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Tag Archives: All-Ireland

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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Clare manager David Fitzgerald meets with Cork manager Jimmy Barry Murphy following the All-Ireland senior hurling final at Croke Park. Photograph by John Kelly.

Beaten by a better team

CORK were simply beaten by a better team, Jimmy Barry Murphy readily acknowledged after the game. “My initial thoughts are that, on both days, we were playing catch up from the word go and it’s a difficult thing to do. When you’re in that situation you have to do everything right to get back into a game. We did an awful lot of things right, but it’s got to be perfect at that stage and our luck eventually ran out. We were beaten by a much better team on the day, on both days, I’ve got to acknowledge that they deserved it,” he said. Asked if Cork could have won the game if they had taken the lead after drawing level from eight points behind, he said, “That’s one of the great imponderables, if we’d taken our chances when we got back level it may have been a different story but we didn’t. There was too much to make up, …

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“I was in shock” -O’Donovan

WHEN James McGrath sounded the final whistle, Clare achieved something that didn’t look likely when they lost to Cork in the Munster Championship or when they stumbled past Wexford in the qualifiers. Just before getting on the bus to leave Croke Park, Domhnall O’Donovan acknowledged earlier in the year, he didn’t think Clare were real contenders. “At the start of the year, if you’d told me I’d be here, I wouldn’t have believed you. Then, as we built momentum, we were thinking ‘we could actually do this’. Tipperary were knocked out and Kilkenny were knocked out and it was a much more even championship and we realised anyone could beat anyone, so we realised we could do it, if we believed.” The Clonlara corner-back said he was in a state of shock when the game ended. “I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock. I’m delighted that getting that point in the draw actually meant something; if we lost it …

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Eight hurleys made for outfielders to face Nash thunderbolts

AFTER the drawn game everyone knew that any 21 yard free for Cork was likely to result in a goal and on Saturday evening Cian Dillon said that especially large hurleys had been made for defenders to use whenever Nash came up the field. “It was kind of funny in training when Fitzy told us there might be 12 or 13 of us on the line and that we’d be getting hurleys made for us. We had eight especially big hurleys to try and stop them! It didn’t work for the first one, he didn’t really connect with the last one, maybe he was put off by the amount of us!” the Crusheen defender said. Clare led by four points at the break, but it had been eight points earlier on. While Cork had found their stride, there was still great confidence in the Banner dressing room, Dillon said. “At half time, in every game we’ve played this year, we’ve always …

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Conlon reflects on a dream come true

ONE of five Clonara men to play a part in Clare’s epic 2013 All-Ireland final win, John Conlon has long dreamed of this day. The 24 year old Clonara man, who hurled with ferocity and poise in what was a momentous 70 minutes of hurling, set his sights on hurling in Croke Park, long before he wore a county jersey. “I remember when I was younger sitting in the Nally Stand and looking out. I was wondering ‘will I be here one day?’ You train, train and train. You have the bad days and these are the amazing days,” Conlon said afterwards. He watched the 1997 All-Ireland final from the Nally Stand and speaking on Saturday evening, he found it hard to comprehend that he was now an All-Ireland winner himself. “This is the stuff of dreams. I remember being out in the back garden when Limerick played Wexford. (1996) I was looking at the TV inside the window saying …

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A day to remember for Clare hurling

By Seamus Hayes Clare 5-16 Cork 3-16 What a day for Clare hurling. All-Ireland senior hurling champions for the fourth time in the county’s history after a truly memorable game. In the lead up to Saturday’s replay with Cork, analysists everywhere argued that Clare would need at least a goal if they were to win the LiamMcCarthy cup for the first time since 1997. Another of the big debating points for the past two weeks concerned whether or not Clare would make a change to the starting line up. Two hours before throw in time news emerged that nineteen year old Shane O’Donnell would start ahead of Darach Honan ahead of full forward. to say that he repaid the faith the management showed in him would be an understatement. He delivered a man of the match performance hitting 3-3,  the goals coming inside the first twenty minutes Clare had run up some hugely impressive point tallies in this campaign but …

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John Galvin, general manager the Clare Champion presents Louise Dunworth of Tulla and her son Harry (2) with a pair of tickets fro the All-Ireland hurling final replay in Croke park, first prize in the recent Clare Champion facebook competition. Photograph by John Kelly.

All Ireland winner

John Galvin, managing director of the Clare Champion presents Louise Dunworth of Tulla and her son Harry (2) with a pair of tickets for the All-Ireland hurling final replay in Croke park, first prize in the Clare Champion facebook competition. Log onto our website clarechampion.ie for live updates during Saturday’s match and follow us on twitter @clarechampion

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Well-wishers around the world

WHILE tens of thousands of Clare fans will watch their team in Croke Park this Saturday, many more will be cheering from around the world. Some will be shouting at big screens from bar stools early in the afternoon. Others will be wiping sleep from their eyes while cowering beneath mosquito nets. More will be shouting into the silence while clinging to their headphones. PE teacher Jayne McMahon from Ennis is living in Ulsan, an industrial city located on the south-east coast of Korea. There are some Irish there but none from Clare, as far as she knows. She will watch the match alongside a Cork man. The Gort Road woman hopes this will enhance the atmosphere. “Unfortunately, due to the time difference, I had to stream the last game on my laptop at home at 11pm Sunday night. I wasn’t in the most exciting atmosphere but I was still sitting on the edge of my seat with the tension …

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