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Clare’s chances of making the semi-finals are up in the air

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*Niamh O’Dea somehow manages to hold onto the ball. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

Clare’s chances of progressing to the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football semi-finals rests predominantly in the hands of Kildare vs Laois but manager James Murrihy insists his side will remain focused on the task in hand.

Should Clare secure their second win in Group 4, it may not be enough to advance to the knockout stages as if Kildare collect their third win it will be sufficient to see the Lilywhites progress and subsequently bring an end to Clare’s year.

Fresh from watching his charges overcome Laois 5-07 1-11, manager James Murrihy outlined that they will keep concentrated on their own task this coming weekend. “Laois are a seasoned intermediate team, we have had battles with them and they’ll be playing Kildare in the final game so you never know what might happen. All we can do is take care of our own business, we did that satisfactorily, it was workmanlike outside of the first ten minutes. Even though the pitch is in good nick, the conditions are heavy and girls were getting tired towards the end but I’d have to be happy with the way we game managed. Last week we didn’t game manage properly but today we did”.

Pondering whether Laois will be good enough to upset Kildare would be a futile exercise, the Kilmurry Ibrickane clubman felt. “It’s a lovely sunny evening in Clonmel and is conducive enough to playing half-decent football but we don’t know what we’re going to get on Sunday, there’s weather and there is COVID in the mix. All we can do is control what we do and make sure we get back to training on Wednesday night, we’ll be keeping an eye on the fixture and hopefully Laois will make it a battle and bring it into last ten minutes”.

Recent training sessions have given Murrihy the view that the panel are beginning to hit the right note. “I would have to say that in the six or seven weeks that we’ve been back, Wednesday was the best training we had. The girls trained brilliantly on Wednesday and carried that into Friday which again is the sign of a good team that mentally we performed last Sunday bar the two or three silly mistakes, they were prepared to come and perform again today and I can’t credit them enough”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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