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Clare fans are expected to turnout in large numbers to welcome the Clare hurlers home watch Clare V Galway in the Under 21 Semi Final.Pic Arthur Ellis.

O’Connell goal put Clare in driving seat

Clare 1-16 Galway 0-7 A BLISTERING start to the second half, which saw them score 1-5 in 10 minutes, paved the way for a comfortable Clare victory over Galway in the All-Ireland U-21 hurling semi-final at Thurles last Saturday evening. Starting the second half just two points adrift, Galway held high hopes of dethroning the All-Ireland champions but Clare stepped up the pace and by the midpoint of the half, the holders were well on the way to a second successive final. The all-important goal came three minutes after the resumption and was scored by Cathal O’Connell, one of the stars in this latest victory for Clare. Indeed, such was Clare’s dominance in the second half that with 10 minutes remaining, they were able to call ashore senior star Podge Collins and then replaced two more members of the senior team, Colm Galvin and Tony Kelly, ahead of the upcoming senior final clash with Cork. An injury to Aaron Cunningham …

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Clares Alan O'Neill battles with Galways Jonathan Glynn in The Under 21 Hurling Semi Final at Semple Stadium Thurles on saturday Evening.Pic Arthur Ellis.

‘Phenomenal’ second-half performance

Clare’s joint manager Gerry O’Connor described the second-half performance by Clare as “phenomenal”. “The way it transpired was exactly as we had predicted. We reckoned the first half would be really low scoring, a real and out and out dog fight and that’s exactly how it turned out,” he said. According to the Éire Óg clubman, “Donal [Moloney] said to the lads at half-time, in the most positive way possible, that they needed to move up a gear. The second-half performance was just phenomenal, the running off the ball, the support play. Alan O’Neill at centre-back was awesome, to be fair to him. Peter Duggan started winning puck-outs but Tots’ [Cathal O’Connell] movement off Peter Duggan was phenomenal.” “We have been on the road with these guys for four years now. That was the 2010 minor team. We have such a passionate affinity with them that it’s unbelievable. We had a team meeting with the guys on Monday before this …

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Dympna Hyland, Timmy Dooley, TD, Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins and Pat Breen TD get a trial run in the boat at the launch of the Ballyvaughan Bay Hop. Photograph by John Kelly.

Maiden voyage for trial ferry service

BALLYVAUGHAN Bay Hop launched their fast ferry trial last Sunday. Crowds gathered for the official launch, ahead of a two-week trial of the service next month. If successful, the trial could secure the future of a permanent commuter ferry service from Ballyvaughan to Galway City. “The event had a fantastic turnout and the atmosphere among the community and visitors was one of palpable excitement and enjoyment,” said Gwen Ryan, one of the people behind the project. The launch allowed people to see Realt na Maidne, the 12-seater passenger ferry, taking part in a demonstration sailing followed by an inaugural crossing of Galway Bay. The service was launched by Professor Kevin Leyden of the Whitaker Institute of Innovation and Societal Change at NUI Galway. He spoke about the renewed interest in combining old and new in sustainable modes of transport and the importance of connectivity between people and their places and how these connections resonate through time and experience, between past …

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