CLARE’S free-scoring full-forward David Tubridy has been ruled out of Sunday’s National Football League showdown with Leitrim, the top scorer over the course of the county’s last six campaigns having been struck down by a hamstring complaint.
The Doonbeg player will be one of four absentees from the starting 15 that opened their 2014 campaign with a hugely impressive 3-10 to 1-9 victory over Waterford last Sunday in Fraher Field.
Meelick’s Kevin Harnett, who manned the full-back position in that victory in what was his first game for Clare since returning from a year out in America, has also been ruled out through injury.
The other changes see Jamie Malone (Corofin) and Stephen Collins (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), who lined out at left-corner-forward and right-full-back respectively drop to the bench for the crunch league tie.
Apart from the four changes in personnel there are a number of positional switches to the side.
Enda Coughlan comes in at centre-back, the Kilmurry Ibrickane man having recovered from a back complaint that saw him fail a late fitness test ahead of the Waterford game, with Dean Ryan who was deployed at number six in his absence dropping back to the corner.
Former team captain Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown) is the direct replacement for Harnett at full-back. In the forwards Michael O’Shea (St Senan’s Kilkee), who was Clare’s third goal-scorer against Waterford is named at right-corner-forward instead of Jamie Malone, while Padraic Collins is the other newcomer to the attack.
The Cratloe dual star has been named at centre-forward, with last Sunday’s man-of-the-match Shane McGrath moving to the wing, which allows Shane Brennan go to full-forward and fill the void left by David Tubridy’s absence.
The game is scheduled for Cusack Park at 2pm, but in the inclement weather it’s expected that a decision will be taken later today to switch it to Hennessy Memorial Park in Miltown.
Pierce Deloughrey (Cratloe), Dean Ryan (Éire Óg), Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Martin Murphy (Cratloe), Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen), Gary Brennan (Clondegad), Sean Collins (Cratloe), Padraic Collins (Cratloe), Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis), Martin O’Leary (Kilmihil), Shane Brennan (Clondegad), Michael O’Shea (St Senan’s Kilkee).