Limerick v Clare, Sunday, 4 pm, Gaelic Grounds
The second of the games on RTE on Sunday will see Limerick take on Clare in what is sure to be a thrilling round-robin game in the Munster hurling championship. The game throws in at 4 pm. A win for either side would see them make ground on Tipperary who don’t play this weekend. A loss for either side would probably mean they would have to win their final games in two weeks time to have any chance of remaining in the hunt for Liam McCarthy.
Limerick have played two games, lost one and won one. The loss coming against Cork which manager John Kiely wasn’t impressed with. They made a massive statement hammering Waterford by 20 points last weekend and they showed that when they get going they are a tough team to beat. A win here would set the final round of games up nicely, meaning a Limerick win in Thurles would more than likely see them into a Munster Final.
Clare come into the game on the back of a heavy loss to Tipperary last weekend. They will need to be much better here to get a win. A big Banner crowd will know a win is required because they face Cork in their final game which in my mind is 50-50. A win here would mean they still have a chance of making a Munster Final. They have a poor scoring difference compared to their opponent though as they are -12, with Limerick +13.
This is the fifth year in a row the teams will meet. Clare has won four out of them five times, in 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2013. Limerick won in 2015. It is the 57th meeting in championship hurling between the sides, Limerick have the edge winning 35 to Clare’s 20 and one draw.
Last 5 Championship Meetings
2018 Clare 0-26 Limerick 0-15 (Munster round robin)
2017 Clare 3-17 Limerick 2-16 (Munster semi-final)
2016 Clare 0-19 Limerick 0-15 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2015 Limerick 1-19 Clare 2-15 (Munster quarter-final)
2013 Clare 1-22 Limerick 0-18 (All-Ireland semi-final)
John Kiely speaking after the win over Waterford “That’s just two points on the board for us and that’s all that matters. There were two points going for us today and there is another two points next week and we have to regroup really quick and get our recovery in and make sure we are in the best shape we can for next week,
Donal McInerney speaking after the defeat to Tipperary said “Teams have lost games in this round-robin before and come through. Look at Limerick last year, they came here and lost by 11 points. From our perspective, there is still a lot to look forward to.”I don’t think it will be a difficult dressing-room to lift. These guys know a better performance is required.”
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Mike Casey, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Paddy O’Loughlin; Cian Lynch, William O’Donoghue; Gearoid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey; Aaron Gillane, Graeme Mulcahy, Peter Casey.
CLARE: Donal Tuohy; Patrick O’Connor, David McInerney, Seadna Morey; Cathal Malone, Jack Browne, Conor Cleary; Shane Golden, Colm Galvin; Peter Duggan, Tony Kelly, Diarmuid Ryan; Shane O’Donnell, John Conlon, Podge Collins.
Limerick are 4/9 favourites to win their first home game in this year’s Munster Championship. Clare are outsiders at odds of 9/4. The draw is 9/1. I think Limerick will be too strong for Clare and Limerick -3 at 10/11 in the handicap market looks a good bet.