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The number of teams taking part in this season’s Clare senior football championship is back to twelve after Western Gaels decided this week not to participate in the competition.

Official confirmation of this decision is expected to be delivered to the county board this week.

Naomh Eoin, O’Currys and St. Senan’s Kilkee had indicated that they would be amalgamating to take part in the championship and they were included in the draw. They were drawn in Group 1 with St. Breckans, Éire Óg, Corofin and St. Josephs Miltown.

O’Currys and Naomh Eoin have struggled with numbers this season and recently O’Curry’s conceded walkovers to Corofin and Lissycasey in the Garry Cup. They, like their neighbours Naomh Eoin are operating from a small panel. Both will compete in the upcoming intermediate championship.

Meanwhile St. Senans, Kilkee, the only one of the three clubs that is fielding a second adult team which competes in the junior B league, will be taking part in the upcoming junior A championship.

From the outset it was specified that in the senior championship the amalgamation had to be in the group of five and that last year’s semi-finalists would be seeded with two going into the group of five.

When the draw was made initially two seeded teams were not put into the group of five which led to a re-draw days later.

Three teams were to progress to the quarter finals from the group of five with the top two in Groups 2 and 3 also progressing while the remaining quarter final place was to be decided by means of a play off between the third placed team in Groups 2 and 3.

Opinions are divided as to what should happen now with at least two clubs suggesting that the competition should be re-drawn with others claiming that all that needs to be decided is how the teams progressing to the quarter finals will be decided. The matter is likely to be discussed at the June meeting of the county board on Tuesday.

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