Clare hurlers point London in right direction

Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Round Robin – Round 1
London 2-17 Carlow 2-17
@ Ruislip, London

By Ozer McMahon

After defeat to Tipperary in the National League Semi-Final last weekend, the Clare hurlers will have to wait until June 15 before they resume competitive action, but the Banner flag was represented in Ruislip, London, on Sunday afternoon.
London began their Leinster championship campaign with an exciting 2-17 to 2-17 draw with Carlow in the English capital.
The Exiles were captained by Ogonnelloe native Henry Vaughan, who pulled the strings from centre forward and chipped in with three excellent points from play.
Vice-captain Vaughan stepped into the captaincy breach after regular skipper, Gort defender Brian Regan, was ruled out with a broken foot.
Vaughan is the longest serving members of the current London panel, having been with the English county since 2009 (with the exception of the 2010 campaign).
He returned to Waterford Institute of Technology in 2010 to complete his degree, and appeared in a Fitzgibbon final with his college that year.
“It’s a great honour to captain an inter-county team,” said Vaughan.
“I was announced as vice-captain at the start of the year and while it was disappointing for Brian to miss out, I was delighted to take on the role for the day,” he added.
Chances are Regan will be recovered by the time London line out against Antrim in their next fixture in two weeks’ time and Vaughan will be glad to give up the captaincy to see the Galway native return at centre back.
“I was only filling in for the day, Brian is important for us so obviously we all want him back on board as quickly as possible, if he doesn’t make it for the Antrim game I’ll gladly continue {as captain} but we all want him to be back,” he said.
“It’s a pity we couldn’t close out the game for a finish, it would have been great to mark the day with a win but it’s still a point in the right direction so hopefully next day out we can grab the victory,” he concluded.
Vaughan (26), wasn’t the only Clare man who had an effect on proceedings, Clooney/Quin attacker Martin Duggan, who won an intermediate All Ireland with Clare in 2011 and who is the older brother of Clare senior panellist Peter, lined out at full forward for the Exiles and bagged 1-1 from play.
His goal early in the second half pushed London six points clear, but unfortunately for the home side they were reigned back in by Carlow at the death.
Carlow scored the last four points of the tie to snatch a draw and leave London disappointed but not deflated.
There is also a heavy Clare influence in the dugout where Newmarket senior hurler Shane O’Brien is the teams trainer, while Matthew Fitzsimons of Tubber is team manager, having taken on the role this season.

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