Jamesie: Fresh Clare can push on to Munster title

Jamesie O’Connor believes the round-robin format could be the key to a first Munster title since 1998 for his native county.

The former All-Ireland winner reckons the new system suits the Bannermen.

Clare make the trip to Semple Stadium in Thurles on Sunday when they clash with Tipperary on Sunday in the penultimate round.

Clare began their championship with a 2-23 to 1-21 defeat at the hands of Cork but they bounced back with a nine-point win over Waterford on May 27.

They had last weekend off while both Munster games finished in gruelling draws, and Clare could be on their way to the Munster final if they beat Tipperary.

“Obviously the system, playing four games in a row isn’t ideal, but it is for Clare,” said O’Connor.

“They played two weeks, were off this weekend, and will meet Tipperary coming off the break. It will Tipp’s fourth game in 21 days. Clare should be fresher heading to Thurles and it looks to be the right time to meet Tipp.”

O’Connor was speaking at a Sky Sports GAA Roadshow event which at the Liam Mellows GAA Club in Galway.

John Conlon’s brilliant performance at full-forward against Waterford was a particular highlight in Clare’s 2-27 to 2-18 win at Cusack Park in Ennis.

Conlon scored 1-3 when he was deployed as the targetman while former Hurler of the Year Tony Kelly contributed six points.

O’Connor knows that these two players will be vital over the coming weeks.

“Credit to the lads for putting John Conlon in at full-forward, he caused havoc. It’s a nice option for Clare to have. You want his ball-winning abilities in the half forward line but it gives the opposition something different to think about,” he said.

“But all the top teams need their big players to play well. Kilkenny need TJ Reid motoring, Galway need Joe Canning on form, and Tony Kelly is the marquee man for Clare.

“He is a special talent. When Tony Kelly is motoring well the Clare crowd and team take confidence from it.

“Hopefully his confidence is up heading into Tipp.”

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