Clare camogie followers are still talking about the excitement the drawn county senior final generated two weeks ago and all are confident that this Saturday’s replay will result in another hugely exciting contest.
Opinions amongst Clare players and mentors are divided as to who will be taking home the McMahon Cup on Saturday evening but all are in agreement that this will be another extremely close affair.
Inagh/Kilnamona and Clare captain Clare Hehir says nominating a winner is “a tough question as they look to be two evenly balanced teams. Scariff/Ogonnelloe will rue missed chances in the first half in the drawn game. The fact that they came back from four points down in injury time shows the character and strength that is in the team”.
Clare is busy putting the final touches to Inagh/Kilnamona’s preparations for the 2020 Munster club final which takes place on this Sunday when they take on Drom&Inch from Tipperary at Kileedy in Limerick at 12.30p.m.
Looking at the Clare decider, Hehir believes that “Scariff/Ogonnelloe will prevail this time as they have the greater experience. That said Truagh/Clonlara have the ability to be really threatening up front and they will have got over the nerves of appearing in their first county final which should benefit them”. She believes that Mairead Scanlan could prove the key player in Saturday’s replay and described the Clare championship as “one of the best in Munster and this can only mean good things for Clare camogie”.
Dual star Niamh O’Dea backs Truagh/Clonlara to win their first Clare senior title. “They have a lethal forward line which really clicked in the second half in the drawn game and they will need to deliver that type of performance from the start this week. They were very slow to start the last day and Scariff missed a number of chances”.
“These are good times for Clare camogie. There are loads of players who are knocking on the door for inclusion in the county squad and it’s great to see them putting their hands up for selection. The younger players stood out in the drawn final,” she said.
The Kilfenora native who plays her club camogie with Kilmaley believes that “a lot of the hype that goes with county final day will have worn down a bit this week and if Truagh/Clonlara can shake off the nerves, it will benefit them. I think that they will just about get over the line this week”.
Joint Clare manager, Conor Dolan admitted to being impressed with the standard of this year’s campaign. “This is a very difficult one to call. Truagh/Clonlara never got going in the first half in the drawn game and the goal they scored before half time kept them in the tie. They cut loose in the second half and if they can get a good start this week, they will be fancying their chances”.
That said the Meelick man acknowledged the experience of Scariff-Ogonnelloe. “They were Munster club champions a few years ago. This is very close to call. The shock of appearing in a first county final is over and done with for Truagh/Clonlara. They are two evenly and well balanced sides and anything can happen. A minor thing can swing the initiative one way or the other. Free taking could prove vital on the day. Teams will have to take their chances as a missed free on either side could sway this one”, he said.
“This is super for Clare camogie. There are massive numbers challenging for places on county panels. I won’t be surprised if this replay requires extra time. Its very hard to call and it could go either way,” Dolan concluded.