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Tag Archives: John Conlon

Versatile Conlon is Clare’s ultimate warrior

John Conlon is not only revelling in his new role at centre-back but Clare’s longest serving current player is also on track to reach another milestone of 50 championship appearances before the round-robin series is elapsed. Having carved out his reputation as a powerful attacking force that has totalled over 100 points for the Banner, the Clonlara stalwart has subsequently demonstrated his true class over the past twelve months by seamlessly reverting to defensive anchor. And following two victories in the space of seven days in Thurles, Conlon understandably doesn’t want Clare’s momentum to stop. “We’ve come to Thurles a lot over the years. In the 14 years I’ve been playing against Cork, I think it’s very rare that we’ve come out with a win, if any, so to come out today and bring out that type of performance is brilliant. We said we needed to back up the Tipp performance and we certainly did that today. “It was great …

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Conlon has big targets as Clare look to push on in 2022

JOHN Conlon’s return from injury and subsequent move to centre back was one of the big positives in a 2021 campaign of near misses, writes Ivan Smyth. However, when the Clonlara man suffered what he describes as a “weird sensation” in his knee after taking part in a tackling drill the Tuesday after his side’s come from behind win against Whitegate, another spell on the sideline loomed. This led him to undergo keyhole surgery on his knee as he sat out the rest of his side’s campaign with Clonlara bowing out of the group stages before winning the Senior B Championship. “It was hard looking on. It was frustrating to get injured because we were going well. We lost out on getting to the quarter finals which was annoying because we were close again. It was a weird sensation when I got the injury first. I knew it wasn’t the previous injury (ACL). All went well with the surgery. Brian …

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Captain Conlon leads from the front at the back

Almost two years ago to the day since his last Munster Championship outing, John Conlon returned in commanding fashion to captain Clare to victory in Semple Stadium. Going from being a chief target to defensive anchor made the 2018 All-Star’s comeback all the sweeter as Clare exacted revenge on Waterford’s for last year’s All-Ireland Quarter-Final exit. “It was really sweet. I hadn’t played a championship game in two years so I just said leaving home today that I was going to enjoy every last minute of it. I got a bad injury last year and all I kept saying in my head was ‘hopefully I’ll get to play another championship game.’ “Thankfully today was fantastic. We knew we were coming into it in the right frame of mind as training was super over the last few weeks. And we started to pick up results as well which was good for morale so everyone seemed to be coming right at the …

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Road to recovery leads to Thurles for Captain Conlon

Clare will be looking to build upon their recent momentum when they face Waterford in the Munster SHC this Sunday at Semple Stadium (throw-in 3.15pm). Munster Championship games are notoriously full blooded and intense with this Sunday’s battle expected to be no different as Clare come up against last year’s All-Ireland finalists. John Conlon will certainly be relishing this weekend’s battle as he looks set to taste Championship action for the first time since 2019, due to a cruciate ligament injury that kept him on the sidelines for Clare’s run to the All-Ireland quarter final in 2020. The Clonlara man believes the injury was a “blessing in disguise” as he was able to rehab other knocks and learn more about looking after his own body. “It was a tough injury. I was over a year out with it. It was a blessing in disguise in ways. It gave me the opportunity to grow and work on other injuries. I did …

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Bamboo set to take the hurling world by storm

THE great clash of the ash in hurling could soon be replaced by bamboo on bamboo if a new type of hurley takes off. Torpey in Sixmilebridge have launched a new Bambú hurley, made, as the name suggests, from bamboo material, which will be imported from China. According to Seán Torpey, operations manager at the long-established traditional craft business, the new hurley will offer players a natural material with added performance benefits to that of the traditional ash hurley. He notes that many attempts have been made over the years to use synthetic materials to replicate the ash hurley, but few have met with any great success. “Since the formation of the GAA in 1884, ash hurleys have been the favoured material of players up and down the country. The Bambú hurley offers a genuine natural alternative to ash hurleys,” he says. The bamboo hurley has been trialled by some of the top inter-county during the initial stages of the …

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Clare find momentum at the right time

SINCE the new millennium dawned, Clare have beaten Cork once in 11 championship games. Clare’s only win? The 2013 All-Ireland replay. If you were going to pick one of those games to win, that would be the one. The statistics also make it clear that, generally speaking, Cork beat Clare very regularly. They have won 38 of the 50 Munster championship games played between the two counties. Cork have won the Munster championship 53 times to Clare’s mere six. Clare are fifth in that particular table, three short of Waterford’s nine provincial titles. Why this sudden interest in numbers? It underscores the significance of Sunday. This Clare panel need a Munster championship and the county senses that they are on the cusp of delivering. There is a clear sense that the Clare hurling team have the county behind them again. Three Munster round-robin wins, in nifty succession, has that effect. Until Clare’s semi-final win over Limerick in 2017, they had …

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Conlon and Flanagan ruled out

Clare have been dealt a double blow ahead of Sunday’s National Hurling League final, with John Conlon and Paul Flanagan both ruled out. Conlon, one of the stars of the win over Kilkenny, has not recovered from a leg injury picked up in that game and, at this stage, he is also a doubt for the Munster championship semi-final on June 5. The injury is understood to be similar to that which kept Tony Kelly and Jack Browne out of action for almost two months. Paul Flanagan will also miss the final due to concussion. Discussing Clare’s involvement in the 2016 National Hurling League final is not something that was expected when the competition got underway back in February. Yet here they are, putting the final touches to their plans for a tilt at title-holders Waterford at Semple Stadium in Thurles on Sunday at 3.30pm. Undefeated in 11 competitive outings this season, Clare will go into Sunday’s decider determined to …

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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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