*Sean Doyle. Photograph: Ruth Griffin

UNBEATEN in two outings, Bodyke are sitting top of Group 3 of the Clare intermediate hurling championship.

Fresh from defeating Ogonnelloe 0-18 2-11 in one of the most eagerly anticipated East Clare derbies of recent times, Bodyke are bracing themselves for another clash within their neck of the woods as Tulla are next on the agenda.

Former Clare U20 and minor hurling manager, Sean Doyle is in his first year in charge of his native Bodyke’s intermediate side.

Ten of the sixteen players that featured in their one point win against Ogonellloe lined out at minor level for the amalgamation of Bodyke/O’Callaghans Mills in the past two seasons. This added to the pride experienced by Doyle at the final whistle.

“I must say for a very young team and what we went through during the week with the amount of players we were down, we lost Sean Cooney just before the match because his grandfather became ill, Éanna Doyle played with an injured hand and we had a couple of more out there. We had ten players out there that came through the two minor teams over the last two years, it’s a work in progress, they’re probably not that good enough to win the championship yet but we’re trying to strive for the future”.

With ten months training under their belt, the former Garryspillane manager was adamant their preparation had strengthened them. “We started training last November with these lads, fitness is not going to be an issue, we got some great scores, the backs were very good and our goalkeeper was very good with his puckouts, our two corner backs including a first time championship debutant in Kieran Hickey and he did excellent, out the field Sean Wiley and Cathal McKenna rose to the occasion, our two boys in the middle of the field really dug into it and I must say I know he is my own lad but Seanie got some brilliant scores, Paddy Fitz was tied up a lot but he still caused fierce problems. We’re trying to work through and progress, there was nearly a thousand people here on a Sunday evening in Whitegate in a great sporting game, Ogonnelloe and myself had a good past and we often had battles, but that was a great game of hurling”.

Speaking on Scariff Bay Community Radio, he added, “It’s a tough group, Inagh/Kilnamona are still there but Tulla, Ogonnelloe and Bodyke isn’t it great to have three East Clare teams in it, I have to give credit looking out the field, Tiernan Slattery was very sick, he didn’t train all week, he is just a class act. We’ll hopefully get a couple of players back, we want go down without a fight anyway”.

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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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