Allen keeps faith with winning side

Limerick manager John Allen has selected an unchanged team for Sunday's All-Ireland SHC semi-final showdown with Clare at Croke Park (throw-in 3.30pm).

Allen keeps faith with winning side

Limerick manager John Allen has selected an unchanged team for Sunday's All-Ireland SHC semi-final showdown with Clare at Croke Park (throw-in 3.30pm).

For their first Championship outing in five weeks, Allen has kept faith with the same 15 players who lined out in the Munster semi-final and final victories over Tipperary and Cork respectively.

Seanie Tobin has shaken off a foot ligament injury to retain his place at corner forward, with the listed full-forward line having contributed 1-22 of the Shannonsiders' 1-42 haul so far this summer.

Wing back Paudie O'Brien is also fit to start after some time on the treatment table, while Kevin Downes has recovered from a broken toe to be an attacking option off the bench this weekend.

Downes, Shane Dowling, Conor Allis, Cathal King and Niall Moran were used off the bench against Cork and they will hope to have an impact in Sunday's much-anticipated Munster derby.

While Clare and Limerick have a long history of Championship clashes, this will be the first time they have met in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Clare are bidding to reach the All-Ireland final for the first time since 2002 when they lost to Kilkenny, while Limerick last appeared in the final in 2007 - they also lost to Kilkenny in that year's decider.

Gavin O'Mahony, a key figure in Limerick's half-back line, told the Limerick Leader: "From my own position in the half-back line it will be a huge test of us and how we can help out the lads around us.

"The space Clare created against Galway was phenomenal - there is no defender that can defend against that.

"Obviously I have watched their games and they are very hard to close down. We are going to have to find a happy medium and I would be hoping that there is enough experience there in the back line.

"Clare work so hard and are the hardest working team in the Championship and their fitness levels are through the roof.

"They do seem to play out the field a lot and the forwards seem to drift back and for a defender that is very difficult to stamp out because if you follow them you leave space behind and if you don't follow them, you have fellas scoring points from 70 yards out the field."

LIMERICK (SHC v Clare): Nickie Quaid; Stephen Walsh, Richie McCarthy, Tom Condon; Paudie O'Brien, Wayne McNamara, Gavin O'Mahony; Paul Browne, Dónal O'Grady (capt); David Breen, James Ryan, Seamus Hickey; Graeme Mulcahy, Declan Hannon, Seanie Tobin.

Subs: Aaron Murphy, Mark Carmody, Cathal King, Alan Dempsey, Shane Dowling, Conor Allis, Niall Moran, Kevin Downes, Paudie Aherne, Tommy Quaid, Thomas Ryan.

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