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Championship Preview: A look forward to this year’s Hurling Championship

LET’S START WITH DEREK McGRATH’S WATERFORD....

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Paudie O’Brien says Davy Fitzgerald raised bar for all at Limerick IT

Anthony Daly wrote in these pages yesterday about how the emblems on their chests can be all that separates Clare and Limerick, but there are an increasing number of occasions when even their jerseys are spun from the same wool.

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9 things that make the Munster hurling championship the greatest

TOM SEMPLE’S FIELD

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Louis Mulqueen: ‘This is hell for leather, blood and guts, full-blooded Munster championship’

Tomorrow, Clare and Limerick cross swords, a term used advisedly. Louis Mulqueen will be in the Banner management team, and he’s also realistic about what to expect so early in the summer.

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Shannonside rivals must embrace the fear

Clare/Limerick manager Davy Fitzgerald/ TJ Ryan was under increasing pressure last night in the wake of last Sunday’s Munster championship exit. 

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Treaty boss Ryan names three newcomers for clash with Clare

Limerick hurling manager TJ Ryan has given three debuts for Sunday’s Munster SHC quarter-final clash with Clare in Semple Stadium (throw-in 4pm).

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Limerick boss still has sleepless nights before major games

Limerick’s TJ Ryan believes he is now better prepared for the rigours of managing his native county through an All-Ireland championship campaign than was the case a year ago.

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Waterford's Ned Power makes a spectacular leap to grab the sliotar from the clutches of Cork maestro Christy Ring during the 1962 Munster SHC semi-final in Thurles.

Championship Preview: Go on someone. Make our day

Twenty years ago, Loughnane’s Clare emerged from nowhere to set the summer alight. Are we there again, waiting for a bolter to win the All Ireland, a team to come from the clouds and cut a swathe through a mediocre field?

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Clare taking on Dublin earlier this year

Seoirse Bulfin says Clare don’t dwell on negatives

Seoirse Bulfin spent a dozen years on the sideline with Davy Fitzgerald in Limerick Institute of Technology, so when Fitzgerald took Waterford over, he brought Bulfin along. Now Bulfin coaches Clare, another Fitzgerald-managed side.

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Limerick set for seasonal adjustment

Try this one on for size: Limerick — hurling’s best championship team? Bear with us. Name a team, any other team, who has undermined their league form come business time as much as the county this decade.

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Silence is golden: Dubs captain appreciates Ger Cunningham’s player-driven approach

Joint captain Peter Kelly has admitted the silence in Dublin’s dressing-room after Anthony Daly left has taken a long time to get used to.

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Nickie Quaid: Limerick have ‘moved on’ from Clare loss

Limerick’s hurlers will not be seeking to atone for their flat performance and accompanying defeat to Clare in the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final when they face the Banner again in a Munster opener on Sunday.

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Clare ready to put on a performance, predicts Colin Ryan

If he’s sick of hearing about 2014, he hides it well. Colin Ryan collected an All-Ireland senior hurling medal with Clare in 2013 but last season the Banner couldn’t raise a gallop. 

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Sledging not a problem in hurling, say stars

The practice of sledging is all but non-existent in top level hurling, according to Henry Shefflin and Pat Horgan.

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Patrick Horgan confident Cork ready to bounce back from League final loss

It won’t be until early next week that the Cork hurlers meet as a full unit for the first time since their seven-point Division 1 final defeat to Waterford.

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Angry Wexford boss Liam Dunne bites back at Michael Duignan and Ger Loughnane

Wexford boss Liam Dunne has taken aim at pundits Michael Duignan and Ger Loughnane for remarks they made about his team two years ago.

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Henry Shefflin: Advantage rule will prove worthwhile

As Henry Shefflin prepares for his The Sunday Game Live debut in Thurles this Sunday, he admits hurling’s new advantage rule has been “a little confusing” but is supportive of it.

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Shane O’Donnell happy with space to roam against Limerick

Alone, Shane O’Donnell may well stand as Clare’s sole full-forward line representative in Thurles on Sunday but as he showed in the relegation play-off in Kilkenny last month when he gave no less a defender than Paul Murphy a long afternoon it suits him to a tee.

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Limerick’s Cian Lynch upholding proud family tradition

With not a scintilla of embarrassment or prompting, Cian Lynch regales you with the story of what happened to him the time his uncle Ciaran Carey fired over one of hurling’s most iconic scores. 

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Lorcan McLoughlin set for Cork return in late summer

Lorcán McLoughlin’s collarbone injury is not expected to rule him out for the rest of the year as had been feared.

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Cork IT to host Fitzgibbon Cup

UUJ and Cork IT will host the Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cup respectively in 2016.

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Ger Cunningham urges Niall McMorrow to focus after injury

Short-term pain, long-term gain is Ger Cunningham’s attitude to Niall McMorrow’s thumb injury after it was confirmed the 25-year-old will miss Sunday week’s Leinster semi-final against Galway.

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Paul Curran joins Tipperary backroom team for championship campaign

Recently-retired Tipperary defender Paul Curran has accepted a position on manager Eamon O’Shea’s backroom team for the championship summer.

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Shoulder injury in club game may rule Lorcan McLoughlin out for rest of season

Cork half-back Lorcán McLoughlin may miss the rest of the season following an injury sustained in a club game on Sunday night.

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Ger Cunningham hails Darragh O’Connell impact

Dublin manager Ger Cunningham has confirmed that former Kerry star Darragh O’Connell is in contention for a Leinster SHC debut against Galway on Sunday week, May 31.

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Pa O’Callaghan Ballyhea’s talisman

Ballyhea 1-19 Blackrock 0-11: A great day for Ballyhea yesterday in Fermoy, as the men in black and white enjoyed a comprehensive win over Blackrock in this first round Cork county senior hurling championship game.

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Conor Lehane again the key as Midleton motor on

Midleton 0-20 Killeagh 2-8: The outcome was the one most predicted, but not with the ease expected from Midleton in this Cork senior hurling championship first-round game in Castlemartyr yesterday.

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Ian McDonnell leads Na Piarsaigh blitz with goal hat-trick

Na Piarsaigh 5-13 Youghal 0-12: Ian McDonnell scored a hat-trick of goals as Na Piarsaigh ensured that their passage to round four of the Cork Senior Hurling Championship was relatively straightforward at Cloyne on Saturday evening.

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Seamus Callanan’s late free salvages draw for Drom Inch

Match of the day in a busy weekend of divisional senior hurling championship games was the Mid Tipp clash of county champions, Thurles Sarsfields and divisional title-holders, Drom-Inch at Holycross yesterday.

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Paul Murray strikes winner as Cappoquin pip Lismore

A last-gasp Paul Murray point pinched victory for Cappoquin over local rivals Lismore at Ballyduff last night (2-16 to 2-15). It represented an amazing turnaround for Ger Manley’s men after their 23-point defeat to Mount Sion last weekend.

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Newtownshandrum down Sarsfields, roll back years in 56-point epic

Newtownshandrum 0-29 Sarsfields 0-27 (AET): Newtownshandrum rolled back the years in Fitzgerald Park, Fermoy yesterday, sending favourites and current champions Sarsfields down the route of the losers’ rounds of the Cork SHC after this epic extra-time first round victory.

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Pride of the Bride prevails over Bishopstown

Bride Rovers 3-18 Bishopstown 0-25 (after extra- time)
Supporters streaming onto the field, management personnel embracing; easily told how much this first round win meant to the hurling folk of Rathcormac and Bartlemy.

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Conor Cusack: More than a Yes man

These are busy times for Conor Cusack in the sporting arena and beyond but he is rising to the challenge with his customary passion, writes Kieran Shannon.

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Cork SHC club-by-club form-guide

BALLYHEA

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Tallow edge neighbours Ballyduff in Western derby

Tallow 2-15 Ballyduff Upper 1-13: Tallow backed up last week’s draw against De La Salle with a win over neighbours Ballyduff Upper in a fiercely disputed Western derby at Lismore last night.

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Ex-Kilkenny captain Eddie O’Connor condemns mandatory blood-testing

Former Kilkenny All-Ireland hurling captain Eddie O’Connor has castigated plans for mandatory blood-testing of GAA players, stating that if it becomes mandatory players will have to paid as professionals.

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Changes to penalty rule, wide of the mark, says Dublin’s Ryan

The GAA has erred in altering the penalty rule for hurling, according to Dublin’s Paul Ryan who believes there was a considerably easier and better means of solving what had become a thorny issue for the association.

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Conor McGrath a doubt for Clare’s clash with Limerick

Clare sharpshooter Conor McGrath has emerged as a major doubt for their Munster hurling championship opener against Limerick on May 24, due to a hamstring injury.

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Team comes first as Anthony Nash happy to pass on penalty duties

Anthony Nash will always be remembered for the role he played in revolutionising penalties in hurling, but the Cork goalkeeper has gone on record to say that he couldn’t care if he never took one again.

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TJ Ryan confirms David Breen Limerick injury blow

Limerick’s David Breen has been ruled out of action until the start of July, meaning the Na Piarsaigh man will miss the Munster SHC semi-final against Tipperary should the county see off Clare on May 24 in the provincial opener.

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