One change for Clare, five for Antrim in U21 hurling semi

One change for Clare, five for Antrim in U21 hurling semi

Cathal McInerney will start for Clare Under 21 hurlers in their All-Ireland semi-final against Antrim, in the only change to their side from the one which beat Tipperary in the Munster final.

Their opponents Antrim have made five changes to the one which won the Ulster final.

McInerney who was introduced as a substitute in that Cusack Park encounter will start at right-corner forward in place of David O'Halloran.

Clare defender Patrick O'Connor says that there is keen competition for starting places in the side.

"The competition for places is unbelievable," he said.

"The training matches are just fierce at times. The players are going for each others spots and they are all trying to catch the eye of management so all you have to do is mind your own house, make sure you are doing your own job and hopefully if you get a jersey you can hold onto it."

O'Connor was apart of the successful Clare Under 21 All-Ireland winning squad in 2009 and says that this years squad is even more driven for success.

"That All-Ireland winning team was based on who was playing well in training games," he said.

"Ever since then everyone has bought into that ethos. Whoever is on form plays and gets the jersey."

Antrim manager Johnny McIntosh has opted for wholesale changes with a third of the provincial title winning side axed.

Defenders Christopher Murray, Fergus Donnelly and James McShane lose out, as do Stephen Smyth and Conor Laverty in attack.

Smyth scored 1-2 in the Ulster final victory over Derry.

All-Ireland Club title winning Loughgiel Shamrocks provide two of the changes, with brothers Ronan and Daniel McCloskey included in the side.

Ronan is named at right-corner back in place of Murray, while Daniel is at left-corner forward in place of Conor Laverty.

The other change in defence sees Fergus Donnelly replaced by the Saffrons boss in the left corner and James McShane replaced by James Black who moves from the Saffrons attack.

Aidan McKeown and Stephen McAfee continue at midfield, with Seamus Dobbin included at centre-half-forward.

There's a new look full-forward line with team captain Conor McCann flanked by Nigel Elliot and Daniel McCloskey.

Antrim (U21 HC v Clare): James O'Mullan; Ronan McCloskey, Ronan Gillan, Conal Morgan; James Black, Matthew Donnelly, James McCoaig; Aidan McKeown, Stephen McAfee; Michael Devlin, Seamus Dobbin, Kevin McKiernan; Nigel Elliot, Conor McCann, Daniel McCloskey.

Clare (U21 HC v Antrim): Ronan Taaffe; Paul Flanagan, David McInerney, Killian Ryan; Patrick O'Connor, Conor Ryan, Seadna Morey; Colm Galvin, Shane Golden; Tony Kelly, Padraic Collins, Aaron Cunningham; Cathal McInerney, Conor McGrath, Cathal O'Connell.

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