For the sixth year-in-a-row, Clare begin their Munster Senior Camogie Championship campaign against Cork.
On Sunday the Banner side will travel to the Cork camogie grounds to take on the Leesiders at 3pm. The same counties will also meet in the curtain-raiser, the first round of the junior championship.
If Clare’s task wasn’t hard enough, they face into Sunday’s game without team captain Orlaith Duggan, who is out with an achilles injury.
Acknowledging that it is a huge task, Clare manager Trish O’Grady noted, “Cork have been at the business end of both the Munster and All-Ireland championships for the last number of years. They were beaten in the recent league final and they won’t have been happy with their performance on that occasion, so they will be targeting an improved display this week”.
Apart from Duggan, Clare expect to have a full strength squad at their disposal. A number of the team that helped Clare get to the All-Ireland minor A final two weeks ago are in the running for places, including Ciara Doyle, Ciara Grogan, Áine O’Loughlin and goalkeeper Ciara McCarthy, who has been drafted into the panel as understudy to Lauren Solan.
Experienced players in the line-up include Chloe Morey, Máire McGrath, Niamh O’Dea and Newmarket siblings Roísín and Laura McMahon.
Over the last two years, the Clare management has introduced a number of young players to senior competition and officials will be hoping that the experience they have gained since being promoted will help them to cause problems for their more fancied opponents on Sunday.
“There is no doubt but that this is a tough challenge for Clare. This is our sixth year in-a-row facing them in the Munster championship and we are going into Sunday’s game on the back of a disappointing league campaign. We are facing a huge task,” O’Grady added.
Clare have been busy since the league finished. Their challenge for All-Ireland senior honours will begin on June 10.
By sports editor Seamus Hayes