*Clare’s Cathal Malone. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
CLARE’S starting team for Saturday’s All-Ireland SHC semi-final shows no changes from the team which lined out in their quarter-final win over Wexford.
Positional switches are expected to the announced Clare team with late changes also possible within Brian Lohan’s side. Rory Hayes is retained at corner back alongside Conor Cleary and Paul Flanagan with Cian Nolan missing out in his bid to secure a starting jersey.
While David Fitzgerald and David Reidy are named at midfield, they are set to play in attack with Cathal Malone and Ryan Taylor dropping back to the middle third.
Captain Tony Kelly is listed at centre forward and is expected to be featuring around this area of the field compared with his predominantly inside line based role against Wexford.
Lohan and his management team are opting for a more physical impact off the bench with Robin Mounsey who started all of Clare’s provincial games except the Munster Final not included in the matchday twenty six. Domhnall McMahon of Michael Cusacks is included at his expense with Aron Shanagher also pressing for inclusion following his contribution of 1-02 from the bench a fortnight ago.
Having returned to action and contact training, last year’s Young Hurler of the Year nominee, Aidan McCarthy has not made the cut to make the bench in Croke Park for Saturday’s semi-final.
Brian Cody has made two switches to the Kilkenny team which defeated Galway in the Leinster final. Padraig Walsh and Conor Browne enter the fray with Richie Leahy and Conor Fogarty making way. Browne is expected to be picking up Ryan Taylor.
O’Loughlin Gaels trio Paddy Deegan, Huw Lawlor and Mikey Butler form part of the Cats’ defence with goalkeeper Eoin Murphy viewed as a potential match-winner by pundits. Cillian Buckley, Walter Walsh and Richie Hogan are included among the Kilkenny substitutes.
Sources down Noreside have suggested that Cody is considering playing TJ Reid in the full-forward line along with Eoin Cody to serve as a major goal threat. In the named outfit, the Ballyhale Shamrocks pair are down to start in the half-forward line but Reid is tipped to swap with Martin Keoghan.
Fergal Horgan of Tipperary is the match referee for Saturday’s semi-final which starts at 5:30pm.
1: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)
2: Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)
3: Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
4: Paul Flanagan (Ballyea)
5: Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
6: John Conlon (Clonlara)
7: David McInerney (Tulla)
8: David Fitzgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona)
9: David Reidy (Éire Óg)
10: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
11: Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
12: Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
13: Ian Galvin (Clonlara)
14: Peter Duggan (Clooney/Quin)
15: Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin)
16: Éamonn Foudy (Inagh/Kilnamona)
17: Páidí Fitzpatrick (Sixmilebridge)
18: Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
19: Shane Meehan (Banner)
20: Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg)
21: Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
22: Darragh Lohan (Wolfe Tones)
23: Cian Nolan (Smith O’Briens)
24: Jack Browne (Ballyea)
25: Domhnall McMahon (Michael Cusacks)
26: Mark Rodgers (Scariff)
1: Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)
2: Mikey Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels)
3: Huw Lawlor (O’Loughlin Gaels)
4: Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan)
5: Michael Carey (Young Irelands)
6: Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
7: Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
8: Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
9: Conor Browne (James Stephens)
10: Eoin Cody (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
11: Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
12: TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
13: Billy Ryan (Graigue Ballycallan)
14: Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan)
15: Cian Kenny (James Stephens)
16: Darren Brennan
17: Conor Delaney
18: David Blanchfield
19: Darragh Corcoran
20: James Maher
21: Cillian Buckley
22: Alan Murphy
23: Walter Walsh
24: John Donnelly
25: Richie Leahy
26: Richie Hogan