Jamesy Mc Conigley previews the meeting of neighbours Clare and Galway in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
Both these sides met in 2013, All-Ireland finalist’s Galway were looking to overcome a resurgent Clare team in the quarter-final stage of the Championship. The Tribesmen were defeated that day by six points and Clare booked their place in the last four. Fast forward three years, the same two sides face off in a pretty mouth watering fixture.
Firstly, its mixed news for the Banner County, Davy Fitzgerald was admitted to hospital in Dublin, five days before their clash in Thurles. Clare will be hopeful to have their boss back on the sideline for the action this Sunday. On the other hand, Conor McGrath could feature for Clare this weekend and is likely to make the bench. Mc Grath, Pa Kelly and Conor Ryan have resumed light training with the squad in the past two weeks. Clare’s team won’t be named until Saturday evening and is unlikely to see many changes to the victorious side that overcame Limerick.
For the Tribesmen, Michéal Donoghue is unlikely to make changes from the side that lost to Kilkenny in the Leinster Final. Galway currently have no fresh injury concerns before this derby match. Johnny Glynn who scored a goal in this fixture in 2013 has since left the Galway set-up. The Ardrahan native departed last year’s All-Ireland finalists, moving to New York for occupational reasons. Galway’s David Burke believes that this weekend’s fixture is seen as a shot at redemption.
Davy Fitzgerald will have his troops well revved up before the game on Sunday. Michéal Donoghue’s men have far from hit their heights this season with numerous under par displays in both league and championship. Galway has only won three competitive games in this season. In contrast, Clare has won seven. Clare holds a slight advantage, playing in Thurles for the sixth time this calendar year.
Both counties contain youthful exuberance throughout and this is the recipe for an exciting game in store. Neither team will offer an inch to their opponent but whoever comes out on top, will extend their stay in Championship at least until August.
For the record Clare and Galway have met fourteen times in the championship with the Banner County holding a 9-4 lead with one tie ending in a draw. It will be the fifth All-Ireland quarter-final clash between them, with Clare winning in 2013, 2002 and 1999 while the sides also drew in 1999.
PREVIOUS CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES
2013: Clare 1-23 Galway 2-14 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
2011: Galway 4-25 Clare 0-20 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2009: Galway 2-18 Clare 1-11 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2007: Clare 2-10 Galway 0-14 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2003: Galway 1-15 Clare 2-11 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2002: Clare 1-15 Galway 0-17 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
1999: Clare 3-18 Galway 2-14 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
Replay 1999: Clare 3-15 Galway 2-18 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
Draw 1995: Clare 3-12 Galway 1-13 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1967: Clare 4-12 Galway 1-11 (Munster semi-final)
1965: Clare 4-8 Galway 3-10 (Munster quarter-final)
1961: Galway 2-13 Clare 0-7 (Munster quarter-final)
1932: Clare 9-4 Galway 4-14 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1915: Clare 2-1 Galway 1-1 (All-Ireland semi-final)