Friday 24 February 2017

Honan boosts Clare hopes as McInerney faces late fitness test

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Clare have named James McInerney at centre-back for tomorrow's Division 2 NHL final against Wexford, but he remains an injury doubt and will face a late fitness test.

Darach Honan, who missed the last two rounds of the league with a hamstring injury, is back starting at full-forward and is one of seven of last year's historic U-21 All-Ireland winners among their starters.

Meanwhile, new Westmeath manager Pat Flanagan has persuaded Denis Glennon to rejoin to the county panel, but it is still not clear if any more of the county's exiled players will return.

Glennon quit the squad during this year's National League, when Brendan Hackett was in charge, but is expected to return to training next week.

Flanagan has since replaced Hackett as manager and is still hoping to entice former All Stars Dessie Dolan and John Keane back. Keane retired at the start of the season and Dolan did not join the panel either this year.

Hackett was ousted by a player coup, and Flanagan, who managed Glennon's club Tyrrellspass to a Leinster final, has taken charge for the remainder of this season.

Westmeath face Carlow in the Leinster Senior Football Championship on May 16.

Elsewhere, Armagh star Ronan Clarke says he has not given up hope of lining out in their Ulster opener against Derry on May 16.

victorious

He missed their victorious Division 2 final last Sunday because of the recurrence of an Achilles injury and a scan last Monday confirmed it is inflamed and forced him back into an 'air boot' to aid recovery. "I'll get the boot off next week and take it from there, I'd say it's 50-50 right now," Clarke said.

Division 4 football champions Limerick have been boosted by an additional €10,000 reward to their development fund for topping the GAA's new Fair Play Index.

This inaugural scheme -- points were accumulated for red and yellow cards -- rewarded the team with the best disciplinary record in the league. Limerick, with 15 yellow cards, pipped Kilkenny (16) and Clare (18) in the NFL.

And even though Waterford are not playing in this weekend's National Hurling League finals, they could yet sneak up and snatch the hurling equivalent.

Division 2 finalists Clare are currently leading the hurling table with a 1.29 average score.

The worst disciplinary record in the NFL was Fermanagh's. They amassed 32 yellow and two red cards plus a category 1A offence, which marks verbal abuse of a match official by a team official.

Worst in the NHL were Longford, who collected 30 yellow cards, one red and one category 1A offence.

Irish Independent

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