*David Gough continues as joint captain of the Killaloe outfit. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

It’s eleven years since the last intermediate champion fell straight back down from senior and it’s that bounce of momentum that Tony Gleeson is hoping can fuel Smith O’Brien’s first taste of top flight championship action in nine years.

“There are only a handful of lads that have played senior before so for the new lads to senior, it’s going to require a major lift in intensity. It will definitely be a rude awakening in the first ten or 15 minutes of their first game of the sheer intensity of senior championship hurling. We’ve obviously played senior teams in the Clare Cup but it’s a completely different story when it comes to championship fare.

“The attitude has been brilliant though. The lads were mad for road from the start of the year and initially I wondered did I bring them back too early but less than two months after that Munster Quarter-Final, they were eager to go again because they knew that there was a lot of work to do before they were ready for the first round of a senior championship.

“We targeted specific games in the Clare Cup and it was the first year that we were down Mikey Gough and Cian Nolan for practically the entire Clare Cup so it was good to see the lads were well able to hold their own even without the two lads.”

Tipperary native Gleeson is quietly confident that Smith O’Brien’s have progressed sufficiently to be able to cope with anything that this group can throw at them. However, injuries worries regarding county senior Mikey Gough (ankle), John Cusack (groin), Cathal Stritch (knee) allied to their new surroundings just makes their initial start against Wolfe Tones that bit more anxious.

“Inagh-Kilnamona are the team on everyone’s lips as they performed so well last year and have a constant conveyor belt of talent so they are probably the one team in the group that the others will fear a bit. But we’ll all have a lash at each other and it could well come down to injuries or a bit of luck to decide things in this group.

“I just want the first quarter to go right for them because Wolfe Tones have been up a good few years so they obviously know what to expect. It will be interesting to see how it goes and hopefully our inexperience at senior level won’t count against us. But once they’re in the game and battling hard, they’ll be fine.”

Management: Alex Simpson (Manager); Tony Gleeson, Aaron Devane (Coaches); Brendan Foley (Selector); Danielle McInerney, Nicole Foley (Stats); Alex Lawlor (Physio)
Joint Captain: David Gough, Cian Nolan
Key Player: Cian Nolan
One to Watch: Eddie Bourke
Fresh Blood: Shane Geraghty, Ben Murnane
Departures Gate: None
Titles Won: 1
Most Recent Title: 1887
Last season’s run: They weren’t amongst the clear favourites but emerged as a powerful force to blitz chief rivals Tulla and St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield on their way to senior for the first time since 2013.

Related News

gerard gunning
Ennis plumber pleads guilty to careless driving causing death of Broadford GAA coach
STC Courtyard picture (1)
Shannon Town Centre to celebrate local hurling stars with big screen event
hotel room 1
Connemara man jailed for 'vicious' Shannon hotel room assault on girlfriend where victim lost two front teeth
shannon free zone industrial estate
Final design released for N19 Shannon Airport access road
Latest News
clare v cork 28-04-24 niall o'leary mark rodgers 1
The Water Break: Start as you mean to go on to decide whether Clare or Cork are All-Ireland champions
11-160A7188
Devo comes out of retirement to pen Banner ballad for All-Ireland final
gerard gunning
Ennis plumber pleads guilty to careless driving causing death of Broadford GAA coach
clare v tipperary 26-05-24 shane o'donnell 3
Everything has changed since 2013 for star man O'Donnell
donie fitzpatrick medal
Stories behind medals of Clare's 1914 heroes captivates attention 110 years on
Premium
clare v tipperary 26-05-24 shane o'donnell 3
Everything has changed since 2013 for star man O'Donnell
donie fitzpatrick medal
Stories behind medals of Clare's 1914 heroes captivates attention 110 years on
barry murphy family 1
Ex Clare hurler Barry outnumbered in Murphy household but confident of getting bragging rights
clare v cork 04-02-24 david reidy 2
Clare's use of the ball 'key' to All-Ireland final outcome - Reidy
tadhg nagle amy colleran 1
Quin's Amy will cheer on Clare among a sea of Red in Croke Park

Subscribe for just €3 per month

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.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

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.

Scroll to Top