*Shane O’Donnell takes on Darragh O’Donovan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

WINNING the Allianz National Hurling League title could be “a blessing or a curse” for Clare’s hurlers, former Limerick hurler Niall Moran maintained.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, the Ahane native admitted, “As a Limerick supporter going to Ennis on Sunday five in a row is the furthest thing from my mind. Until I see the Limerick team that will take to the pitch, I can’t say how confident I will be”.

“If you take the form of recent weeks at face value then Clare will be favourites. Apart from the disappointment of losing the league semi-final, Limerick had a very good league, they blooded a lot of new players. The teams have been close in recent years,” the Ard Scoil Rís secondary school teacher stated.

Niall wondered if winning the Allianz National Hurling League was “a blessing or a curse for Clare. Brian (Lohan) must now decide does he stick or does he twist when it comes to naming the starting fifteen. From the team that started the league final, there are a number of players to come back in. Conor Leen, Cian Galvin and Darragh Lohan are just some of the new players who played in the league final. Had Clare lost that game they had ready-made replacements. If you go and lose you are the world’s worst. The selection decision could have a big bearing on the outcome”.

Ex Clare senior football captain, Gary Brennan has transferred to Niall’s club in Ahane this season and Moran said they are delighted to have the St Flannan’s PE and Irish teacher involved with them.

Moran stressed, “Brian and his management team have done an incredible job but they have got it wrong at critical times in the last few years so it’s a real stick or twist issue for them. John Kiely does tend to return to his tried and trusted”.

A Munster SHC winner in 2013, Niall admitted he has concerns in relation to the availability of some of the Limerick players for this game. “Dan Morrissey would be a huge loss if he is out. In his absence Limerick have been vulnerable at the back. He has been carrying an injury and he would certainly be a huge loss if he is ruled out”.

A past pupil of St Flannan’s College, Niall played hurling with the school at all grades up to and including the Dr Harty Cup. “We got a great education out there. Nowadays the Ard Scoil Rís catchment area is on the border and a third of our students come from Clare. For years we sent Limerick lads, including myself, to St.Flannan’s College and we got a great education out there. They are getting that now here at Ard Scoil Rís”.

“There is great excitement here in the school this week, great to hear lads on the corridors talking about the game. It’s great to have a staff member involved in Paul Flanagan who is on the Clare panel. It’s a real sign of the times in Limerick that a lot want to be hurling now. In Limerick City that was alien to us for a long time, heroes on both sides such as Diarmuid Ryan, Ian Galvin, Cian Lynch, the Caseys and Will O’Donoghue were in school here”.

Whether or not Limerick will retain the Munster title is something that Niall wasn’t prepared to comment on saying that he wasn’t “prepared to look beyond Sunday’s game or the one against Tipperary a week late. I am very wary of Cork this year. They are starting to win games. Look there is danger for both Clare and Limerick on Sunday. If they over invest it could cost them thereafter. Yes there will be big hype, both could make fools of us and we could see a one sided game. It’s just impossible to call and I would be lying if I called it. As I said at the outset until I see the Limerick team that will take to the pitch. I can’t say how confident I will be”.

A number of players have been injured and a number have not had enough game time. We haven’t seen enough of them as a unit this year”, said Niall who concluded, “it’s fair to say never have we been as evenly matched as in recent seasons”.

Related News

clare colleran molloy
Save Ennis Town supporters 'are bananas' claims sitting Cllr Colleran Molloy
tuam 1
Multi-million euro Athenry and Tuam projects to proceed to detailed design stage
killaloe md election debate 2
The Electoral Chair: Killaloe Municipal District election debate
lahinch beach 1
'Someone will drown in Lahinch unless more lifeguards are hired' warn Greens
Latest News
clare v cork 09-04-23 rory maguire emmet mcmahon 1
Clare welcome Cork to Ennis as they enter All-Ireland series
Draiocht healing May 16th Finding Your Tribe Image
Finding your Tribe
clare colleran molloy
Save Ennis Town supporters 'are bananas' claims sitting Cllr Colleran Molloy
tuam 1
Multi-million euro Athenry and Tuam projects to proceed to detailed design stage
killaloe md election debate 2
The Electoral Chair: Killaloe Municipal District election debate
Premium
clare v limerick minor 18-04-24 4
Minors inspired by Munster & All-Ireland success of 2023 - Corbett
pam o'loughlin 1
Pam O'Loughlin is back in election race but goes Independent
TMP_8741 paul murphy
Clarecastle rep Cllr Murphy apologises to those offended by remarks on elderly drivers
carmel kirby kevin corrigan pat dowling 1
Councillors claim cancelling of Ennis 2040 briefing was illegal & accuse Chief Exec of 'chasing Ministers'
rowan tree ennis
Abbey Hostel getting rid of Ukrainian residents & apply to house international protection applicants

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