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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 9 December, 2019

'I think it's in the rearview mirror from a Clare perspective' - The Banner are moving on

The focus turns to the Munster quarter-final against Limerick on 24 May for Clare.

The Clare squad suffered relegation when they lost their playoff against Kilkenny in Nowlan Park.
The Clare squad suffered relegation when they lost their playoff against Kilkenny in Nowlan Park.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

CONTROVERSY OVER THE departure of players from their panel.

The setback of suffering league relegation.

And the increase in pressure from fans and pundits alike as the championship engagements beckon.

2015 hasn’t been smooth sailing so far for the Clare hurlers but there is still hopeful anticipation from their opening Munster showdown against Limerick on 24 May.

Jamesie O’Connor, a decorated All-Ireland winner with the county, is confident that the time of crisis has passed and believes the Banner can take genuine encouragement from the league.

I think it’s in the rearview mirror from a Clare perspective. It was probably dead and buried until maybe the statement was released.

“That was maybe in hindsight something the management would look back on and say, ‘maybe we might have been as well off to leave sleeping dogs lie’. But by all accounts they’re working hard.

Davy Fitzgerald Clare hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“They played the U21′s a couple weeks ago, I think it was hot and heavy enough. It’s really again about that date the 24th of May.

“Funnily enough Clare will probably take more positives out of the league the way it finished and the form of key players in terms of (Shane) O’Donnell and (Tony) Kelly, than for example say Limerick could, than Galway could and maybe some of the other teams could.

So we’ll maybe be looking back on this hopefully in September saying it was a crazy start to the year.”

Conor Ryan and Gavin O'Mahony Clare and Limerick clashed in the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

O’Connor had no hesitation in assessing the significance of the game.

“Clare-Limerick is a massive game for both sides. Limerick had a very poor league but I think that game with Clare, they’ll be ready for it.

Whoever wins that game will have huge momentum going into the championship.

“In these guys minds, if you’re a Clare player, the 24th of May, that’s the day you’ve to be ready. It doesn’t matter how you’re going in March or how you’re going in April, it was the same when I was hurling, it’s the same now. That’s the date inked in the calendar.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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