*Ciaran Downes is the main attacking threat for Kilmihil. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Kilmihil will begin their championship campaign on this Sunday with a number of players who have played no competitive games with the club this year.
Ciaran Downes and Dan Keating missed the club’s league campaign due to their involvement with the Clare senior side while Gavin Downes was part of the Clare under 20 squad. In addition, midfielder David Lernihan hasn’t played a game yet this year due to injury.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Kilmihil manager, Gerry Downes outlined, “The hurlers, Stan Lineen and Marty O’Leary play with Ballyea while Gearoid O’Grady is with Kilmaley didn’t play a huge amount in the league.
“We have a bit of an indifferent league campaign. In addition to inter county commitments, we had a couple of guys who missed out due to injury and they were all a huge loss to us during the league”,
They face neighbours Lissycasey this weekend in the opening round and Downes said they are targetting progression from the group. “The best game we played last year was in the quarter final in Cusack Park and if we can bring that form to Sunday’s game then we will be in with a chance. When you get to Cusack Park you have to perform,” he stressed.
Kilmihil finished third in their group last year and then beat Doonbeg in a play off for a quarter final place where they narrowly lost out to finalists Kilmurr Ibrickane.
It is now forty two years since their only success in the senior championship (1980). A win over their neighbours Lissycasey would be the ideal start to this year’s campaign. In meetings of the sides in recent times, Lissycasey have held the upperhand but Kilmihil supporters are confident that their side can challenge strongly for honours this year.
Management: Gerry Downes (manager), Timmy Ryan, Philip Ryan, Colm O’Gorman.
Key Player: Ciaran Downes
One to Watch: Gavin Downes
Fresh Blood: Mark Normoyle; Sean Cafferkey
Departures Gate: Johnny Sullivan, Philip Ryan
Titles won: 1 (1980)
Last season’s run: Qualified from group in third spot and then beat Doonbeg in play off to earn quarter final place where they lost by a goal to Kilmurry Ibrickane
Round 1 v Lissycasey
Round 2 v Cratloe
Round 3 v St Josephs, Doora/Barefield