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The Jack Daly cup will be presented to the winners of the 2020 Clare SFC. Pic by John Kelly

Clare Senior Football Semi-Final Preview: Kilmurry Ibrickane v Lissycasey

This one is a quintessential case of experience vs youth as a seasoned Kilmurry Ibrickane outfit who are well accustomed to this stage of the championship go up against a Lissycasey side who are relative newcomers to these heights.

Both have come through their respective campaigns unbeaten with Lissycasey taking down Cratloe after an extra-time battle in the opening round before grinding out a workman like performance in getting over neighbours Kilmihil.

John Ryan’s outfit also have the benefit of another real test in the lead up to this tie as they went all the way to penalties against Doonbeg in the O’Gorman Cup semi-final, and that is something which will have stood to Lissycasey because they are going to be tested to the limit once more this weekend.

Kilmurry come into this weekend having taken down two of their fellow frontrunners for the championship with an impressive win over 2019 champions Miltown before a blistering start saw them send out Eire Óg crashing out of the race for Jack Daly.

The Bricks will have to plan without one of their key men as Martin McMahon misses out due to suspension. It will mean a reshuffling in defence with the former county man having made the sweeper role his own over the last few years.

Lissycasey have injury concerns coming into this tie with county star Conor Finnucane and Matt O’Shea being listed as doubtful at the moment. Much of their scoring burden will be carried by the promising Aaron Griffin with Kilmurry likely to designate Mark Killeen to picking him up.

The emergence of Daniel Walsh and David Sexton in this year’s campaign has been a major positive for Kilmurry, while Aidan McCarthy, Dermot Coughlan and Keelan Sexton are now well into the established phase of their development. That youthful dynamic added to the experience of the likes of Darren Hickey, Enda Coughlan, Shane Hickey and captain Michael Hogan gives Kilmurry an extra and deadly threat.

It is a Lissycasey forward line with plenty by way of pace and power with Mikey O’Neill’s movement and Niall McCarthy’s influence providing plenty for the Kilmurry defence to consider. There is also a strong half back line with Oisín Hanrahan and Brian Cahill flanking Seamus Collins.

Experience is so often the key factor and with that added youth to the unlimited know-how at Kilmurry’s disposal, it should be enough to see them back into the decider.

Verdict: Kilmurry Ibrickane

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