Limerick team to face Clare in league decider is named

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

LIMERICK hurling manager Donal O’Grady has announced his team for Saturday’s Allianz Hurling League final.

LIMERICK hurling manager Donal O’Grady has announced his team for Saturday’s Allianz Hurling League final.

LIMERICK hurling manager Donal O’Grady has announced his team for Saturday’s Allianz Hurling League final.

O’Grady has selected the strongest team possible for the visit to Cusack Park in Ennis for the clash with Ger O’Loughlin’s Clare side.

O’Grady and selectors Ciaran Carey, TJ Ryan, Pat Heffernan and Jerry Wallace have selected a youthful team for the crunch league decider, which will determine which of the Shannonside neighbours will play in Division One of the league next season.

There is no place in the team for experienced trio; Stephen Lucey, Niall Moran and Brian Geary.

The team will be captained by full back Gavin O’Mahony, who is joined in the starting 15 by club-mate Graeme Mulcahy from county champions Kilmallock.

Adare, Murroe-Boher and Na Piarsaigh also have two players each in the line-up.

Leaving Certificate student Declan Hannon is named at wing forward just weeks after he lined out for Ardscoil Ris in the All-Ireland Colleges final in Semple Stadium. The Adare teenager is joined in a youthful attack by Sean Tobin, Kevin Downes and Mulcahy - all third level students.

The Limerick team shows five changes from the team that already travelled to Ennis and defeated Clare 2-9 to 0-9 in round one.

Speaking this Thursday at press briefing in Croke Park ahead of Saturday’s final, Donal O’Grady said that he hoped that home advantage would not sway some of the decisions made by referee James McGrath.

O’Grady had no issue with the toss of a coin deciding the venue, however, he believes the Cusack Park crowd could influence the official.

“You’re going in to play Clare, above in Ennis, up in Cusack Park, so there’ll be a big home crowd there and, I’m not saying, you don’t see it too often. But in tight games, let’s be honest, refereeing decisions can be crucial, or whatever else, and if there’s a big roar from the home crowd it can, from time to time, influence the officials, and a home game I think is worth a couple of points any time,” said the former Cork All-Ireland winning manager.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge to Limerick to go up to Ennis again.”

“This is a totally different affair. I think the problem with Division 2 finals is that there’s so much pressure not to lose that it loses itself as a spectacle.”

Saturday’s final has a 6.30 start and will be televised live on TG4.

Limerick: Nickie Quaid (Effin); Damien Reale (Hospital-Herbertstown), Gavin OMahony, capt (Kilmallock), Tom Condon (Knockaderry); Wayne McNamara (Adare), Seamus Hickey (Murroe-Boher), David Breen (Na Piarsaigh); Donal O’Grady (Granagh-Ballingarry), Paul Browne (Bruff); Declan Hannon (Adare), Richie McCarthy (Blackrock), James Ryan (Garryspillane); Sean Tobin (Murroe-Boher), Kevin Downes (Na Piarsaigh), Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock).