Sean Collins has been replaced by Clondegad’s Shane Brennan for Clare’s Division 4 League Final clash with Tipperary in Croke Park this weekend.
It’s the only change in the Banner’s starting 15 unlike Tipperary who have made six changes to their side. Matthew O’Donnell, Ciaran McDonald, Aldo Matassa, Lorcan Egan, Alan Campbell and Conal McCullagh all make way for Steven O’Brien, Ian Fahey, Michael Quinlvan, Paul Fitzgerald, Andrew Morrissey and George Hannigan.
With promotion to Division III of the Allianz Football League for 2015 already in the bag, this should be an occasion to savour for both camps. Tipperary manager Peter Creedon and his Clare counterpart Colm Collins have both used the word ‘reward’ in the build-up to the game, and that’s exactly what this is for two superbly fought campaigns this spring.
Moving up a grade in the Allianz League represents a huge step forward for both sides, who each won five, drew one and lost one of their seven games in the group stages. When they met in Thurles on March 9, Tipperary won by 3-9 to 0-14 thanks to an excellent final quarter showing. Barry Brogan, who has scored 5-22 this spring, netted a match-winning haul of 2-2 for the Premier County.
That defeat threatened to derail the Banner County’s campaign, but Collins’ charges recovered superbly, beating Carlow and then Antrim away in the final two rounds to secure promotion and put final day heartache in recent seasons behind them.
Throw in this Saturday is at 5pm.
CLARE: Pierce De Loughrey – Cratloe; Dean Ryan – Éire Óg; Kevin Hartnett – Meelick; Martin McMahon – Kilmurry Ibrickane; Shane Hickey – Kilmurry Ibrickane; Gordon Kelly – Miltown; Enda Coughlan – Kilmurry Ibrickane; Gary Brennan – Clondegad; Cathal O’ Connor – Coolmeen; Shane McGrath – Thomas Davis; Jamie Malone – Corofin; Ciaran Russell – Éire Óg; Martin O’ Leary – Kilmihil; Shane Brennan – Clondegad; David Tubridy – Doonbeg
TIPPERARY: Paul Fitzgerald (Fethard); John Coghlan (Moyne Templetuohy), Paddy Codd (Killenaule – Captain), Andrew Morrissey (Galtee Rovers); Robbie Kiely (Arravale Rovers), Peter Acheson (Moyle Rovers), Donagh Leahy (Arravale Rovers); Steven O’Brien (Ballina), George Hannigan (Shannon Rovers); Philip Austin (Borrisokane), Ian Fahey (Clonmel Commercials), Brian Fox (Eire Óg Annacarty); Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen), Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials), Barry Grogan (Aherlow).