Retired Bishop of Killaloe Willie Walsh helped coach St Flannan’s College to five Harty Cup and All-Ireland titles and is as passionate as ever about his old alma mater as they bid to win a first Munster Colleges crown in 15 years, writes.
It’s not that Clare’s opening salvo in this year’s National League was a box-ticking exercise, but as soon as the final whistle sounded to signal this facile 16-point victory it’s safe to say that everyone of a saffron and blue hue was moving towards next Sunday’s mouth-watering clash with Wexford.
It was no surprise that new Clare hurling boss, Brian Lohan, picked a player in his own likeness as captain for the year ahead. John Conlon may inhabit a different end of the field than the Banner legend did during his playing days, but the differences between the two end there.
When Dublin travelled to Cork for our last regular round league match in April 2011, we knew we had an outside chance of making a league final. We had to win, which was never going to be easy down there
Football life without former captain and talisman Gary Brennan will be a huge challenge for Clare in the 2020 Allianz League, but manager Colm Collins is bullish about the Banner County’s prospects of holding their own in Division 2 for a fourth successive year.
Although Moloney — joint manager with Gerry O’Connor last year — was invited to put his name forward, county chairman Joe Cooney confirmed that officials were also exploring alternatives to the Scarriff man taking sole charge of the team in 2020.
Dónal Óg Cusack had already begun changing the game with short puckouts in 2003 and 2004 but Damien Fitzhenry’s puckout masterclass against Kilkenny in the 2004 Leinster semi-final was still a keynote moment in hurling’s expanding tactical revolution.