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Tag Archives: Conor McGrath

Do or die in Shannonside hurling derby

Three of the players that filled key positions when Clare ensured promotion to division 1 A at the expense of Limerick as the end of March will play no part in Saturday’s qualifier meeting of the Shannonside neighbours at Thurles. Conor McGrath, Conor Ryan and Pat Kelly are all out of action due to injury. McGrath, one of the game’s leading forwards, contributed 0-5 from play in that game and his absence is certainly a blow to clare hopes of beinhg involved in the latter stages of the championship. Both McGrath and Kelly are keeping their fingers crossed that they will be ready for quarter final action on July 25 as is Ryan but the defender/midfielder may have to wait a little longer b efore he is ready to return to action. “Limerick won ‘t be afraid of us. It’s do or die now. We know the great young talent that they have. They have only been beaten three times …

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Time the enemy for McGrath

Concerns about the fitness of Cian Dillon, Conor McGrath and Seadna Morey ahead of Sunday week’s Munster Senior Hurling Championship opening tie have increased after all three took no part in Tuesday’s behind-closed-doors challenge with Galway at Cusack Park. The trio have seen no action for a number of weeks and while no one has been ruled out, it is believed McGrath has practically no chance of playing against Limerick. He hasn’t trained or played in a month due to the recurrence of a hamstring injury. Joint team captain Dillon has also been out of action because of a quad injury. Sources close to the team feel that the Crusheen man still has a chance of playing a part in the provincial quarter-final. It was hoped the three would have played some part in Tuesday’s game, the last big workout before the Thurles tie. Tony Kelly also missed Tuesday’s game but the Ballyea man is fit for action and will …

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Nowlan Park display sets the bar

SOMETHING odd is happening in Clare. There is splintering opinion as to whether the Clare hurling glass is full, half full or half empty. Sunday’s display in Nowlan Park clearly suggests that the glass is, if not teeming over, definitely not half empty. The panel of players deserve immense credit for producing that standard of hugely committed hurling in Nowlan Park. While some individuals, notably Tony Kelly and Shane O’Donnell, excelled, as a team Clare resembled themselves again. Based on Sunday, it’s not over the top to suggest that they will be formidable Munster championship opponents for Limerick come May 24. Based on Saturday, Limerick will be doing well to turn up at all. They were obliterated by Dublin and looked remarkably off the pace of league, let alone championship, hurling. Clare showed what they can do if they produce the level they are capable of. That’s looking at it from a glass-half-full standpoint. However, there is no avoiding the …

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Minors can no longer play senior county

The days of playing for one’s county while still eligible for the minor grade will end this season. At last weekend’s GAA Congress, delegates voted in favour of a motion, put forward as a result of the Minor Review Group’s report, which bars any player still eligible for minor grade from playing either at U-21 or senior inter-county level. This will certainly mean there are players who will miss out on playing, particularly at U-21 level for their county, until they have passed their 18th birthday. Kilmurry-Ibrickane’s Keelan Sexton is currently a member of the county minor, U-21 and senior football panels. Over the past few years, the Clare U-21 hurling panels have included players who were eligible for minor grade. Amongst those that were called up to the county U-21 squad, while still eligible for minor, were current senior panelists Conor McGrath, Patrick O’Connor, Tony Kelly and Davy O’Halloran. Players must now be over 17 before they can play …

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Clare hurlers determined to beat Galway

ALL-Ireland final hero from 2013, Domhnall O’Donovan looks set to be named at corner-back, the  position he starred in two years ago, for Sunday’s opening game in this season’s league campaign against Galway at Pearse Stadium in Salthill. The Clonlara man’s absence from the 2014 championship side was one of the big talking points of the year. He has played in most of their games to date this year and has impressed. Darach Honan, Peter Duggan and Jamie Shanahan won’t play any part in this weekend’s game and are unlikely to see much action in the coming weeks due to injury. The team to take on Galway is expected to be along the lines of that which faced Waterford in a behind-closed-doors challenge game in Sixmilebridge last Saturday night. David McInerney and Brendan Bugler didn’t start that game but both are expected to feature this week. Saturday’s challenge ended in a draw, 4-18 for Waterford to Clare’s 3-21. The home county led …

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Final beckons for Cratloe

That 14 of the starting 15 for Thurles Sarsfields in last weekend’s senior hurling final have represented Tipperary teams in recent years, clearly indicates the challenge that faces Cratloe in Sunday’s Munster senior semi-final at Cusack Park. Munster champions in 2012, before being shocked in the All-Ireland semi-final by Kilcormac-Killoughey from Offaly, Thurles were knocked out of the Tipperary race early last season by Nenagh. Their victory last Sunday marked their fifth Tipperary senior title since 2005, after a gap of 31 years, and their 33rd in all. Amongst those who have featured in their last five wins are goalie Paddy McCormack, Lar Corbett and team captain, Pa Bourke. Five members of the Tipperary panel that contested the 2014 All-Ireland senior final are from Thurles and will play on Sunday. Padraic, Ronan and Denis Maher, Michael Cahill and Lar Corbett are key players and Cratloe are sure to have their hands full when they come up against them, while Billy …

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Time to question All-Star system

THE announcement of the All-Star hurling and football teams never fails to provide plenty of discussion. No more than with the selection of any team, there will always be different views as to who should be picked and in what position and this year’s selections have certainly led to plenty of debate. When this scheme was launched back in 1971, it was welcomed by all in the GAA world. While there is still huge support for such a scheme, there appears to be widespread agreement that changes are required to the selection process. The basic principle at the outset, and its still supposed to be the case, is that the scheme honours the best hurlers and footballers over a year’s performance. However, in more recent times, the All-Ireland finalists have dominated the selections and while they, by their progress, get to play the greater number of games and, accordingly, the greater number of chances to impress, its hardly the fairest …

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Podge inspired Cratloe do the double

(Peter O’Connell) Cratloe 2-12 Éire óg 0-11 NOT alone did Cratloe retain their Clare senior football championship title in front of 7,100 people in Cusack Park on Sunday, they became the first club to complete the double on the field since 1914. Sublime first half finishes from Conor McGrath and man of the match Podge Collins were the key scores. McGrath’s goal was set up by a quickly taken Collins free and with Éire óg switched off, McGrath finished calmly to the Colin Smyth’s net. Exactly half way through the first half Podge Collins jinked beyond the Ennis mens full back line and finished an exquisite goal. That put the double champions 2-4 to 0-2 ahead and in control. Earlier Collins had put over the games opening point, while Liam Markham and Cathal McInerney, from a free, added to their tally in the opening minutes. Come half time a brace of excellent Davy O’Halloran points helped Éire óg to claw their …

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