*Peter Duggan is fouled by Mikey Casey. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

WHITEGATE’s Andrew Fahey is well positioned to offer a view on how the Munster championship meeting of Clare and Limerick will proceed on Sunday.

A former member of the Clare panel, he has filled the goalkeeper’s role for Clare at all levels from under age to senior. He is currently a member of the Clare under 20 backroom team filling the role of goalkeeping coach while he has been busy in recent seasons coaching a number of teams at Scariff Community College.

“Both these teams have given us so many thrillers in recent times. Clare go into Sunday’s game on the back of a good league campaign while Limerick are chasing history. It’s set up for a great game. There won’t be much between them, probably another one score game”, he said this week.

Given that there will be a change in format for next year’s league, Fahey believes that “securing one’s status in this season’s campaign was the primary goal for the teams involved. Clare’s clash with Kilkenny in the final was the perfect preparation for the championship. They knew they had a two week gap to the championship and the fact that they were unlikely to meet again ‘til the latter stages of the All-Ireland race was the perfect preparation for the Munster campaign”.

The Whitegate clubman noted that “Clare and Limerick have placed a lot of emphasis this year on building a big squad. They have given valuable game time to many young players such as Keith Smyth, Cian Galvin and Shane Meehan to mention some. Limerick have done the same. Both managements are awaiting news on the fitness of some established players. If they have them available it will be great but if not they will go with the next man up”.

Commenting on the possibility of Clare having to face the defending champions without Tony Kelly, Andrew said “Tony is a fantastic player and no one will try harder than himself to be ready. Clare have had to play without him to date this year. There has been a big focus on building a panel and they have found new players while it’s great to have Shane O’Donnell back”.

Andrew Fahey. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Asked to predict the outcome he replied, “this is a hard one to call. Games between them in recent times have had everything, they have played phenomenal hurling and provided great entertainment. Of course I’m hoping for a Clare victory which would kick start the summer. Clare are in a good position and it would be great to get one over on our neighbours”.

Defeat for either side won’t be a major setback to Clare or Limerick so far as championship hopes in 2024 are concerned, he believed. “Last year Clare played Tipperary in the opening tie and lost but six days later they went to the Gaelic grounds and won Whatever the outcome on Sunday, previous experiences for both will have them ready to go again a week later. Squads are there to deal with these types of situations”.

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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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