By Seamus Hayes
Twelve members of Clare’s All-Ireland final replay starting line up have been named in the starting team to face Kilkenny at Cusack Park in the opening round of the Allianz league on Sunday
Left out of the side from the September line up are goalkeeper Pa Kelly, defender Domhnaill O’Donovan, hero of the drawn tie having scored the equalising point in injury time, and forward Podge Collins who was one of the three nominees from which the hurler of the year was chosen.
There had been speculation in recent weeks as to whether or not Collins would be included in the side following his decision to join the senior football panel this season. After two rounds of the football league, Clare are unbeaten and Collins has played a key role in helping them to a win and a draw.
To date he has been hugely impressive in helping University of Limerick qualify for the quarter final of the Fitzgibbon cup. He was ineligible to play for Clare in the Waterford Crystal hurloing tournament as he played with his college in this competition along with other members of the Clare panel, Conor Ryan, Jack Browne, and Paul Flanagan.
Crusheen’s Donal Tuohy takes over between the posts from Pa Kelly, Seadna Morey is named at corner back in place of O’Donovan while, up front, Colin Ryan moves to corner forward with Shane Golden from county champions Sixmilebridge named at wing forward
In addition to the three changes in personnell, there are a few positional chnges. Cian Dillon and David McInerney have swapped positions in the full back line with Dillon now at full back while up front, All-Ireland final replay hero Shane O’Donnell switches from full to corner forward with Conor McGrath named at full forward.
The team is; Donal Tuohy; Seadna Morey, Cian Dillon, David McInerney; Brendan Bugler, Pat Donnellan, Pat O’Connor; Conor Ryan, Colm Galvin; John Conlon, Tony Kelly, Shane Golden; Shane O’Donnell, Conor McGrath, Colin Ryan