TITLE holders Clare, who have made it through to the knock-out stage of the Oscar Traynor competition, will go into their final group game against Roscommon on Sunday without their captain Stephen Kelly.
The Newmarket Celtic junior international suffered a leg injury when helping his club to victory over Aungier Celtic from Dublin in the FAI Junior Cup last week and the injury is likely to keep him out of action until the new year.
Clare manager Donie Garrihy hopes to have forward Dave McCarthy available for Sunday’s game. Like Kelly, he missed last Sunday’s Munster Junior Cup tie with Newmarket, ruled out due to ’flu, but Clare boss Garrihy is confident that he will be fit for Sunday’s contest. Tulla’s Darragh Corry has been out of action for a number of weeks and will again be an absentee on Sunday.
While Clare have already qualified for the next phase in this competition, they want to top the group and for this to happen, they need a draw or a win over Roscommon on Sunday.
The Connacht side can take top spot with a win, while Galway still have a chance of making the play-offs, which they can do with a win over Mayo and defeat for Roscommon.
“We are on six points, Roscommon are on four and Galway are on one. A win or a draw will see us go into the quarter-finals but if we are beaten, we will be in the last 16 and this will mean an extra game.
“We want to take the direct route to the quarter-finals. As Roscommon have to avoid defeat to qualify, we are expecting them to travel to Ennis with a strong squad. They have been working on this project for two years with their management and coaches.
“It’s up to Denis Hynes, David Russell and myself as a management team to be clued in for this one,” Clare boss Donie Garrihy said.
By sports editor Seamus Hayes