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Tag Archives: Clare senior hurling final 2022

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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Intriguing battle for supremacy awaits in evenly matched final

Eoin Brennan believes Ballyea’s guile and experience may just see them over the line against Éire Óg in the Clare Senior Hurling Championship Final Much has been made of the rarity of Ballyea and Éire Óg’s clashes but while the concentration has been on the Townies’ early spanner in the works of Ballyea’s momentous 2016 season, what hasn’t really been dwelled on was that Ballyea actually relegated their neighbours in 2008. Five points down with only minutes remaining in their understandably anxious relegation decider in Clarecastle, Ballyea somehow pulled it out of the fire to devastate Éire Óg and leave them in the tricky waters of intermediate for three seasons. The question is how would Ballyea’s narrative have altered had they been the ones to go down as with a rich crop of talent coming through, it was essential for Tony Griffin and Co. to hang onto their senior status by whatever means neccessary. Fast forward 14 years and the …

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O’Brien’s experience adds strength to Ballyea cause

The newest member of Ballyea’s well-oiled backroom machine also shares the bulk of the coaching responsibilities. Adrian O’Brien’s initial Strength & Conditioning role for 2021 has been fleshed out to include hurling coaching in what has been another storming season thus far for the holders. Being the first time that Ballyea have reached back-to-back finals, their latest historic leap is one that Limerick native O’Brien modestly isn’t willing to take credit for. “To be honest, I’d never get too excited about the good days or too low about the bad ones because in reality we are just there to support the players. “Once these lads get to senior level, the majority of work is done so it’s the lads who coached and mentored them from Under 6 all the way up to minor and Under 21 that should take most of the credit. “From a strength and conditioning standpoint, a big part of the remit here is just managing training …

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Shannon keen to knock another door down with Townies

This is uncharted territory for Éire Óg’s current crop of hurlers. In a first Senior County hurling final since 2000 and trying to end a 32 year wait since last lifting the Canon Hamilton, Éire Óg manager Matt Shannon believes the Townies’ win over Sixmilebridge was an example of how perseverance pays off as the club prepare for an historic occasion on Sunday. “You need to get the breaks along the way and maybe we got one or two there at the end, but I firmly believe if you keep knocking on the door that you will be hoping eventually that the door will open. That was our third semi final so maybe we had served our time to get over the line.” Éire Óg have unlocked one door but another one remains to be broken through as they try and dethrone the reigning senior hurling champions Ballyea. Madden is relishing the challenge of trying to down the champions as …

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Hogan hopes to keep making hay while the sun shines

Ballyea and Éire Óg may be comparable in hurling ethos, county player experience and stature now but that certainly wasn’t always the case. Aiming for a fourth senior title in just seven years couldn’t even be contemplated when Robbie Hogan was a player himself as the hurling landscape around Ballyea was the antithesis of the senior force that have become today. “The dynamic, the facilities and the overall ambition was just so different. The old pitch was known as the slob so we were in every way a junior club. That was the level we were training to and playing at and there’s no point saying otherwise. “I remember the late Brian O’Reilly came and trained us one year for the junior. He was from Kilrush but a very good physical trainer and initally he just got us fit which was in itself a major development because before that we just turned up at training and played a game. “He …

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O’Donnell happy with how he got his head back in the game

One of the stories of the GAA this year has been Shane O’Donnell’s sparkling form. The Éire Óg man has reminded the hurling public of his undeniable skill and scoring ability with a series of devastating performances both at inter county and club level. After suffering a concussion in training last summer, O’Donnell endured a lengthy spell on the sidelines while he missed Clare’s entire league campaign this year. Fortunately, he was deemed fit enough to return to training in March as he tells The Clare Champion the advice was for him to jump right in and return to full contact training so that he could develop confidence in being able to take contact. “I was told explicitly that I should be thrown straight in, that I was ready to go and if I got a knock that it would be the same as if I got a knock without ever having a concussion before.” “I had fully recovered, and …

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Dual star O’Connor delighted with decision to return

Eleven years after his last senior championship experience, Cathal O’Connor triumphantly returned to Ballyea’s ranks last year in what would arguably prove their greatest Canon Hamilton title feat of all. After all, without talisman and back-to-back All-Star Tony Kelly, the 2016 and ’18 champions’ chances of overcoming a momentum-fuelled Inagh-Kilnamona initially appeared bleak. However, a typically never-say-die final storm from O’Connor and Co. dramatically turned the tie in their favour. It proved the final element in the Clare Senior footballer’s assimilation process and he hasn’t looked back since. “It worked out to be a brilliant decision. With Coolmeen, we haven’t played senior so it was a great opportunity to see what the pace of senior championship was in Clare. I’m thoroughly happy that I made that decision as to contribute in some way and to win a senior championship medal is great. “There weren’t too many strangers in the dressing room anyway to begin with as there was a big …

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