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72 hours after All-Ireland final loss, two Clare footballers returned to club hurling action last night

Ballyea’s Pearse Lillis and David Egan took to the field again last night.

Pearse Lillis (right) in action for Ballyea against Cuala last Friday.
Pearse Lillis (right) in action for Ballyea against Cuala last Friday.

GETTING OVER ANY All-Ireland final defeat is difficult and the thought of championship action tends to be far from the minds of players in the immediate aftermath.

Yet for two Ballyea players who lost out in last Friday’s AIB All-Ireland club decider, there was another championship match to prepare for just over 72 hours later.

Last night Pearse Lillis and David Egan lined out in this year’s Clare U21 B hurling championship quarter-final in Gurteen, as Ballyea were defeated 5-4 to 2-11 by O’Callaghan Mills.

The U21 championship in Clare is traditionally run off in the spring with Ballyea returning to local matters after their heroics in reaching the St Patrick’s Day senior decider.

Lillis started at corner-forward and scored 0-2 in Croke Park against Cuala while Egan came on as a second-half substitute.

There were the only two players that saw game time last Friday who were eligible to play in the U21 match three days later. Other members of the Ballyea senior squad, unused in Croke Park, were also part of the U21 ranks.

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Ballyea team huddle The Ballyea team before throw-in at Croke Park last Friday. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

For Lillis and Egan, last night was the latest side they played for in what has already been a remarkably busy 2017 campaign.

Cooraclare native Lillis and Kilmihil club man Egan are both part of Colm Collins Clare senior football squad, playing in the Division 2 league triumph over Down on 12 February.

Aside from Ballyea’s exploits, they were also part of the Clare U21 squad with Egan featuring in their EirGrid Munster quarter-final defeat to Kerry, a game that Lillis missed due to injury.

And Lillis has also been involved in Sigerson Cup action, part of the UL side that reached the semi-finals of this year’s third-level Gaelic football competition.

Pearse Lillis and Paul White with Paul Mannion Pearse Lillis (left) in action for UL against UCD's Paul Mannion. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Clare senior footballers have two crucial games left in Division 2 of the Allianz football league, starting next Sunday away to Kildare in Newbridge and finishing with a home game against Meath in Ennis on 2 April.

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Fintan O'Toole

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