*Siobhan Lenihan in action for the Clare Juniors. Photograph: Caroline O’Keeffe.
Clare’s Junior camogie side will not have the opportunity to conclude their All-Ireland campaign this year.
Over the weekend, the Camogie Association confirmed that the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate and Premier Junior Championships would be restructured. It followed a directive from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media surrounding the continuation of the inter-county championships in line with public health advice.
Subsequently, counties are only able to field one team in the All-Ireland competitions resulting in ten ‘second teams’ being eliminated including the Clare Juniors.
A spokesperson for the Camogie Association stated, “We appreciate that this news will come as a great disappointment to all players, management teams and volunteers involved with the teams affected, who have trained and prepared for many weeks to compete in this year’s competitions. These steps have been taken however to ensure compliance with Government direction and that our games can continue during the current COVID-19 restrictions across the island of Ireland”.
Joint manager of the Clare side, Ann-Marie McGann admitted, “It is not the way we expected our year to end. To say the girls are gutted is putting it mildly, but health comes first”.
Having recorded a first round win over Offaly, Clare were due to play Wexford last weekend where a victory would have sealed their place in the All-Ireland semi-finals for the second year in a row. The county panel had been training for the championship since January of this year.