*Cooraclare manager, Michael Garry. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Failure to win a game in the senior championship in 2021 led to Cooraclare being relegated to intermediate level. There are many examples of clubs who suffer a similar fate failing to get back up for some time. Indeed some clubs drop further down the ladder and end up back at junior level.

Cooraclare were determined that this would not happen. Their management team of Michael Garry (manager), Tom Queally, Michael Lillis, Paddy Keane and Niall Murphy with Martin Davis (S&C) which took charge in 2021 quickly confirmed that they would continue in their roles this year.

All are former players with the club and they have served in a variety of management roles for the club since their playing days came to an end.

Competing in Division 2 of the league they struggled a little in the early stages of that competition but winning three of their seven games kept them from dropping to Division 3 for next year.

To date, they are unbeaten in the championship and if they can manage to win on Sunday they will be back in senior ranks. In the championship they were grouped with Ennistymon, Banner and Kilfenora. They beat all three to qualify for a quarter final where they had to work hard to get over Naomh Eoin. This set up a meeting with Ennistymon and they repeated their earlier victory over the North Clare side to advance to Sunday’s final.

“We took it game by game and we never looked past our next game this season. Now the focus is on Sunday’s final when we face a massive battle. We are up against a team which has contested this final on a number of occasions in recent years while they were in the Cusack Cup (senior league) this year. They are a well seasoned team and we will have to be up for it if we are to win”, team manager Michael Garry said this week.

“Our focus is on Sunday’s final with Kildysart and nothing else. We want to get back up to senior ranks and a win on Sunday will see us do that. We are facing a big challenge. Kildysart are an experienced team and it will take a big effort to achieve victory. We will be focussing on that at training this week”, the manager added.

With the exception of Eoin O’Driscoll who suffered a collar bone injury recently, Cooraclare have a full panel from which to select Sunday’s team.

The Milesians will be looking to Pearse Lillis, Sean O’Donoghue, Brian McNamara, Micheal Garry, Jack Morrissey, Mark Tubridy, Padraig and Ciaran O’Donoghue to give them the upperhand in this one.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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