Kilkenny and Clare have provided many memorable hurling contests over the years and this Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final meeting of the counties is set to provide hurling followers with another intriguing clash.

It’s been sixteen years since the counties last met in the championship and, coincidentally, their meeting that year was also at the semi-final stage. Clare fans will be hoping that the result on this occasion will be different as Kilkenny won by eight points in 2006 in what turned out to be Anthony Daly’s final game in charge of the Banner county.

Despite losing to Galway and Wexford in the round robin section of the Leinster championship, Kilkenny go into this week’s All-Ireland semi-final as Leinster champions.

Clare suffered just one loss in the Munster round robin section but that was in the Munster final when the Banner side lost a truly memorable contest to Limerick after extra time.

On their way to this stage of the championship Clare have amassed a total of 7-157 while conceding 11-122 and the concession of eleven goals is something which is likely to worry Clare a little as they complete preparations for Saturday’s contest.

Kilkenny for their part have scored a total of 14-139 in their six championship games while conceding 4-113.

Tony Kelly leads the way in scoring with a total of 1-50 from Clare’s six games. David Fitzgerald has landed 2-15 while Peter Duggan has contributed 1-22. TJ. Reid has top scored for the Kilkenny man with 2-46 to his credit and he is followed by Adrian Mullen with 0-20 with Eoin Cody accounting for 2-11.

The last five championship meetings of the counties have seen Kilkenny with four wins while the teams drew in an All-Ireland quarter final in 2004.

Kilkenny boss Brian Cody is the GAA’s longest serving manager and this Saturday’s game will be his 22nd time in charge of his native county in an all-Ireland semi-final since he took over he role of manager in 1999. They have won sixteen, drawn one and lost four of his previous 21, a remarkable record.

This will be the eighth championship meeting between Clare and Kilkenny, with the Cats having won five to Clare’s one while there was one draw from the previous seven. Clare’s only win came in the 1997 All-Ireland semi-final.

The last competitive clash of the sides was in last season‘s Allianz league when Clare won on a scoreline of 4-20 to 1-25.

All Clare followers will be hoping that Banner manager Brian Lohan can maintain his 100% record against the Noresiders and lead his side into the All-Ireland final.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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