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End game for Davy Fitzgerald

DAVY Fitzgerald has stepped down as Clare senior hurling manager after five years in the position during which time he led Clare to the All-Ireland senior title in 2013 and to the National league title earlier this year. The Sixmilebridge man’s decision to vacate the post, despite still having a year of his current term to run, has come following a meeting of around 30 players on Monday night at the Inn in Dromoland. While a vote wasn’t taken, there is general agreement that the players were evenly divided on the issue. A formal statement on Wednesday evening confirmed “Davy Fitzgerald has informed the Clare County Board that he will not be seeking reappointment to the position of Clare Senior Hurling Manager for 2017”. He insisted, “I was not asked to step down. The decision is entirely my own. In taking this decision however, I wish to reaffirm my absolute love and passion for Clare hurling. “I leave the Clare …

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Fitzgerald set to leave Clare job

REPORTS are circulating this evening that Davy Fitzgerald’s colourful five-year term as Clare senior hurling manager will end within days. There had been speculation that several high-profile members of the Clare squad were set to depart if the Sixmilebridge man remained in place. However, sources who were part of the Clare backroom team throughout 2016, have indicated that around two-thirds of the panel were actually in favour of him remaining in place for 2017. The position of Clare manager has been much discussed throughout the county since Clare’s disappointing exit from the championship at the hands of Galway and many supporters wanted to see change. While Fitzgerald’s departure has not even been confirmed yet, Donal Moloney and Jerry O’Connor would clearly be among the front runners to succeed him, given their role in bringing three U-21 All-Ireland titles to the county. The highlight of Fitzgerald’s time in the Clare job was the 2013 All-Ireland, when he brought a team that …

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Kilfenora and Kildysart to meet in intermediate final

FOLLOWING Saturday afternoons intermediate football semi-finals, Kilfenora and Kildysart qualified for the final. Kilfenora scored a 2-9 to 0-5 win over Shannon Gaels with the Malone brothers, Killian and Aidan scoring the goals. Kildysart won it 3-7 to 0-11, having trailed 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time against Kilmihil but second half goals from Neil O’Connor, Ger Kelly and Damien Hill won it for the men in blue. Kilmihil kicked nine first half wides and had corner back Allyn Dalton red carded eight minutes into the second half. The junior B football final will have to be replayed following a draw between Banner (1-8) and Wolfe Tones (3-2). On Sunday at 12.30pm in Doonbeg, reigning county champions Miltown will play Clondegad in the first of three senior football championship quarter-finals, followed by Cratloe v Ennistymon in Cusack Park and Doonbeg v Cooraclare in Kilmihil. The latter game will be preceded by the relegation final in which 21 time county champions Kilrush …

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Board chair to meet with Davy

CLARE GAA County Board chairman Joe Cooney will meet with senior hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald in the coming days, to find out if the Sixmilebridge man intends staying in his post for 2017. Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Documentary on One last Saturday, Fitzgerald said he was unsure if he wanted to manage Clare for a sixth successive season. “I honestly don’t know what I want to do,” he told documentary maker Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh. “Last year I knew 100% what I wanted to do. I could stay with Clare, I could take a year out. I could see myself managing someone else because I love hurling so much and want to do something different and help someone different. I’m a bit confused at the moment.” Speaking to The Clare Champion on Tuesday, Joe Cooney confirmed that talks are due to take place. “Davy has another year on his contract. I will be talking to him over the next number …

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Clare outclassed by Kerry in Croke Park

Kerry 2-16 Clare 0-11 CLARE’S 2016 championship season ground to a very definite halt in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon, with Kerry advancing to an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with either Dublin or Donegal. Kerry’s eleven point win was their 14th All-Ireland quarter-final win in 16 games and their ninth successive championship win over Clare since 1992. Clare did not lack for effort but there was a clear gap in quality between the teams. Clare lacked the zip and support play evident in their wins over Laois, Sligo and Roscommon while poor decision making on the ball cost them regularly against Kerry. The attendance was 29,251. Clare had been going reasonably well until they conceded a very soft goal to Donnchadh Walsh in the 20th minute of the opening half. Kerry intercepted a Martin McMahon pass and although Dean Ryan tried valiantly to somehow direct the ball away from goal, it broke for Walsh who could not miss from close range. …

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Magnificent second half puts footballers into last 12

Clare 2-17 Sligo 1-13 THE Clare footballers have qualified for the last 12 of the All-Ireland senior football championship for the first time since the All-Ireland qualifiers were introduced in 2001. They outscored Sligo 1-13 to 1-4 in a fantastic second half display, led by Cathal O’Connor who kicked four sublime points from play. Keelan Sexton, introduced for the black carded Podge Collins six minute before half time, put over three superb points from play during that second half, while Gary Brennan buried a magnificent goal. Clare dominated the middle third after half-time, winning five of Sligo’s kick outs in the opening 15 minutes of that half, which illustrated how well they did in that sector. Clare were 0-9 to 1-4 down at half-time, having put over just one point from play in that half. Eoin Cleary was the only Clare player to score from play with the same player adding a point from a free won by Podge Collins. …

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McGrath seals sensational win for Clare footballers

Clare 0-14 Laois 1-10 SHANE McGrath was the Clare match winner in Cusack Park on Sunday afternoon, when he showed exceptional bottle and skill to kick Clare to a famous round two All-Ireland qualifier win over Laois. McGrath’s point, kicked in the 70th minute, helped Clare to just their fifth qualifier win in 18 games, since 2001. They will now play Cavan, Derry or Sligo next Saturday. The round 3 A draw will be made at 8.30am on Monday morning. This win was all the more commendable because 16 minutes into the second half, Darren Strong kicked Laois into a 1-10 to 0-9 lead. However that was the last time Laois scored as Clare substitutes McGrath and Seánie Malone, kicked invaluable points as did corner back Shane Hickey, who started in place of Dean Ryan. A Stephen Attride goal, six minute before half-time, was the score which divided the teams at the interval. The wing back picked finished a popped …

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Clare and Kerry teams named for Sunday

THE Clare footballers have named an unchanged team for Sunday’s Munster semi-final meeting with Kerry in Killarney. Despite speculation that Podge Collins and Shane McGrath might have played their way into the starting 15, both have been named on the bench. The Clare and Kerry teams were named a short time ago with the Kingdom giving championship debuts to two players in this weekends provincial semi-final. The Clare team is as follows: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Dean Ryan (Éire Óg), Kevin Harnett (Meelick), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Seán Collins (Cratloe), Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s, Miltown), Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora); Gary Brennan (Clondegad-captain), Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen); Eoin Cleary ((Miltown), Jamie Malone (Corofin), Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare); Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane), David Tubridy (Doonbeg), Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes). Two players will make their débuts for Kerry against Clare on Sunday. Wing backs Brian O’Beaglaoich and Tadhg Morley will play their first championship game for their county. Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice has made five changes to …

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