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As the Clare minor hurlers complete preparations for Saturday’s Munster championship clash with Cork, they have been dealt a massive blow with the news that Keith Smyth is out due to injury.

The Killanena clubman, a member of last year’s team, suffered a broken collar bone in a challenge game against Wexford two weeks ago.

“Like all counties, preparations have been difficult this year because of Covid 19. We were due to play Galway last weekend and this was to be the final test before Saturday’s game but we had to cancel due to the latest restrictions”, explained team manager Brian Coffey this week.

With a number of dual players in the squad, there were some players in isolation in recent weeks after an outbreak of the virus amongst the minor football team. “It was unfortunate for some players that they were missing at a critical point in the preparations but they are all back now”, the manager told The Clare Echo.

Amongst the dual players are Michael Nash, Josh Guyler, Cillian McGroary and Mark O’Loughlin.

Adam Hogan from Feakle will captain the minor team with Crusheen’s Oisin O’Donnell and Eire Og’s Jarlath Collins as joint vice captains.

Cork are the reigning Munster under 16 champions while Clare were crowned Provincial under 15 champions the previous year which all points to a lively contest on Saturday.

Saturday’s game has a throw in time of 1pm. and the winners will qualify for a Provincial semi-final against Limerick on Friday October 30 at Thurles at 6.30p.m. whereas it will be the end of the season for the losers as this is a straight knock out competition this year.

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