champions but they’re still the benchmark. We’re going to have to be ready for them next year. We’ll probably be back training on November 7 or 8, that’s the way it’ll be. We’ll enjoy our few weeks, we’re All-Ireland champions, they’ll be mad to beat us next year and knock us down a peg or two,” he commented. The Inagh/Kilnamona number one said relief washed over him when the final whistle sounded. “It’s just relief, your heart would be racing. You’re over the line, you can just relax, you celebrate because you’re over the line. In fairness, if we’d let that slip it’d be a travesty; it would have been worse than the last day. The last day was bad but …

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