Waterford take on injury-hit Clare

Clare and Waterford, two of the province's football minnows, face off at Cusack Park, Ennis today in the Munster SFC quarter-final.

Clare and Waterford, two of the province's football minnows, face off at Cusack Park, Ennis today in the Munster SFC quarter-final.

Both sides will be up for the clash. Clare football has been buoyed by last year's Munster club championship win by Kilmurry-Ibrickane, and home advantage should benefit the Banner men.

However, Waterford are guaranteed to put up a fight under the stewardship of John Kiely, the man who brought two All-Ireland junior football titles to the county.

Add to that the fact that Clare boss John Kennedy has been forced to name a number of newcomers for today's clash and Waterford will feel they are within reach of a championship win.

Kennedy is without first-team regulars Ronan Slattery, Brian Considine, Conor Whelan, Timmy Ryan and Donal O'Sullivan due to injury.

Corner-back Brendan Maloney, centre-back Dara Kelly, half-forward Peter O'Dwyer and full-forward David Nealon all make their championship debuts.

Kiely has named five debutants in his line-up and has also left vacancies at midfield and right wing-forward as he awaits fitness tests on Karl O'Keeffe and Andy Hubbard.

Thomas Walls comes in between the sticks, Laurence Hurney takes over at full-back, Andrew Heffernan is chosen at right half-back, Shane Briggs makes his debut at midfield, while William Kavanagh will lead the attack.

Given home advantage, the Banner men should triumph, leaving Waterford looking to next year to break their Munster championship duck.

CLARE (SFC v Waterford): D O'Brien; P Gallagher, K Dilleen, B Maloney; A Clohessy, D Kelly, M O'Connell; G Quinlan, D Russell; P O'Dwyer, E Coughlan, O O'Dwyer; R Donnolly, D Nealon, M O'Dwyer.

WATERFORD (SFC v Clare); T Wall; P Ogle, L Hurney, N Hennessy; A Heffernan, N Ahern, T Costelloe; S Briggs, AN Other; AN Other, W Kavanagh, G Power; N Curran, G Hurney, L O Lionain.

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