Clare make their championship bow this evening, almost two and a half months after Tipperary’s opener against Waterford and while Morrissey has no qualms that Clare are the only side in this year’s Munster championship not afforded a second chance, he believes this game should have been put back until early July.
“The only thing I have an issue with is that the game is fixed so close to the Leaving Cert and it was very hard to keep the panel together while the Leaving Cert was on,” he said.
“We had 22 of our panel doing the Leaving Cert and it has been difficult to keep the thing going. Our issue is not at getting no second chance should we lose, rather that the game is fixed only one week after most of our lads finished up their Leaving Cert. We had lads doing Applied Maths just last Thursday. I’d have been in favour of playing this game a week and a half down the line, but we had to come forward a week because Tipperary are in the Munster minor football final.”
With Kerry not participating in this year’s provincial championship, reducing the number of teams to five, Clare received a bye to the semis, and, unlike Limerick, Tipperary, Cork and Waterford, will fall out the exit door should they come up short in this penultimate round clash (throw-in 7.30pm).
“We certainly have had to wait a long time and it is fair to say we are going in somewhat blind. The last few years we have had an opening game, the chance to go through the backdoor and tweak the team, and still we didn’t make it through to the final.
“Given the situation we find ourselves in, we are fired up for our one shot of it. This is real championship. The lads know there is no second chance so they have to perform here.
“The way I look at it, sometimes it is better this way because lads know there isn’t an escape goat. If they perform to their capabilities, we will be well in with a shout.”
J Loughnane (Sixmilebridge); D Power (Smith O’Briens), S Phelan (Broadford), R Monahan (Tubber); D Chaplin (Broadford), N Fox (Parteen), C Noonan (Killanena); C Fitzgerald (Sixmilebridge), J Cunningham (Wolfe Tones na Sionna); A Shanagher (Wolfe Tones na Sionna), M O’Shea (Smith O’Briens), J McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona); P O’Loughlin (Clonlara), M Daly (Feakle) C O’Halloran (Éire Óg).
P Hayes (Ballingarry); E Heffernan (Clonoulty Rossmore), E Moloney (Drom & Inch), J Quigley (Kildangan); J Skehan (Holycross Ballycahill), B McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney), D Peters (Kilruane McDonaghs); D Carey (Templederry Kenyons), A Tynan (Roscrea); L McCutcheon (Templederry Kenyons), S Quirke (Moyle Rovers), G Ryan (Borrisokane); T Nolan (Drom & Inch), D Gleeson (Ballinahinch), L Fairbrother (J.K. Brackens).