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Podge Collins to start for footballers

(Peter O’Connell) THE Clare senior football team to play Kerry in Sunday’s Munster semi-final in Cusack Park has been named. The only change to the starting 15 from last Saturday’s semi-final replay win over Waterford is the return of Podge Collins at the expense of Barry Hartnett. Collins will start at centre-forward with Enda Coughlan wearing the number 15 jersey. Shane Brennan will start alongside his brother Gary at midfield while Coolmeen’s Cathal O’Connor underwent a fitness test at training in Cusack Park on Friday night and it is expected that he will be part of the match day panel. Sunday’s semi-final throws in at 3.30pm. The Clare v Kerry junior football semi-final starts at 1.30pm at the same venue. The Clare senior team is as follows: Clare: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Dean Ryan (Éire Óg), Kevin Hartnett (Meelick), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Gordon Kelly (Miltown), Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg); Gary Brennan (Clondegad – captain), Shane Brennan …

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Davy’s tactics raise questions

THERE is no shame in defeat. Nobody can question the sincerity of the Clare hurlers efforts in Thurles. That they didn’t hurl to their optimum level isn’t connected to an absence of desire to make it happen. That said Clare’s tactical approach and selection policy is open to scrutiny. For example Pat Kelly was an integral component of Clare’s All-Ireland winning year. Until last year Clare had struggled to find a goalkeeper who consistently held down the position and who had the full confidence and understanding of his defenders and midfielders. Kelly stepped up last year and literally put his body on the line when facing down Anthony Nash in the All-Ireland final. Why dispense with him when the goalkeeping issue seemed to have been resolved? Donal Tuohy is an excellent goalkeeper and has proven that at U/21 level. However it would be impossible for him to replicate the same understanding, in relation to puck out strategy for example, as …

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Gordon Kelly

Kelly hoping for third time lucky

WHEN Gordon Kelly barrels out from underneath the stand in Cusack Park on Sunday afternoon, he will be minutes away from taking on Kerry in the championship arena for the third time in his career. A regular with Clare since 2006, Kelly faced Kerry in 2008 in Fitzgerald Stadium and in the All-Ireland qualifiers in 2012. Clare were well beaten in both games although Kelly, who played corner back in 2008, held the currently sidelined Colm Cooper to just 1-0 in Clare’s 1-14 to 0-5 defeat under the management of Frank Doherty. Kerry’s visit to Ennis on Sunday will be their first championship tie in Clare since their 2-10 to 0-9 defeat of Clare on May 23, 2004. Enda Coughlan started at full forward that day and is the only player from that game who will start this weekend. Although beaten by seven points in that fixture ten years ago, Clare at least were competitive and that’s their priority this …

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Captain Brennan inspires Clare in replay win

  Clare 3-11 Waterford 0-12 CLARE secured a place in next Sunday’s Munster semi-final following a comprehensive win over Waterford in the teams quarter-final replay. Second half goals from Shane Brennan and Rory Donnelly sealed the win. They were very much on top during the second period where they were inspired by Gary Brennan who played superbly at midfield. They will now play Kerry next Sunday in Cusack Park at 3.30pm. Clare started very slowly and in fact they trailed 0-4 to 0-0 after eleven minutes. However Waterford were dealt a savage blow in the second minute when midfielder Shane Aherne was black carded following a tackle on Martin McMahon. To make matters worse for Waterford his midfield colleague Tommy Prendergast was black carded three minutes before half time. Paul Whyte kicked three of Waterford’s first half points, two from play, while JJ Hutchinson kicked the remaining three from open play. Shane McGrath was in excellent first half form for …

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Clare junior football team named

THE Clare junior football team to play Waterford at 5pm on Saturday in Ennis was named on Friday night by manager Joe Garry. Gary Leahy (Wolfe Tones) will captain the team for the provincial quarter-final in Cusack Park. The team is as follows: Eamon Tubridy (Doonbeg); Jack O’Dea (Kilfenora), Seán O’Driscoll (Ennistymon), Craig O’Brien (Wolfe Tones); Seán Haugh (O’Curry’s), Brian Carrig (Clondegad), Stan Lineen (Kilmihil); Darren O’Neill (Éire Óg), Keith O’Connor (Kildysart); Tom Downes (O’Curry’s), Thomas Downes (Cooraclare), Eoin Brew (O’Curry’s); Cathal Lillis (Cooraclare), Gary Leahy (Wolfe Tones – captain), Kieran Malone (St Joseph’s, Miltown).

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Big win for hurlers in Quilty challenge

Clare 1-28 Galway 1-16 FIELDING a completely separate team in each half, Clare scored a comprehensive win over Galway in a senior hurling challenge game played in Quilty on Sunday evening. The game was the first to feature an All-Ireland hurling winning team playing in west Clare and was played to mark Kilmurry Ibrickane’s 100th anniversery celebrations. The Liam McCarthy Cup was on display throughout the game. Clare led 0-12 to 1-7 at half time, largely thanks to 0-6 from Colin Ryan, who also impressed in open play. Damien Hayes scored the Galway goal in the opening half, while Jason Flynn put over five points from frees and play for Anthony Cunningham’s team. Galway introduced Joe Canning at half time and while he scored an early point from play, Canning didn’t look very sharp with David McInerney retaining the upper hand on the Galway captain. Amongst those to impress for Clare were Seán Collins and Colin Ryan in the opening …

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Brave Clare fall just short

Peter O’Connell Tipperary 1-16 Clare 1-15 CLARE put in a brave, unyielding display in Saturday evenings NFL division 4 league final in Croke Park. The highlight was a magnificent goal, early in the second half from Kilmihil’s Martin O’Leary who was played in by fellow U/21 Jamie Malone. At that stage Clare led 1-11 to 1-8 and backed by a strong wind, it looked as if their first appearance in Croke Park since 2004 would end in victory. However they added just four points in the closing half hour with Tipperary tagging on 0-8 during the same spell. The game was watched by a crowd of 8,654 people. Conor Sweeney was the winners main man in attacking scoring their goal in the opening half and kicking an array of impressive points. Tipperary led 1-7 to 0-9 at half time, thanks to Sweeney’s 19th minute goal. In fact were it not for two excellent blocks from Kevin Hartnett, Tipperary could have …

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Dooley’s concern over Sky deal with GAA

THE  GAA still has a lot of questions to answer over its deal with Sky Sports for TV rights,   Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Sport Timmy Dooley said this Tuesday. Under the agreement, Sky has been given exclusive rights to 14 games, including two All-Ireland Football quarter finals involving the Leinster and Ulster champions. GAA director general, Paraic Duffy and president, Liam O’Neill appeared before the Oireachtas Transport and Communications Committee earlier today to outline the rationale behind the new broadcasting contract. Deputy Dooley said, “Despite the appearance by Mr Duffy and Mr O’Neill, there are still a lot of questions about the decision to sell off national games to an outside broadcaster.  The association says it has to base its approach on the significant number of fans living abroad, but I would argue it could do that without alienating its fans at home.  The deal with RTE digital will allow fans in the UK and US access to games, while …

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