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Shane O'Donnell 'pretty cheesed off' at missing out on Clare's Munster U21 hurling opener

Clare take on Limerick tonight at the Gaelic Grounds.

Shane O'Donnell will be watching on tonight.
Shane O'Donnell will be watching on tonight.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

SHANE O’DONNELL IS ‘pretty cheesed off’ at missing out on Clare’s opening game tonight in the Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21 hurling championship.

Last year’s All-Ireland senior final scoring hero will watch on due to a hamstring injury as the Banner take on Limerick tonight at the Gaelic Grounds. He is also likely to miss the Clare senior side’s Munster semi-final on June 15th.

“He was pretty cheesed off,” admits Clare U21  joint-manager Gerry O’Connor. “It’s disappointing for him to miss out. But he’s been around us for the past week and a half. He’s more positive now and is working very diligently with the physios. But I can’t see him recovering in time for the senior semi-final.”

Hamstring injuries have also ruled Alan O’Neill and Cathal O’Connell, U21 starters last year, and emerging prospect Niall Deasy out of Clare’s plans. In addition attacker Peter Duggan has been battling illness.

“Peter has a virus,” revealed O’Connor. “He didn’t play in the first round of the Clare championship. He was up in Galway clinic on the Monday morning with suspected glandular fever.

“It’s not that now and the indications are that he’ll be fine. He’s pencilled in to start but we’ll have to see how he is after we do our warm up in Cusack Park before heading to the Gaelic Grounds.

“We’re left with only five players from last year’s starting team that won the All-Ireland. But we’ve a very strong panel. Those guys have been chomping at a bit, to be playing in a match of this proportion. It represents a huge opportunity for guys. This is what it’s  all about. U21 is a developmental phase for them.”

O’Connor is wary of their opponents tonight.

“Limreick will have got a boost from their senior’s winning last Sunday while Ardscoil Rís are dominant in underage schools hurling. The reality is at U21 level, it’s just so competitive.

“Look at last year, Kilkenny were raging hot favourites before losing to Wexford and then Antrim overturned Wexford. We have a number of players untried and untested at U21 level. The cauldron that is the Gaelic Grounds is a pretty intense place. There’ll be a big crowd there but we’re looking forward to it.”

Senior star Dowling to captain Limerick U21 team that includes 3 Munster minor winners

Allstars Kelly and Galvin to lead Clare U21 team but Shane O’Donnell is out injured

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