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Rampant Clare on the verge of promotion

Clare 1-20 Longford 1-9 AN outstanding display of point taking helped the Clare footballers to a comprehensive win over Longford in Ennis on Sunday afternoon. This eleven point win, played in front of a disappointingly small crowd of 1,226, has taken Clare to the verge of promotion to division 2 for the 2017 season. They play already promoted Kildare away on Sunday. Clare sit on eight points currently, two points behind Kildare and two ahead of Tipperary, Offaly and Sligo, all of whom are tied on six points. Clare might even win promotion if they lose to Kildare but a draw would guarantee it. Having started tentatively, Clare ended up leading narrowly, 1-7 to 0-6 at at half time. They played into the wind in the opening half and along with their opponents, Clare were slow to settle. Longford’s Michael Quinn goaled in the sixth minute for the opening score of the half, following a Barry McKeon pass after Clare …

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Injury time Offaly winner floors Clare

Offaly 0-15 Clare 1-11 FOLLOWING an exceptionally poor first half display, Clare improved significantly in the second period but eventually lost out to a Michael Brazil point from play, which was kicked six minutes into injury time. The fact that the Offaly centre forward cut through the Clare defence without any Clare defender impeding his progress, underlined some of the deficiencies in this display. Lifted by their wins over Limerick and Westmeath, Clare showed few signs of their form in those games. While their performance was not good enough, if promotion is to be a realistic aim, they did show admirable resolve in the second half and Eoin Cleary’s 70th minute goal leveled the game. Five minutes into injury time the Miltown forward was certain he had kicked the winning point but it was waved wide and neither was a 45 awarded. He confirmed afterwards that if the ball was in fact wide, it was definitely a 45. A minute …

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Rampant Clare footballers hammer Westmeath

Clare 1-18 Westmeath 0-10 WITH just three fixtures left to play in division 3 of the NFL, Clare took a huge stride towards promotion with a comprehensive win over Westmeath in Ennis on Sunday. They now sit joint second in the table, along with Tipperary. The Munster teams are two points behind Kildare, who have won all four of their games to date. Clare travel to O’Connor Park in Tullamore next Sunday, where they play Offaly who are currently on four points. Clare blitzed Westmeath who were completely off the pace, particularly in the first half. Such was Clare’s dominance they led 0-7 to 0-0 after 23 minutes with David Tubridy, Eoin Cleary, Pearse Lillis and Cathal O’Connor putting over those early points. Westmeath, who reached the 2015 Leinster final and were expected to at least contend for promotion, didn’t kick their first point until eight minutes before half time when substitute Shane Dempsey scored. They did come within four …

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lady gregory, derbhle crotty

Gregory and Cusack to feature in Fire in the Blood

FIRE in The Blood, a series of four programmes on the Celtic Revival begins on RTE One tonight (February 29) at 8.30pm. It focuses on four areas of the revival: drama; the Irish language; art; and, sports. Each episode will focus on one individual who played a central role in the Revival, including Lady Gregory and Michael Cusack, and will be presented by a contemporary figure who can speak with credibility about that individual – assessing their lives, and the influence of their work. The Celtic Revival was a broad-based cultural movement whose stated purpose was to address many diverse areas of Irish life – literary, linguistic, visual and sporting. The purpose of this four-part series is to give a real sense of the breath of those ambitions and the scale of their impact on Irish society.  The Celtic Revival contained a number of outstanding and colourful individuals, but producers selected four who they believe will provide insights to some …

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First half costs footballers in Tipperary defeat

Tipperary 2-7 Clare 1-7 THE Clare footballers fell to their first league defeat of 2016 in what was their first away fixture of the new season. Played in exceptionally difficult conditions in Tipperary Town, Clare played very poorly in the first half, despite being backed by a forceful wind. They did up their effort levels significantly in the second half but on reflection that fact that Clare’s starting forwards kicked just a single point from play between them, underlines where one of their primary issues lies. Clare kicked 10 of their 15 wides in the first half and this profligacy helped Tipperary into a 1-4 to 0-4 half time lead. Gary Brennan put over the games first score in the opening minute but 60 seconds later, Conor Sweeney buried a Tipperary’s goal, following a Peter Acheson run and a Philip Austin shot, which hit the crossbar. Brennan and Eoin Cleary shared Clare’s four first half points between them, with the …

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Brennan goal key to footballers opening win

Clare 1-11 Sligo 0-7 A Gary Brennan goal, nine minutes from time, was the game clinching score in Clare’s opening 2016 division 3 league game in wet and windy Miltown Malbay on Sunday. A huge element of luck helped Clare to create the goal. A long ball from Jamie Malone bounced over the collective heads of the Clare full forward and Sligo full back line. The ball hit the post and bounced into the arms of Clare substitute Pat Burke, who placed Brennan for the games crucial score. In a five minute second half spell Sligo had black cards shown to key men Niall Murphy and Brian Egan, leaving the already depleted Connacht county running out of options. Clare played into a very strong breeze in the opening half and trailed 0-4 to 0-2 at half time. While the conditions made it very difficult to play constructive football, both teams gave the ball away regularly and their decision making was …

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Ogonnelloe drop down to junior A

The fallout from the recession and emigration was brought centre stage at Clare GAA County Board meeting this week, when there was strong support for a request from Ogonnelloe to be allowed to regrade from intermediate to junior A hurling level for 2016. In a detailed letter to the meeting, the East Clare club outlined their reasons for seeking to be regraded. “Over the past number of years, we have struggled as a club to compete at intermediate level due to a number of factors, which are largely outside of our control. It is now the wish of the entire club, having discussed it at our recent AGM, with players and supporters alike, to apply to be allowed to regrade for 2016. This is not a decision we have come to lightly but it is one we believe is absolutely necessary for the continued survival of Ogonnelloe Hurling Club,” the letter read. “Over the past few years, as the impact …

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Kinnerk returns to Clare hurling fold

Paul Kinnerk, coach to Clare’s All-Ireland winning senior team and coach to the three-in-a-row Munster and All-Ireland winning U-21 teams is back in the Clare senior hurling management team. In the past year, a number of county and club sides had sought to secure the services of the highly-rated coach and this announcement is a huge coup for boss Davy Fitzgerald and a massive boost to Clare hurling. Kinnerk met with manager Fitzgerald and members of the backroom team in the past week. The St Caimin’s Shannon teacher is currently studying for a PhD on coaching practices in Gaelic games at the University of Limerick where, it is understood, he has managed to arrange some flexibility, which has led to his return to the Clare set-up as coach/selector, while continuing with his studies. “I am delighted to welcome Paul back into our set-up, as his experience, expertise and knowledge of the existing panel of players will complement what is already …

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