Clare have made two changes from the side that was defeated by Louth for the visit of Sligo to Cusack Park.
Podge Collins and Kevin Hartnett both make their first start in a competitive outing in 2015 after recovering from a hamstring and ankle injury respectively. Collins came off the bench in the last round’s nine point defeat in Drogheda. Meelick man Hartnett was due to start the NFL opener versus Wexford but he went over on his ankle during the warmup in Miltown.
St Josephs Doora/Barefield man Stephen Collins makes way for Hartnett with Dean Ryan moving from full to corner back as a result of Kevin Hartnett’s inclusion. Martin McMahon completes the full-back line wearing number four. The half-back line of Jamie Malone, Gordon Kelly and Ciarán Russell remains unchanged.
In a surprising move, Doonbeg’s David Tubridy has failed to make the starting fifteen for the Banner. Tubridy has been a regular in the Banner attack since making his Clare debut back in 2008 against Carlow. The question now remains as to who will hit the frees for Clare with the absence of the former Munster Inter-Provincial player.
That said it just shows the strength in depth as the disposal of Colm Collins and his management this year when the likes of Tubridy can be omitted. Seán Collins, Shane Hickey and Shane McGrath continue in the half-forward line while Cratloe’s Podge Collins now joins Shane Brennan and Pat Burke in the inside line.
Read The Clare Herald’s Preview of the match here; http://clareherald.com/2015/02/27/clare-aiming-to-get-league-back-on-track/
1: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey)
2: Dean Ryan (Éire Óg)
3: Kevin Hartnett (Meelick)
4: Martin McMahon (Kilmurry/Ibrickane)
5: Jamie Malone (Corofin)
6: Gordon Kelly (St Josephs Miltown)
7: Ciarán Russell (Éire Óg)
8: Gary Brennan (Clondegad)
9: Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)
10: Seán Collins (Cratloe)
11: Shane Hickey (Kilmurry/Ibrickane)
12: Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis)
13: Podge Collins (Cratloe)
14: Shane Brennan (Clondegad)
15: Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes).