Saturday 20 January 2018

History of no concern for Micko as he eyes unlikely Rebels scalp

Mick O'Dwyer
Mick O'Dwyer
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

MICK O'Dwyer will be battling to save the credibility of the Munster SFC when he leads Clare into tomorrow's semi-final against Cork in Ennis.

Kerry, who have already played twice this season, and Cork, who've played once, have won those three games by a total of 61 points, which means that unless Clare avoid defeat by more than nine points, this season's championship will have been the most one-sided quarter-final/semi-final sequence since 1947.

Kerry and Cork beat Tipperary, Waterford and Limerick by a total of 9-57 (84pts) to 1-20 (23pts) in recent weeks, leaving Clare with the task of arresting the calamitous slide in fortunes of the so-called weaker counties in Munster.

O'Dwyer (above) , for whom tomorrow's game will be his 181st as a player or manager, pays little heed to history. "You've got to believe in yourself. These lads have put in a huge effort and I hope it's rewarded in the performance," he said.

However, it's odds-on Cork to book a place in the final on July 7, while Mayo are similarly fancied to remain on target for their first Connacht treble for 63 years when they host Roscommon in the semi-final in Castlebar. Meath and Wicklow (Leinster) and Cavan and Fermanagh (Ulster) are chasing semi-final places in the other two big football games this weekend.

Meanwhile, Dublin's hurlers will be hoping to end a disappointing week with victory over Wexford in the Leinster quarter-final replay in Parnell Park this evening. They were held to a draw last Saturday while the U-21s were beaten by Carlow in the Leinster championship on Wednesday night.

Galway set out on their summer quest from the unusual position of Leinster champions when they take on Laois in the Leinster SHC semi-final in Portlaoise tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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