A crucial week for Clare inter-county teams begins on Saturday at Wexford Park, where the senior hurlers play Wexford in their qualifier first round replay.
Fortunate to have earned a draw at Cusack Park last week, when extra time failed to separate the teams, Clare will again put their All-Ireland title on the line.
They will have to do so without Shane O’Donnell (injured) and Podge Collins (suspended). The game has a throw-in time of 5pm and will be shown live on RTÉ television, with commentary on Clare FM.
Victory will see Clare in action again on Saturday week, when Waterford will provide the opposition at Thurles, while defeat will mark the end of their season.
Attention will then turn to the senior footballers for their first round qualifier meeting with Carlow at the Leinster side’s Dr Cullen Park. This tie will take place at 2pm on Sunday. Clare expect to have a full panel available, which means that Podge Collins is expected to be in the team.
Like the hurlers, a win will see Clare play in the next round a week later, the draw for which will be made on Monday next.
On Wednesday evening next, another bumper crowd is expected at Cusack Park for the provincial U-21 hurling semi-final, when the defending Munster and All-Ireland champions will take on Tipperary. The sides have met in the final for the past two years, with Clare victorious on both occasions.
By Seamus Hayes, sports editor