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-Orla Considine, Clare PRO

Gala All-Ireland Junior Championship Rd 2
Clare v Down Sunday July 12th, 12noon, Wolfe Tones

Clare will be hoping to secure their place in the Gala All-Ireland Junior Championship semi-finals with a win against Down on Sunday. Clare already have a win under their belts and while it may not have been a pretty game the result is what couts. A second win on Sunday will see the girls secure qualification for the semi-final stages with an away game to Antrim remaining.

The squad has been battling with injuries recently and will not be helped with knocks picked up to Laura Linnane and Amy Colleran in the last seven days. Both are nursing ankle injuries and are in a battle against time to be fit for the game on Sunday with both looking doubtful. On the up side Cathy Hally has returned to training after a lay off with hamstring problems and Aiveen O’Shea and Shona Enright will also be available for selection. Fiona Lafferty looks to be a long term injury and will again have to watch this game from the sidelines.

Management are also happy that the squad will be able to focus solely on this game for the weekend. It had been a cause of major concern for the management of the Junior and u18 teams along with the county board that up to eight girls who are cross over players on both squads would be asked to play two games at the weekend. The U18 team were to play Dublin in Dublin on Saturday with the girls returning to face Down on Sunday morning. Developments over the weekend have emerged though and Dublin who failed to field against Galway and Cork have withdrawn from the u18 competition and so Clare will be without the task of traveling to Dublin on Saturday. This allows the girls to focus on the game against Down.

This is certainly good news as going on last Wednesday evenings performance for the U18 team Stephanie Moloney and Shona Enright who were not starters the last day against Offaly will certainly be pushing for places on Sunday. Carina Roseingrave scorer of 2-04 against Galway and Chloe Morey who also did very well in the middle of the field are also in for inclusion as will Kate Lynch and Aine O’Brien. These will have to be high on confidence after securing top of their group and an All-Ireland semi-final spot. With these players added in with captain Deirdre Murphy, Dee Corcoran who was player of the game last weekend, Claire Commane, Aoife Ryan, Sharon McMahon, Denise Lynch and Siobhan Lafferty Clare will be hoping to have enough in themselves to earn this win.

The girls rightly feel that they have a lot to prove as they were not in the least happy with the last days performance and will be looking to improve on this. In the corresponding fixture last year Down also faced the Clare girls at home and while Down kept with them for the first twenty minutes Clare were able to pull away for them and had a comfortable result in the end. Down have already been beaten in this campaign losing to Antrim, who look like being the biggest threat to top spot for the Clare girls and Clare will be hoping that they will account for the visitors again on Sunday.
Verdict: Clare
All-Ireland U16 Chmpionship rd 5
Tipperary v Clare , Wed 7:30 Kilcornan/Burgess

Two defeats against Cork and Galway have already meant that Clare cannot qualify for the next stages of this campaign. In recent years Clare have been dominant over Tipperary in this age group and Clare would like to keep this record going.
Clare will have a tough task ahead of them though as some of the panel have had a tough list of football games behind them in recent days and will face an All-Ireland quarter final on Tuesday evening. Some of this panel have also been in training with the u18 team and they hope that they can bring a steadying influence to the team.  Chloe Morey, Niamh Corry, Jenny Kelly and Louise Woods are all part of that set up.
Catriona Hennessey has been going very well with the u16s as has Maire McGrath, Cathreine Danagher and Jessica O’Neill. It would be great for the girls to finish on a win but they do know that they will be up against it on Wednesday evening.
Verdict: Tipperary

All-Ireland Semi-final spot secured

Clare’s Minor team had a strong win over neighbours Galway on Wednesday and knew after that win that they had achieved goal number one of the season – All-Ireland semi-final. Next on the list was to top the group and avoid Kilkenny in the hope that they would be ready if they met them in the final. Goal number two has been achieved. Dublin were to be the Banner side’s final opponents in the group stages. Dublin, however, had failed to field against Galway last May and were due to travel to Cork last Saturday but failed to do so notifying the Cork Board on Thursday evening. Dublin have withdrawn from the competition and so as a result Clare have now topped their group and will now wait for their semi-final spot.

Clare will also have to wait to see who they will now face in that u18 semi-final as the other group is not as clear cut as the one we have topped. Kilkenny are top of group but it could be Tipperary, Limerick or Wexford that will follow as all have a game won.  It even looks as if a play-off will be needed to separate them at this stage but all will be clearer in the next two weeks as games in the group stages draw to a close.
The Clare squad are delighted now to be secure of their spot and will be working hard over the next number of weeks to keep momentum going and keep working hard as they look for further improvement. This will not be a difficult task though for manger Fintain McNamara and his team of Eamon O’Loughlin, Maura Sheedy, Kevin Halpin, Marie Louise Kaiser and Davy Fitz as they have a very determined group of girls that are willing to go the distance and have a management team who are willing to do the same. With Davy Fitzgerald taking time out from Waterford preparations last Wednesday evening to be at the game in Clare Abbey,- it is rumored that he landed by helicopter in order to make the game.

Lets hope that the Clare cause will continue to fly as high for the rest of the summer be they our female or male counterparts and here’s to hoping that some of those who are fighting and arguing so hard for tickets on Sunday next might take it upon themselves to stop of on the way in Shannon to support the girls also.

Intermediate Club Championship
Bodyke 1-09 v 1-05 Truagh

Truagh had the benefit of the wind in the first half and lead at the break 0-05 to 0-04 in the second half though they found it difficult to get the same delivery into the forwards and Bodyke who were more clinical in their finishing and who also had Pauline O’Brien in goal to deny Truagh on a number of occasions eventually emerged winners.
Helen Guinane accounted for four of Truagh’s first half scores with two from play in the 5th and 25th minutes and converting a æ45 on 12 and a free on 17 minutes. Teresa Nihill also pointed for the home side on 27minutes.
Sinead O’Brien pointed for Bodke after 7minutes with Marie Collins adding a free on 21 and AnneMarie Fitzgerald pointing form play on 22minutes and Louise Hayes reduced the margin for the visitors to just one with a point just on half time.
Bodyke were more forceful in the second half and with points from Sinead O’Brien, Maire Collins and AnneMarie Fitzgerald who also added the Bodyke goal, the visitors were well on their way. Niamh Power did manage to pull a goal back for Truagh on 55 minutes but it wasn’t to be enough.
This was a tough game won which Truagh will feel that they possibly let slip from them. They had some good individual displays from Caroline Craughan in goals, Sarah Sherlock at centre back, Marie and Helen Guinane at midfield. Teresa Nihill, Michelle Caulfield and Ellen Horgan were not rewarded with the scores that were due and having the strong breeze in the first half one felt more scores could have been added, this would be their downfall in the second half. Bodyke were able to account for the breeze letting the ball in low to their forwards and Pauline o’Brien in goals kept her team in the game as the Truahg girls pressed on. Louise Hayes and Marie Collins at mid-field for Bodyke worked very hard. Catherine McNamara at full back for Bodyke made some important clearances with Sinead O’Brien working up from half forward to gather these balls. O’Brien used her experience and savvy to work the ball well into her full forward line resulting in some fine points from play.
Truagh: Caroline Craughan, Eileen Gleeson, Caroline Moloney, Tara Kirwan, Josephine Clancy, Sarah Sherlock, Sarah Hastings, Helen Guinane (0-4, 3f), Maire Guinane, Ellen Horgan, Teresa Nihill (0-1), Michelle Caulfield, Ashlynn Craughan, Niamh Power (1-0), Fiona Caulfield.. Subs: Christine Meskell for Tara Kirwan, Lisa Moloney for Fiona Caulfield, Orlaith Scanlon for Josephine Clancy, Julie Ann Ryan for Ashlynn Craughan.. Sarah Koyce.
Bodyke: Pauline O’Brien, Louise Carey, Catherine McNamara, Simone Slattery, Ann Marie Carey, Grainne Quigley, Sarah O’Donnell, Maire Collins, Louise Hayes, Sinead O’Brien, Michelle McNamara, Rachel Grogan, Ann Marie Fitzgerald, Una Kavanagh, Aisling Fitzgerald. Subs: Louise O’Driscoll, Amy Collins, Edel O’Grady, Claire Madden, Ciara Walshe, Lorraine Lynch.
Puc Fada Munster Final

Denise Lynch from Kilmaley will represent Clare at this years Munster Puc Fada final this coming Saturday. The final has become an annual event to be held on the eve of the Munster Hurling final in Thurlas race course. Starting time is 12 noon for the competition.
This is Denise’s third year representing the county and the Clare goalie certainly has a proud record in the competition. In recent years Denise has won in Clare and Munster and has also been crowned All-Ireland winner, with a win over the famous Cooley Mountains.
Best of Luck to Denise who will also be preparing for the game against Down on Sunday.
U14 Development Blitz.

Clare hosted a blitz for u14 inter county teams in Flannan’s on Sunday. Run by Munster Regional Development Co-ordinator Deirdre Murphy teams from Limerick, Mayo and Kerry along with Clare attended on Saturday. There were over 100 girls in attendance and all had a wonderful day of camogie. The weather held good and with the facilities in Flannan’s along with the help of Clare U18 stars Kate Lynch, Aine O’Brien, Mary Clune and Aisling Hannon who were on hand to give advice to the girls afterwards this was a terrific event. With two referees on hand for the day also in Bernard O’Dowd, of Clooney and Jim Hickey of Cratloe made the running of the event ever so smooth.
The day was thouroghly enjoyed by all and the girls are looking forward to many more such days over the Summer and indeed the Clare girls also traveled to Galway on Sunday where another successful days camogie was held.


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