*Clare senior hurling manager, Brian Lohan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

BRIAN LOHAN has dropped four members of the Clare senior hurling panel ahead of Saturday’s All-Ireland SHC quarter-final versus Dublin.

Management made the move to cut their panel by four in the aftermath of the one point Munster Final loss to Limerick.

The Clare Echo understands that the decision was not taken due to disciplinary breaches and it was not influenced by budgetary constraints. The quartet are believed to have received phone-calls from the two-time All-Ireland winner early on Monday morning of last week.

Mike Gough from the Smith O’Briens club is among the players released from the panel. The Killaloe man who has represented UL in the Fitzgibbon Cup including a starting role last season and a more limited involvement this year due to injury, made his first appearance for the county seniors in the Munster Hurling League in 2022, coming on as a substitute in a five point win over Waterford.

Gough who played for Clare at minor and U20 level also featured for Lohan’s seniors in last year’s Allianz National Hurling League, coming on as a substitute in their 4-20 0-16 win over Offaly and playing the full seventy minutes at corner back in their final round clash against Galway where it finished 0-25 1-20 in favour of Henry Shefflin’s side. He had been an integral figure in Smith O’Briens winning the Clare IHC in 2021 and indeed his performances here caught the eye of Lohan and his selectors James Moran and Ken Ralph leading to his call up.

Killanena’s Ian Macnamara has also been let go from the senior panel. A starter at corner back for Terence Fahy’s Clare U20s for the past two seasons, Ian impressed in both campaigns, particularly the 2022 run where he stood out in narrow one and two points losses to Limerick and Cork respectively.

In December, Ian captained UL’s Freshers Hurlers to win an All-Ireland league title, he lined out at full-back and was one of eight Clare players to feature over the hour in the side managed by Cratloe’s Joe McGrath. The twenty year old had not featured in any matchday panel in league or championship for the Clare seniors since getting called up at the end of last year.

Oisin O’Donnell’s involvement on the county senior panel has come to an end, for this year. A Harty Cup winner with St Flannan’s College in 2020, Oisin also represented his county at minor and U20 level. He was a constant starter for Terence Fahy’s side in this year’s championship at wing-forward, finishing the campaign with a personal tally of 0-10 in their six championship outings. He had been introduced as a substitute in Clare’s two U20 championship games in 2022.

Similar to Macnamara, Oisin had not been part of any matchday panel for Lohan in league or championship since he was added to the panel last December. With his native Crusheen, Oisin has been a central figure for their senior side, he scored 1-04 from play in an outstanding display to defeat Smith O’Briens and ensure they were not part of the relegation battle in last year’s Clare SHC.

Gearoid O’Grady is the fourth panellist to have been dropped from the county senior panel. He played in this year’s National Hurling League, scoring a point when introduced as a substitute in their first round win over Westmeath but did not feature in any subsequent game. The Kilmihil native caught the eye of management with showings in the 2022 Clare SHC, particularly his movement off the ball in attack.

O’Grady was a vital member of the Kilmaley side to be crowned Clare Cup champions last season, despite only losing one game in the championship they did not progress out of the group in the championship. A former county minor, he has struggled with injuries since his addition to the senior panel.

Inagh/Kilnamona’s Sean Rynne has been added to the county senior panel. A former county minor captain, he played at midfield for Clare’s U20s this season and was a regular starter for his club’s senior team at corner forward in the 2022 Clare SHC. It had been expected that he would be added to Lohan’s panel before the 2024 season but he has linked up with the panel in the past two weeks.

Management are also understood to be keeping an eye on Clooney/Quin’s Jack O’Neill who like Rynne impressed for the U20s this year. The Rice College student has stood out for his club’s senior side managed by Tommy Corbett since Clare’s U20 Munster Final loss to Cork.

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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.

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