Gilligan gives Clare a scare

FORMER Clare senior star Niall Gilligan is a major injury doubt for the county’s intermediate team who face Limerick in tonight’s Munster IHC final in Cusack Park, Ennis at 7.30pm.

The Sixmilebridge player has been named at full-forward in the starting 15 but may be forced to withdraw before throw-in according to Clare boss Kevin Kennedy.

“Niall is a big worry for us at this stage. We’ve selected him in our side as he’s a very important player for us. But we don’t know if he’ll be able to line out and that won’t be clear until before throw-in. We’ll give him every chance but it’s touch and go at this stage.”

The loss of Gilligan would be a considerable blow to Clare as his presence helps make their attack look an extremely potent unit.

His availability along with that of former senior colleague and Sixmilebridge clubmate Tony Carmody was a key factor in their emphatic 2-19 to 0-15 semi-final win over Cork.

Clare have made two personnel alterations from that game for tonight’s showdown in Ennis.

John Fennessy comes in at right half-back with Michael Hawes moving to centre-back instead of Conor Earley. In attack former senior player Declan O’Rourke is named at right corner-forward with Padraig Hickey the player to make way.

Their team contains plenty youth as well with full-back Patrick Kelly a Fitzgibbon Cup winner with NUI Galway in 2010 while wing-forward Daire Keane was involved with the county minor side that reached last year’s All-Ireland final.

Clare are chasing a historic first title in this grade having featured runner-up in their two previous final appearances in 1963 and 2001.

Opponents Limerick have made three changes for the game from the team that defeated Waterford at the semi-final stage. Sean Browne comes in at right corner-back with John Dillon moving to full-back as Brian Kelliher makes way. Dinny Ahearne is drafted in at right-forward with Conor Allis switching to midfield in place of Jason Hayes.

The final change sees Michael Ryan introduced at right corner-forward with Donie Reale dropping to the bench. Shane Dowling, who has starred in attack for the county minor hurlers and at colleges level for Árd Scoil Rís this season, is a notable inclusion amongst the substitutes for this game. Limerick displayed impressive form in defeating Waterford at the semi-final stage by 2-12 to 2-9.

CLARE IH: A Fahy (Whitegate); M O’Regan (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), P Kelly (Clarecastle), A Brigdale (Crusheen); J Fennessy (Sixmilebridge), M Hawes (Cratloe), K Moynihan (Éire Óg); R Keane (Éire Óg), S Golden (Sixmilebridge); T Carmody (Sixmilebridge), K Dilleen (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), D Keane (Kilmaley); D O’Rourke (Wolfe Tones), N Gilligan (Sixmilebridge), M Duggan (Clooney-Quin).

LIMERICK IH: B Hennessy (Kilmallock); S Browne (Newcastlewest), J Dillon (Effin), D Moloney (Doon); N Maher (Doon), P Begley (Mungret), T O’Callaghan (Monagea); C Allis (Croom), D Hanley (Knockaderry); D Ahearne (Kilteely/Dromkeen), S Madden (Ahane), S O’Brien (Patrickswell); M Ryan (Murroe/Boher), D O’Connor (Granagh/Ballingarry), T Quaid (Effin).

Subs: A Murphy (Hospital/Herbertstown), M Keane (Staker Wallace), T Crawford (Glenroe), E Gleeson (Cappamore), JP O’Donnell (Effin), N Kennedy (Granagh/Ballingarry), C McNamara (Doon), W Griffin (Adare), D Reale (Hospital/Herbertstown), S Dowling (Na Piarsaigh).

More in this section

CourtsGaaPlace: Cusack ParkPlace: EnnisPlace: SixmilebridgePlace: HerbertstownPerson: GilliganPerson: Niall GilliganPerson: Kevin KennedyPerson: NiallPerson: Tony CarmodyPerson: John FennessyPerson: Michael HawesPerson: Conor EarleyPerson: Declan O’RourkePerson: Pádraig HickeyPerson: Patrick KellyPerson: Daire KeanePerson: Sean BrownePerson: John DillonPerson: Brian KelliherPerson: Dinny AhearnePerson: Conor AllisPerson: Jason HayesPerson: Michael RyanPerson: Donie RealePerson: Shane DowlingPerson: A FahyPerson: M O’ReganPerson: P KellyPerson: A BrigdalePerson: CrusheenPerson: J FennessyPerson: M HawesPerson: CratloePerson: K MoynihanPerson: Éire ÓgPerson: R KeanePerson: S GoldenPerson: T CarmodyPerson: K DilleenPerson: Doora-BarefieldPerson: D KeanePerson: KilmaleyPerson: D O’RourkePerson: N GilliganPerson: M DugganPerson: Clooney-QuinPerson: LimerickPerson: B HennessyPerson: S BrownePerson: J DillonPerson: D MoloneyPerson: DoonPerson: N MaherPerson: P BegleyPerson: MungretPerson: T O’CallaghanPerson: C AllisPerson: CroomPerson: D HanleyPerson: KnockaderryPerson: D AhearnePerson: KilteelyPerson: DromkeenPerson: S MaddenPerson: AhanePerson: S O’BrienPerson: PatrickswellPerson: M RyanPerson: MurroePerson: BoherPerson: D O’ConnorPerson: T QuaidPerson: EffinPerson: A MurphyPerson: M KeanePerson: Staker WallacePerson: T CrawfordPerson: GlenroePerson: E GleesonPerson: CappamorePerson: JP O’DonnellPerson: N KennedyPerson: C McNamaraPerson: W GriffinPerson: AdarePerson: D RealePerson: S DowlingPerson: Na PiarsaighEvent: Munster IHC finalEvent: Fitzgibbon CupEvent: All-Ireland finalOrganisation: ClareOrganisation: LimerickOrganisation: SixmilebridgeOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: NUI GalwayOrganisation: WaterfordOrganisation: Ard Scoil RisOrganisation: whitegateOrganisation: StOrganisation: Wolfe TonesOrganisation: KilmallockOrganisation: NewcastlewestOrganisation: Monagea
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