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AIDAN MCCARTHY’s return to action comes as a major boost to Clare as they switch their focus to the All-Ireland SHC semi-final with Kilkenny.

McCarthy sustained a broken bone in his leg in December in a workplace accident and has remained out of action for the subsequent seven months. He was an integral part of the Clare attack last year, his exploits saw him nominated for Young Hurler of the Year.

There was much to talk about for Clare hurling fans at the end of a weekend in which the county senior team qualified for the All-Ireland semi-final.

A weekend that started on a disappointing note as the minors failed narrowly to reach the All-Ireland final when going down to Offaly ended on a huge high as Aidan McCarthy saw action for the first time this season when returning to the playing field with his club Inagh/Kilnamona in the concluding round of the Clare Cup.

McCarthy was introduced for the second half for Eugene Cullinan’s charges playing his part in their 2-19 1-10 relegation decider against Cratloe.

His addition will be warmly welcomed by Brian Lohan as they prepare for a last four clash with Brian Cody’s Kilkenny on July 2nd in Croke Park.

Recent weeks have also seen David Reidy and Mark Rodgers return to action following knee injuries with Patrick O’Connor also back among the forty one man panel having recovered from an ACL injury. Injuries to Shane Meehan, Tony Kelly and Paul Flanagan from the Munster SHC final were also not as bad as initially feared.

Aron Shanagher, one of the stars of Saturday’s win over Wexford continued his impressive form when scoring three goals for his club Wolfe Tones.

Both McCarthy and Shanagher helped their clubs to avoid relegation which they were facing going into this round of games.

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