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Tag Archives: Clare senior hurling championship

Ballyea power down the home stretch for back to back titles

Eoin Brennan reports from Cusack Park as Ballyea found an extra gear to retain their title against Éire Óg on a score of 2-14 to 1-16 Ballyea’s title-winning know-how proved essential once more when firing the last four points to pip neighbours Éire Óg to the Clare Senior Hurling Championship post in Cusack Park on Sunday afternoon. Having successfully come from behind in their previous three Canon Hamilton triumphs since 2016, one shouldn’t have doubted the champions. However, having hit three successive wides in the final ten minutes, Ballyea still trailed by three by the 58th minute but still refused to yield. Points from substitute Martin O’Leary and a Tony Kelly ’65 were supassed by the decisive moment of the contest in injury-time when Kelly’s excellent hook stopped Shane O’Donnell from firing Éire Óg two clear, only for Paul Flanagan to pick up the break and unleash Cathal O’Connor to equalise from halfway. With that, Niall Deasy earned and converted …

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Final countdown for Clare hurling title contenders

Eoin Brennan previews this weekend’s senior and intermediate hurling championship semi-finals Ballyea v Cratloe at Cusack Park Ennis, Saturday 2.30pm It’s a fifth championship clash in as many seasons but while all the other three were borderline affairs including the seesaw 2018 decider, it was their latest showdown at the tail end of August that provides the biggest focus. It’s too easy to label Cratloe’s 13-point group decider victory as false because there was no reason in the world why Ballyea wouldn’t have thrown everything at their opponents just as they did in similar circumstances in 2018 and 2021. After all, with a month’s break until the quarter-finals, Robbie Hogan’s side would surely have wanted to finish the group stages on the ultimate high and maintain their two-year unbeaten championship record. Indeed, if anyone was going to ease off the gas a little, it should have been Cratloe who were in the midst of a more intensive dual schedule. However, …

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Relegation matters to fore in final round of championship

Eoin Brennan previews this weekend’s hurling championship action Senior Hurling Championship Round 5 Group 1 Sixmilebridge v Clonlara at Shannon, Saturday 2.30pm In terms of championship advancement or danger, this is essentially just a dead rubber that will be dependent on the derby juices to animate the contest. Of course, Clonlara can catapult Feakle into third position in the table if they win and Feakle don’t, which would gain a seeding for the Senior B Quarter-Finals, a competition which they are bidding for a three-in-a-row in. However, it all hinges on how seriously group winners Sixmilebridge treat it as being their last competitive match ahead of the knock-out stages, they will arguably want to keep their winning streak intact. Verdict: Clonlara Feakle v Whitegate at Dr Daly Park Tulla, Saturday 5pm Everyone loves a fairytale but this is fundamentally more miracle territory as nothing but a 28-point victory for Feakle will be sufficient to leapfrog Newmarket-on-Fergus in the group table …

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Senior hurling sides look to push on, not fall behind

Eoin Brennan previews all of this weekend’s senior hurling championship ties Senior Hurling Championship Round 2 Group 3 Kilmaley v Clooney-Quin at Cusack Park Ennis, Sunday 1pm More than a battle of the first round winners as it’s a golden opportunity for both to not only maintain their table-topping form but make a real statement of intent in the Canon Hamilton race. Having seemingly turned a corner previously before skilfully reversing back around it, both Kilmaley and Clooney-Quin have a free shot on Sunday to put one foot in the quarter-finals. Kilmaley seemed better positioned to snatch that chance as there were finally real signs of maturity amongst their core in seeing out a significant opening victory over neighbours Éire Óg. It’s also an exciting time for Clooney-Quin who are in the midst of assimilating a new generation of stars. However, while it was enough to edge out relative newcomers Scariff, taking down the recent Clare Cup champions might be …

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Seconds out round two in race for Canon Hamilton

Settle in with a cup of tea as Eoin Brennan previews this weekend’s Clare Senior Hurling Championship clashes Round 1 Group 3 Clooney-Quin v Scariff at O’Garney Park Sixmilebridge, Saturday 2pm It’s 12 years since the sides met in the senior championship but their unfamiliarity on the field doesn’t mean that the sides haven’t been scrutinising each other off it over the past few months. If they haven’t, they should have been as first and foremost with Kilmaley and Éire Óg understandably installed as group favourites, a victory in this tie is simply a prerequisite. That’s not for a minute suggesting that Clooney-Quin or Scariff cannot overcome either of the perceived top two. However, they’re realistically unlikely to beat both so therefore an opening victory would be the perfect platform to not only have two free shots at a quarter-final but also ease any relegation burden which is looming even larger this year. Both have their marquee players, with Mark …

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Ballyea in pole position as Clare hurling championship begins

Ballyea begin the defence of their crown as favourites to retain the Canon Hamilton Cup. Eoin Brennan breaks down the senior groupings ahead of the opening weekend   Group 1 – Newmarket-on-Fergus, Feakle, Whitegate, Clonlara, Sixmilebridge Considering that four of these teams have contested at least the last four stage in the past six years along with a Whitegate side off the back of their most encouraging senior championship campaign to date, it’s a pool made all the more perilous by the fact that only two will emerge unscathed to the knock-out stages. All five will legitimately feel that they can negotiate their passage to the last eight. However, the frontrunners will undoubtedly be Sixmilebridge who have consistently appeared in the business end in six of the last seven seasons with a little matter of four Canon Hamilton titles emanating from that rich period. Their neighbours Newmarket-on-Fergus, meanwhile, who are the seeded team after soaring to last year’s semi-finals, seemed …

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Little between protagonists in first Clare SHC semi-final

Eoin Brennan previews the first of this weekend’s senior hurling championship semi-finals Inagh-Kilnamona v Éire Óg at Cusack Park, Saturday 3.30pm Opportunity knocks for either Inagh-Kilnamona or Éire Óg in what is arguably one of the most important matches in their entire history. Both have been hammering at the door but frustratingly always seemed to come up short against a more experienced opponents when needed most. However, with the Townies taking out three-in-a-row chasing Sixmilebridge last time out, the Canon Hamilton race has been blown wide open but only one of these candidates can earn a long-awaited place in the final. Since permanently amalgamating in 2008, Inagh-Kilnamona haven’t yet been able to perfect the art of alchemy of turning underage talent into senior success. There were previous close calls in the 2012 and 2019 semi-finals but it’s only this year that their maturity has been noteworthy, having emerged through the group of death unscathed before seeing off another main rival …

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