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*Brian O’Connell. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE’S MINOR hurling manager is hopeful his charges will make the most of home advantage by benefitting from a large Banner support on Tuesday evening.

Brian O’Connell’s minors face Kerry in O’Garney Park, Sixmilbridge in the Munster quarter-final with Tipperary and Cork already waiting in the wings at the last four stage.

A commanding display from Clare whereby they defeated Waterford 1-22 1-08 saw them get their campaign back on track following a six point loss to Tipperary. “I knew that we would learn a lot and that the game against Tipperary last week would stand to the lads and that told true. There was a lot more composure, they had a lot more belief in themselves and to be honest, I thought that they were outstanding at times,” O’Connell remarked of their impressive bounce-back.

“We know what they’re about and we know what they can do and obviously we reflected upon last week’s performance and basically asked the players what happened and how they felt when the goals went in against Tipperary. They gave us all the answers that night and did so again on the field this evening and we’re really delighted with that performance,” the Shannon man added.

Improvements are visible, the former Clare captain observed. “Obviously there’s still plenty of things to improve on but were progressing which is the most important thing. To be honest, I wasn’t one hundred per cent certain what to expect the first day. They’re only 16 years of age at the end of the day so we didn’t really know what we were going to get but they bounced back well today which is a great trait and they wanted to perform back in Ennis.

Another factor that can make a difference is the Clare support, he maintained.“I hope that even more people will come out and support us because it makes a real difference when you’re playing at home and get a strong backing. And hopefully that will add to the momentum of hopefully getting to a semi-final”.

Clare:
1: Mark Sheedy (Sixmilebridge)

2: Eoghan Gunning (Broadford)
3: Fionnan Treacy (Éire Óg)
4: John Cahill (Clooney/Quin)

5: Sean McMahon (Smith O’Briens)
6: James Hegarty (Inagh/Kilnamona)
7: Fiachra Ó Braoin (Sixmilebridge)

8: Matthew O’Halloran (Sixmilebridge)
9: Diarmuid Stritch (Clonlara)

10: Michael Collins (Clonlara)
11: Jack O’Neill (Clooney/Quin)
12: James Organ (Corofin)

13: Sam Scanlan (Clooney/Quin)
14: Oisin Whelan (Clarecastle)
15: Cian Neylon (Kilmaley)

Subs:
16: Oisin O’Rourke (Wolfe Tones)
17: Aaron Moroney (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
18: Piaras Ó Sé (Ruan)
19: Dylan Keane Hayes (Kilmaley)
20: Eoin O’Regan (Éire Óg)
21: Frankie Lyons (Ruan)
22: Eoin Lahiffe (St Josephs Doora/Barefield)
23: Fred Hegarty (Inagh/Kilnamona)
24: Fionn Hayes (Sixmilebridge)

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