Limerick and Clare go ahead to in the Division 1B final on Saturday in a repeat of last year’s Divsion two final (Gaelic Grounds, throw in 6pm)
The Treaty men will have home advantage for the clash with a league semi final clash with Kilkenny not to mention the small matter of a place at the top tier of Irish hurling at stake for the winners.
The last time these two sides met, in the opening round of the League, Clare ran out impressive 14 point winners and while a repeat result is unlikely, especially with Limerick turning in their best performance of the year in last weekend’s win over Antrim, Clare will fancy their chances of avenging last year’s defeat.
John Allen’s side bounced back from their opening day loss to Clare to win three and draw one of their remaining four games.
The Banner County meanwhile won all five of their games to take top spot in the league with Davy Fitzgerald side boasting the best defence in the league as well as just edging Limerick and Offaly in the goal scoring stakes.
Despite their impressive win on the opening weekend of the League, Clare star Pat Donnellan isn’t taking anything for granted ahead of the clash.
“It’s never too hard to get up for games against your close rivals and Limerick beat us in last year’s final so there is a rivalry,” said the O’Callaghan Mills clubman in an interview in the Irish Sun
“We’re both pushing for promotion and want to go up so there are no thoughts of ‘we’ve been here and beaten them’.
“Maybe we caught them cold at the start of the league. We know we’ll be meeting a different Limerick team and they’ll be gunning for us because we beat them the first day.
“We’ve had some false dawns and know if we are complacent or don’t keep standards high, we’ll be back to the beginning.”
Limerick manager John Allen has included Conor Allis and Tom Condon in his starting fifteen after the pair overcame injury to take their place.
However the game comes too early for Kevin Downes and Declan Hannon who both miss out.
Clare will be without Darach Horan and Pat Vaughan for the short trip to the Ennis Road. Both players are struggling with hip injuries.
However Fitzgerald, who had the luxury of resting some players for last weekend’s clash with Offaly, is set to recall Nicky O Connell, Patrick Donnellan and Conor McGrath.
Limerick – N Quaid; S Walsh, R McCarthy, T Condon; W McNamara, D O’Grady, G O’Mahony; P Browne, J Ryan; S Dowling, D Breen, C Allis; G Mulcahy, N Moran, T Quaid.