|Clare Senior Hurling Championship|
|Current season or competition:|
2021 Clare Senior Hurling Championship
|Irish||Craobh Iomána Sinsir Co. an Chláir|
|Trophy||Canon Hamilton Cup|
|No. of teams||16|
|Title holders||Sixmilebridge (15th title)|
|First winner||Smith O'Briens, Killaloe|
|Most titles||Newmarket-on-Fergus (23 titles)|
|Sponsors||Pat O'Donnell & Co.|
|Official website||Official website|
The Clare Senior Hurling Championship (known for sponsorship reasons as the Pat O'Donnell & Co. Senior Hurling Championship and abbreviated to the Clare SHC) is an annual hurling competition organised by the Clare County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association and contested by the top-ranking senior clubs in the county of Clare in Ireland. It is the most prestigious competition in Clare hurling.
Introduced in 1887 as the Clare Hurling Championship, it was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to senior-ranking club teams. The championship has gone through a number of changes throughout the years, including the use of a round robin, before reverting to a straight knockout format.
In its current format, the Clare Senior Championship begins once the Clare senior hurling team has been eliminated from the All-Ireland Championship, with 16 teams competing in the double-elimination tournament. Six rounds of games are played, culminating with the final match at Cusack Park in October. The winner of the Clare Senior Championship, as well as being presented with the Canon Hamilton Cup, qualifies for the subsequent Munster Club Championship.
The competition has been won by 22 teams, 18 of which have won it more than once. Newmarket-on-Fergus is the most successful team in the tournament's history, having won it 23 times. Sixmilebridge are the reigning champions.
Following the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884, new rules for Gaelic football and hurling were drawn up and published in the United Irishman newspaper. Over the following three years, county committees were established, with the Clare County Board holding their inaugural meeting on 14 February 1887. The inaugural championship saw 22 entrants with Smith O'Brien's claiming the title. Since then the championship title has been awarded every year except on nine occasions. No championship took place for a five-year period between 1891 and 1895 or in 1901. Civil unrest during the War of Independence resulted in the championship being suspended between 1920 and 1922.
The first 30 years of the championship were dominated by Tulla and O'Callaghan's Mills. They were the only two teams to win multiple titles during this period with both sides claiming 11 championships between them. Newmarket-on-Fergus dominated the period between 1925 and 1936 by winning six championship titles before Feakle claimed five of the 10 championships between 1935 and 1944. After winning their first title in 1948, the Jimmy Smyth-inspired Ruan club won a further four titles up to 1962. The next 20 years was dominated by Newmarket-on-Fergus who returned after a period in the doldrums to claim 13 titles between 1963 and 1981. The rest of the century saw Clarecastle and Sixmilebridge win 11 championship titles. Sixmilebridge continued their dominance by winning a further six titles in the first two decades of the 21st century, while there were also a number of first-time champions including Cratloe, Crusheen and Ballyea.
Round 1: Sixteen teams contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the eight pairings. The eight winning teams of these games advance directly to Round 3. The eight losing teams advance directly to Round 2.
Round 2A: The eight winning teams from Round 1 contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the four pairings. The four winning teams advance directly to the quarter-finals. The four losing teams advance to Round 3 where they are provided with a final chance to qualify for the knock-out stages.
Round 2B: The eight losing teams from Round 1 contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the four pairings. The four winning teams advance directly to Round 3. The four losing teams advance to the relegation play-offs.
Round 3: The four losing teams from Round 2A and the four winning teams from Round 2B contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the four pairings. The four winning teams advance directly to the quarter-finals. The four losing teams are eliminated from the championship.
Quarter-finals: Eight teams contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the eight pairings. The four winning teams advance directly to the semi-finals. The four losing teams are eliminated from the championship and enter the Clare Senior B Hurling Championship.
Semi-finals: Four teams contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the two pairings. The two winning teams advance directly to the final. The two losing teams are eliminated from the championship.
Final: The county final is contested by the two semi-final winners.
|Clonlara (2020 Senior B Champions)||2008|
|Éire Óg, Ennis||1990|
|Scariff (2020 Intermediate Champions)||1953|
|Wolfe Tones, Shannon||2006|
Fixtures in the opening rounds of the championship are usually played at a neutral venue that is deemed halfway between the participating teams. Some of the more common venues include O'Garney Park, Fr. Murphy Park and Wolfe Tone Park. Cusack Park also hosts several double-headers in the early rounds of the championship.
The final is regularly played at Cusack Park in Ennis. Named after the founder of the GAA, Michael Cusack, the ground had an original capacity of about 28,000 (mostly terraced), but following a 2011 safety review, the certified capacity was reduced to 14,864. In 2015 a major renovation started, this included the demolition and re-erection of the main stand and construction of a new entrance/exit at the north side of the stadium. Once completed in late 2017 the official capacity was increased to 19,000
Managers in the Clare Senior Championship are involved in the day-to-day running of the team, including the training, team selection, and sourcing of players. Their influence varies from club-to-club and is related to the individual club committees. The manager is assisted by a team of two or three selectors and a backroom team consisting of various coaches.
|John O'Meara||Sixmilebridge||3||2013, 2015, 2017|
|Michael Browne||Crusheen||2||2010, 2011|
|Tim Crowe||Sixmilebridge||2||2019, 2020|
|Pat O'Rourke||Wolfe Tones||1||2006|
The winning team is presented with the Canon Hamilton Cup. A native of Clonlara, County Clare, Michael Hamilton (1894-1969) was educated at Clonlara National School and St. Flannan's College in Ennis. He was ordained to the priesthood in Maynooth University in 1919 and later became a professor at St. Flannan's College. In 1922 he became one of the first chaplains in the Irish Army. Hamilton was a noted hurler in his youth and was chairman of the Clare County Board for over 25 years. He died while attending the Newmarket-on-Fergus and Clarecastle county final replay on 31 August 1969.
|1.||Newmarket-on-Fergus||23||1912, 1916, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1955, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 2012|
|2.||Éire Óg, Ennis||15||1956, 1957, 1966, 1980, 1982, 1990 |
|Sixmilebridge||1977, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020|
|4.||Clarecastle||11||1943, 1945, 1949, 1970, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2003, 2005|
|Tulla||1889, 1896, 1897, 1899, 1905, 1913, 1933, 2007|
|6.||O'Callaghan's Mills||8||1904, 1906, 1909, 1910, 1918, 1937 |
|7.||Feakle||6||1935, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1944, 1988|
|8.||Ruan||5||1948, 1951, 1959, 1960, 1962|
|Scariff||1907, 1917, 1946, 1952, 1953|
|St. Joseph's, Doora-Barefield||1954, 1958, 1998, 1999, 2001|
|Wolfe Tones, Shannon||1996, 2006|
|Smith O'Briens, Killaloe||1887|
|2017 (R)||Sixmilebridge||1-20 (0-19)||Clooney-Quin||1-14 (1-16)|
|2015||Sixmilebridge||1-21 (1-11)||Clonlara||0-15 (1-11)|
|2006||Wolfe Tones||2-11||Newmarket-on-Fergus 0-13|
|2004||Kilmaley||1-10||St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield||1-09|
|2001||St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield||1-15||Sixmilebridge||1-12|
|2000||Sixmilebridge||4-09||Éire Óg, Ennis||1-08|
|1999||St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield||3-12||Sixmilebridge||1-12|
|1998||St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield||Kilmaley|
|1997||Clarecastle||St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield|
|1994||Clarecastle||St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield|
|1992||Sixmilebridge||1-11||Éire Óg, Ennis||1-10|
|1990||Éire Óg, Ennis||O'Callaghan's Mills|
|1985||Kilmaley||Éire Óg, Ennis|
|1983||Sixmilebridge||Éire Óg, Ennis|
|1982||Éire Óg, Ennis||Sixmilebridge|
|1980||Éire Óg, Ennis||Newmarket-on-Fergus|
|1975||Brian Boru's (Bodyke / Killanena / Tulla)||Éire Óg, Ennis|
|1966||Éire Óg, Ennis||Whitegate|
|1965||Newmarket-on-Fergus||Éire Óg, Ennis|
|1959||Ruan||Éire Óg, Ennis|
|1958||St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield||Feakle|
|1957||Éire Óg, Ennis||Whitegate|
|1956||Éire Óg, Ennis||Clarecastle|
|1955||Newmarket-on-Fergus||Éire Óg, Ennis|
|1954||St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield||O'Callaghan's Mills|
|1887||Smith O'Briens, Killaloe|
The most successful team of each decade, judged by number of Clare Senior Hurling Championship titles, is as follows:
Top ten longest gaps between successive championship titles:
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