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Tough opening match for Banner County

ST Joseph’s, Doora-Barefield man Patsy Fahy will take charge of the Clare senior camogie team for the first time in a competitive game when they travel to Athenry on Sunday to play Galway in the opening round of this season’s national league.
Grouped with Galway, Dublin and Wexford, the Banner County squad have been handed a tough task against such experienced opposition.
“I will know a lot more on Sunday about what is ahead of us this year. Galway would be in the top four in senior camogie, along with Kilkenny, Cork and Tipperary, so we know that we have a difficult task but we have trained well and we are looking forward to the game,” Fahy said this week.
Clare will face their neighbours without Dee Corcoran, Aoife Ryan, Denise Lynch and Laura Linnane, who have indicated that they will not be playing this year.
“We will have a relatively young team on duty on Sunday but we also have some experienced players in the squad,” the team boss said this week.
These include Siobhán Lafferty, who is likely to be at full-back, Kate Lynch and Chloe Morey, who are expected to be in the half-back line, Deirdre Murphy, Shónagh Enright and Newmarket duo Sharon McMahon and Ruth Kaiser.
Fahy, whose backroom team includes Eamonn O’Loughlin (St Joseph’s), Catherine O’Loughlin (Kilnamona), Tom Hogan (Kilmaley) and Ger O’Halloran (Clooney-Quin) is impressed with the form of the young players.
“The minor team of the past few years has been very impressive and there are some great young players coming through. Eimear Considine is part of the squad, while the availability of Naomi Carroll is a huge addition to Clare camogie,” he said.
Cratloe girl Naomi Carroll has recently transferred from Limerick club Na Piarsaigh to Sixmilebridge and she has declared for Clare for the coming year.
Like all managers, Fahy has experienced difficulty in getting pitches for training, mainly due to the recent inclement weather conditions.
“We have a nice bit done but there have been a few interruptions due to a number of girls being involved in the Ashbourne Cup, while there have also been a few injury problems. There is no doubt but that we face a difficult task on Sunday but we are looking forward to the game. We will know a lot more about where we are after this match,” according to Fahy.
Clare will play Dublin on Sunday week and will have home advantage for their clash with Wexford a week later.

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