Buoyant Banner look to claim Kilkenny’s scalp in Cusack Park on Sunday and secure their National League semi-final berth
CLARE can’t wait to take on Kilkenny in Cusack Park this Sunday (throw-in 2pm)according to selector Mike Deegan. Speaking in the aftermath of the Banner’s highly impressive win in Cork on Saturday night the Cratloe man immediately stated that the top division and the top teams is exactly what this Clare team need:
“These are the matches we want. We can say what we want about last year when we were in Division 1B. I’m not going to give out about it in any way but really these are the matches you wanting to be playing in. I think anyone who is interested in hurling now, these are fantastic matches to see and be involved in and we want to stay up here [Division 1A].”
The home team arrive in to this intriguing test joint top of the division and with a chance to put one foot in the league semi-finals.They also have momentum on their side following wins over Galway and Cork within six days of each other. Deegan pointed out that the longer the league goes, the more confidence Clare are gaining.
“That’s just it. That’s what you want. You want momentum and confidence as well. You can do as much training as you want but winning matches is what it’s all about and that will give the boys a great boost. But obviously it’s another big match next week and two wins are no good, we want three and four,” he said.
Clare are expected to start the same fifteen that overcame Cork with a stirring second half display that saw them outscore the home team by 1-15 to 1-4 over the last thirty five. The Cats enter the game on the bottom of the division with just one win from three, but that win came on Bank Holiday Monday when they overcame Waterford in Nowlan Park. They will be favourites as Brian Cody’s team can call on ten players that won an All-Ireland senior title last September.
For match report, analysis and Clare v Kilkenny preview see pages 76-79 of this weeks Clare People