Little space afforded by either Marian Quaid and Becky Foley. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
THERE’S MORE than one Shannonside derby this weekend, with the camogie clash of Clare and Limerick to entertain GAA followers this Saturday when the neighbours clash in the Munster senior championship semi-final, a game that will open proceedings at the TUS Gaelic grounds where the throw in is 4.30p.m.
It’s a curtain raiser to the eagerly awaited Munster senior hurling championship clash of Clare and Limerick which will have a 7p.m. throw in and for which a full house is expected.
According to Clare manager John Carmody “this is a huge opportunity for the girls to show their skills. Munster has become a particularly important championship since the camogie authorities and the GAA have joined forces to showcase the game by having the fixtures as curtain raisers to the hurling games”.
Like all Clare versus Limerick clashes in recent times, it’s expected to be a close affair. “We met in the league last year and we got two points in injury time to win by two. Limerick beat Clare twice in 2021. It’s likely to be a typical Clare Limerick game with little between them on the day”, Kilmaley clubman Carmody said.
Clare’s hopes have been boosted by the news that both Aoife Keane and Eimear Kelly will be available for this one. Keane missed the entire league campaign due to injury while Kelly only played part of their last league game. Both are experienced and talented players and their availability is a huge boost to a side that will be jointly captained by Claire Hehir and Niamh O’Dea.
Truagh/Clonlara’s Michelle Powell has been ruled out of this one due to a knee injury suffered last week.
Satutrday’s game starts a busy period for the Clare side which is eager to get back to the Munster final and hopefully go a step further than last year when they lost the provincial decider to Cork after two periods of extra time. Cork play Waterford in their first round game with the winners facing Tipperary in the semi-final.
The Munster championship is a separate competition to the All-Ireland championship which, for Clare, begins with an away fixture against Down on June 3 before they enjoy home advantage against Galway and Cork, two of the favourites for national honours.
For now, the focus is on Saturday’s meeting with Limerick in the Munster semi-final. Clare boss Carmody is, understandably, excited about the prospect of seeing the teams playing in front of a big attendance which he believes is a huge boost for the game.
A Clare win would not only be great for the game in Clare but it would be a huge boost for Banner followers ahead of the Clare hurlers meeting with defending All-Ireland champions Limerick.