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Clare's Tony Kelly, who could receive his fifth All Star, which would place him top of the Banner leaderboard, just ahead of his manager Brian Lohan and Jamesie O’Connor. Photograph by John Kelly

Banner wary of Capital threat in Limerick


All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final
Clare v Dublin
at TUS Gaelic Grounds Limerick, Saturday 4pm (Johnny Murphy, Limerick)

Not since Tony Kelly made his senior debut and Anthony Daly enlisted and drilled the Dubs through the narrow streets of Ennis have the counties met at championship level, an 11-year gap that makes the challenge all the more novel.
However, last year’s post-Munster Final flatness should be sufficient to prevent another hangover while the unknown entity should equally steele Brian Lohan’s side from any complacentiy either as Clare enter a new phase of their development.
It would be easy to wallow in self-pity over the injustices and missed opportunities of a second successive provincial final reverse to Limerick a fortnight ago but in reality while it was a bitter pill to swallow as the Banner craved silverware much more than their hosts, they still have a major point to prove following last year’s lacklustre All-Ireland series.
Having not experienced the excessive toll that the round robin series can exert since 2018, it was new ground for this management team that will have been rectified over the past twelve months while the squad depth has also deepened from 2022.
Injuries for Conor Cleary and Aidan McCarthy allied a fresh-faced Dublin, eager to impress new manager Micheál Donoghue whose Galway roots made him acutely aware of Clare’s arsenal, are also worrisome aspects to contend with on Saturday afternoon in another packed house in the Gaelic Grounds.
Perhaps the venue is most significant though as while Dublin have only lost one championship tie so far in 2023 and that a six point reverse to Leinster champions Kilkenny, one would have to go back 12 years since their last All-Ireland Senior Quarter-FInal win, again under Daly, while it’s a whopping 17 years since Dublin last played a championship tie in Limerick HQ.
Consequently, the mere fact that this is Clare’s third tie in the Gaelic Grounds over the past eight weeks alone gives them an additional edge in terms of familiarity that coupled with their greater experience and motvational edge, provide enough evidence for victory over their Donal Burke inspired opponents.

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