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Home » Tag Archives: Clare senior hurling final

Tag Archives: Clare senior hurling final

‘This medal is so so sweet to everyone in the club’ – John Conlon

It was clearly Clonlara’s day but undoubtedly John Conlon’s too as the sole survivor of the 2008 breakthrough had finally gotten his hands on a second Canon Hamilton. Having arguably been made to suffer more than any other club in the county when it came to the business end of the senior championship, that the sequel came in a year in which little was expected of the side obviously made the achievement all the more special for the 2018 All-Star. “I just dropped to my knees [at the final whistle]. Look, I never thought at the start of the year that we’d be in this position. I suppose we had been playing Senior B for the last few years and not performing really well but it just goes to show you the work that has gone in. Donal [Madden] and his management team have just put in a serious effort and all the players have bought into everything they’ve done. …

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Clonlara stormed their Bastille and there was no going back

Poet and GAA man Brendan Kennelly once told a great story about his undergraduate days in Trinity College when he lined out for a motley crew of footballers that had the good fortune to be sprinkled with the stardust, belligerence, and derring-do of the great Kevin Heffernan. Kennelly was a county minor in his day and even played in an All-Ireland final in the grade, but the ‘Uncrowned King’ of Marino and the Big City that was Heffo was the nonpareil — the man apart and above all his peers on that Trinity team that tried to put it up the traditional powers of the universities’ game like UCD, UCC and UCG, even Queen’s. And in putting the Dublin legend on this pedestal the Ballylongford bard recalled one game in the late 1950s when he and others felt humbled and were left “humiliated by Heffo’s greatness” in the way he just bent proceedings to his will, just because he could …

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‘It’s a moment I’ll never forget’

Another hero from 2010, Gearóid O’Donnell, feels that maiden title was a moment that will stay with him forever. “It’s truly a moment I’ll never forget, walking under the bridge with the Canon Hamilton for the first time in the history of the club. We had lost a final in 2007, a semi-final replay in 2008. 2009 was all about soul searching. It was a hurtful campaign after not getting out of the group. Like this current group we used that hurt and 2010 was our deliverance day. We had been coming but to finally get over the line was an unreal feeling, one I’ve told the young lads about, one that will live forever.” His successful side were on a path to the title for a couple of campaigns but this current crop have been transformed in literally a matter of weeks. It really has been Roy of the Rovers stuff. “Let’s be honest this was definitely out of …

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Hurt has been the driving factor

Michael Browne has had huge success over a distinguished coaching and managerial career. He was at the helm when his beloved Crusheen made their historic breakthrough in 2010 and retained the Canon Hamilton in 2011. After having been on a rollercoaster of a journey this time around he finds himself once more only sixty minutes away from glory but is very reluctant to take little or any credit for this remarkable run. “I have very little to do with it. The guys I got involved with our set up this year have been there and done that. They know what it takes to win, the sacrifices one has to make but more importantly they know what joy winning brings. At the start it was very difficult to sort things out. I’ll be honest and say we struggled to get everyone to buy into what we were doing. Aidan Harte though has been a massive addition. He is a really top …

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Back to the future for Clonlara boys

If you ever wanted to know what Clonlara means to Dónal Madden just default to that time when he was part of the side that made the big breakthrough by bringing Clare hurling’s greatest prize back to the home parish of Canon Hamilton. This week 15 years ago — October 18, 2008, and the black and amber had just dished out a 0-13 to 0-5 drubbing to Crusheen in the county semi-final, after which they’d go on to win the final against Newmarket-on-Fergus. Dónal made the biggest impact on the scoreboard in that semi-final played in Clarecastle, with 0-7 on his scorecard. Here was the Tulla man abroad in Clonlara, but very much at home there. A year after Tulla had beaten Crusheen in the county final to bridge a 74-year gap to their last county championship success — now Clonlara were 60 winning minutes away from bridging an even longer gap of 89 years. A penny for Dónal’s thought …

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From sitting in the cup to potentially lifting it

Clonlara captain Jathan McMahon has got his hands on the Canon Hamilton trophy before. And not just his hands either as being related to Clonlara’s 2008 winning captain Paul Collins, his first memories of watching his club were celebratory ones. “There’s a photo at home of me sitting in the cup. “I was only eight and obviously small so there’s plenty of photos of me and my uncle-in-law Paul and the family. “I was in my element and really looked up to the players that won it. I also distinctly remember going into school the following week, it was an just unreal atmosphere. “It’s mad now to think that I’m playing alongside John [Conlon] and now preparing for a senior final of our own.” Much like Conlon and the Class of 2008, their momentum-fuelled charge stemmed from a strong core of of exciting young players who soared to the club’s first ever Minor A title five years ago, led by …

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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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