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Tag Archives: Tony Kelly

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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Banner fans dream of silverware

Hurling fans faced into the 2018 season with hope more than confidence. The loss of a few regulars to retirement, travel and injury has meant that some key players from the past decade have had to be replaced. Defeat in the final of the Munster league by neighbours Limerick, on a day when the Banner men failed to match the physicality of their opponents, only added to those fears. Fast forward just three weeks and victories over Tipperary and Kilkenny in the opening two rounds of the national league have Clare fans instead dreaming of silverware again. Tipperary and Kilkenny are difficult to beat on any occasion but adding to the excitement about these results is the fact that they were fully merited. Indeed, Clare should have won both by a much greater margin, particularly Sunday’s game in Nowlan Park. While all involved are entitled to be pleased with these results, it must be remembered that their opponents, in both …

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Down to homework from drawn hurling final

I don’t know if Ballyea or Clonlara mentors attended the senior football final replay at Cusack Park last Sunday but if they did, they are sure to have noticed that Kilmurry-Ibrickane learned more from the drawn game and that the changes they made to their line-up were key to their victory. The hurling management teams know both sides have room for improvement. What changes, if any, they will make could well be the key to unlocking the opposition this time around. Ballyea will have at least one change in personnel now that full-forward Eoghan Donnellan has been ruled out due to injury. At least one change to their forward line-up was expected anyhow, after Martin O’Leary’s impressive showing in the second half of the drawn game, following his introduction at half-time. If Ballyea are to win, there will have to be a big improvement from their forward line, which managed just one point between the starting six in the drawn …

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Experience should swing final Clonlara’s way

A championship that has produced its share of talking points without setting the world alight with regard to the standard of play draws to a close on Sunday. The expectation is, however, that Clonlara and Ballyea will give patrons an afternoon to remember. In opposition in the senior hurling decider are some of the players who have shone in an eight-year period where county teams have won Munster and All-Ireland honours at minor, U-21 and senior levels. Supporters have marvelled at the performances of the likes of Tony Kelly, Colm Galvin, Darach Honan and John Conlon, while the O’Donovan brothers will forever be remembered when Cormac was the scorer of a last-minute point that won the 2009 All-Ireland U-21 title and when Domhnall earned a replay in the 2013 senior final. Ballyea’s only previous final appearance was in 2003, when they had to give best to their fellow parishioners. Clarecastle man Fergie O’Loughlin went into the history books as he …

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Tony Kelly Clare’s only All-Star nominee

Tony Kelly is Clare’s sole standard bearer in the nominations for the 2015 All-Star hurling awards . The stylish Ballyea hurler, an U-21 All-Ireland winning captain, was also an influential member of Clare’s 2013 All-Ireland winning team. His exploits that year earned him an All-Star, as well as the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year accolades, the first time such a double was achieved. All-Ireland champions, Kilkenny and Galway lead the list of nominations with 12 each. Waterford’s strong 2015 showing, which saw them earn league honours before reaching a Munster final and All-Ireland semi-final, sees them land one fewer with a total of 11 nominations. Munster champions, Tipperary claim seven nominations with Cork, Clare and Dublin completing the list of 45 with one each. In all seven counties are represented. On the personal award front, 2015 All-Ireland champions, Kilkenny have received two nominations, with TJ Reid and Richie Hogan, while Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan completes the …

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Banner colour

The Rock of Cashel’s hurling legacy

THE U-21 grade, introduced in 1964, is one of the most attractive competitions in hurling. This championship has proved to be a solid bridge from minor to senior. The first two championships, in 1964 and 1965, were contested by Wexford and Tipperary, with honours even. Clare has consistently performed well, but had to wait until 2009 before Ciarán O’Doherty became the first Clare man to raise aloft the magnificent Cross of Cashel. Since then, the county has enjoyed unprecedented success, with Conor McGrath, Paul Flanagan and Tony Kelly, all leading Clare to victory. The Cross of Cashel shines a light on all 51 All-Ireland U-21 finals, conjuring up the great names who made this grade special. From a Clare perspective, there is a lot to be taken from this book, with Clare teams and captains photographed in colour. It also includes team-sheets, scoring records and there is a synopsis of each All-Ireland final since 1964. The foreword is by John …

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Hurlers’ chance to get first points

AFTER a great start to the league with impressive wins over Tipperary and Kilkenny, the Dublin senior hurlers were brought crashing back down to earth on Saturday night, when they suffered a drubbing at the hands of Cork at Croke Park. An 11-point loss should see the Ger Cunningham-managed side come to Ennis on Saturday for their meeting with Clare determined to get back to winning ways and secure a place in the play-offs. Another defeat could see the Ger Cunningham-managed Dubs with relegation worries on their minds going into the final game of the group stage. Davy Fitzgerald and his team will be hoping that the improvement shown in their game against Tipperary will continue and lead to a Clare win this weekend. Clare will have to win their remaining two games and hope that other results go in their favour if they are to have a chance of avoiding the dreaded relegation play-off. It’s unlikely that all of …

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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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