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Tag Archives: Allianz Hurling League

Third time’s a charm as Clare prove too strong for Laois in National League Round 3

National League Division 1 Group B Round 3 Clare 2-27 Laois 1-17 CLARE completed a perfect National League afternoon after the hurlers’ commanding victory over Laois complemented earlier rousing wins for the mens and ladies footballers also against Leinster opposition, reports Eoin Brennan. Following disappointing reverses against Antrim and Wexford, Brian Lohan’s side craved a victory to finally kickstart their season in Portlaoise. As it turned out, there was never really any doubt about the execution of that result as Clare led from start to finish and were clear winners long before the final whistle. An outstanding Shane O’Donnell solo goal in the ninth minute was the main separator in the opening period as Clare, despite impressive braces for Cathal Malone and Diarmuid Ryan, struggled to put clear daylight between the sides. 13 wides in the first half ensured that Clare only held a 1-12 to 0-11 advantage by the break but the visitors stepped heavily on the gas on …

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Win the only option for Clare

Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B Round 3 Laois v Clare at MW Hire O’Moore Park Portlaoise, Sunday 3pm (Patrick Murphy, Carlow) With Clare being one of only three teams yet to register a point in Division 1 alongside Laois and Westmeath, the relegation trapdoor candidates will become a lot clearer following this Sunday’s showdown in Portlaoise. In reality, Clare should have won their opening two ties and have the potential to also beat their remaining trio of opponents in Laois, Dublin and Kilkenny. However, even in terms of kickstarting their season and rebuilding confidence ahead of the start of the championship in five weeks time, a victory this Sunday is just what the doctor ordered. One thing’s for sure, Brian Lohan and his management team are certainly finding out a lot about their players after two soul searching defeats but there are still plenty of positional and personnel boxes to be ticked on the Banner’s pre-championship checklist. Injuries …

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Eoin Brennan looks ahead to the weekend as Clare face that most familiar of foes

Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B Round 2 Clare v Wexford at Cusack Park Ennis, Sunday 12.45pm (Fergal Horgan, Tipperary) CONTRASTING starts make for an intriguing first major battle in Group B as Clare and Wexford clash for the third time in 15 months this Sunday. Of course, the Lohan versus Davy backdrop is ever-present especially from a national media viewpoint but while Clare have come out on top on both previous occasions in 2020 (0-18 to 0-15 NHL February and 1-21 to 0-17 in All-Ireland Qualifiers), victory this time around is craved more than ever for the home side. Clare’s opening set-back against Antrim, in the overall context of a long-awaited competitive action return, and finding their best team isn’t hugely significant, but in the immediate bubble of expectation, will be fingered as part of a worrying pattern if not rectified this Sunday. On the flip side, Wexford eased to a 19-point home win over Laois, a welcoming …

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Clare suffer shock defeat to Antrim in league opener

National League Division 1 Group B Round 1 Antrim 1-21 Clare 0-22 A SOBERING start to the new season for Clare as hosts Antrim grittily dug out a rousing home victory in what was their first top flight league tie since 2008. Eoin Brennan reports. With a strong gale dictating matters, Clare started brightly with its aid to ease 0-9 to 0-3 clear by the 15th minute, four from Tony Kelly. However, Antrim incrementally grew in confidence as the half developed and would wipe out the visitors’ lead in the 29th minute when a teasing ball over the top found chief marksman Ciaran Clarke to race through and finish to the net at 0-12 to 1-09. Clare did restore a two point cushion by the break but with the elements to come, a buoyant Antrim quickly snatched the whip hand to inch ahead for the first time by the 46th minute through Keith Molloy. In a blow-for-blow second period, the …

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Banner headed north on league fact finding mission

Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B Round 1 Antrim v Clare at Corrigan Park Belfast, Sunday 1pm (Liam Gordon, Galway) Already established as the secondary inter-county competition, this year’s Allianz Hurling League takes a even more diminishing backseat in light of the truncated season on offer over the next 14 weeks. Instead, finding your feet, form, formation and force take precedence over results in a bid to peak for championship at the end of June. Five matches in six weeks provide a far more beneficial lead-in to championship than in 2020 when an eight month absence from competitive action left counties scrambling to gain crumbs from an often misleading challenge match circuit once returning from the club championships. Without scope to conclude with any business end, this year’s Division 1 is a league in its purest sense as the top team from each group are crowned joint-winners unless they subsequently clash in the championship. Similar to Clare and Limerick’s …

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