BRIAN Geary will make his 45th championship appearance for the Limerick hurlers on Saturday night when he lines out at centre-forward against Clare in the All Ireland SHC Round 3 Qualifier game in Thurles.
Geary was centre-forward against both Laois and Antrim in the earlier Qualifier games but was expected to make way for Declan Hannon, who has been getting closer to full fitness. It means that Geary will go to third in the all-time appearances list of Limerick hurlers, one behind Timmy Ryan and three behind record holder Mark Foley.
The only change from the win over Antrim sees Kilmallock’s Paudie O’Brien replace Patrickswell’s Thomas O’Brien at midfield. The Kilmallock man starts alongside James Ryan as regular midfielder Paul Browne is still ruled out with a shoulder injury.
David Breen will captain the side from wing-forward while Niall Moran, who has scored five goals in his last two games, again starts at full-forward. Declan Hannon, Kevin Downes and Seamus Hickey are all kept in reserve. The Clare team hasn’t yet been announced.
The game is live on RTE 2 at 7pm. Limerick are slight favourites at a price of 5/6 with Clare at 6/5 and the draw at 9/1.
LIMERICK (V Clare): Nickie Quaid (Effin); Stephen Walsh (Glenroe), Richie McCarthy (Blackrock), Tom Condon (Knockaderry); Wayne McNamara (Adare), Donal O’Grady (Granagh-Ballingarry), Gavin O’Mahony (Kilmallock); James Ryan (Garryspillane), Paudie O’Brien (Kilmallock); David Breen (Na Piarsaigh), Brian Geary (Monaleen), Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh); Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock), Niall Moran (Ahane), Sean Tobin (Murroe-Boher)