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McInerney is latest Clare hurler to jump ship to football

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Cathal McInerney in action for Cratloe

Cathal McInerney in action for Cratloe

SPORTSFILE

Cathal McInerney in action for Cratloe

CLARE'S Cathal McInerney has become the latest Banner dual player to throw his lot in exclusively with their footballers.

McInerney, who scored 2-1 in a hurling qualifier against Wexford during Clare's run to All-Ireland glory last year, was also man of the match in the 2012 All-Ireland U-21 hurling final.

He only played hurling for the county this season but is a gifted footballer and starred for Cratloe when they almost beat Dr Crokes of Killarney in the Munster club final last December.

Cratloe are managed by Sean Collins, who is now also the county senior football manager, and his sons Podge and Sean doubled up for Clare this season.

Hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald does not believe you can combine both sports at senior inter-county level.

He asked the Collins brothers to make a choice next season and they have opted to go with the footballers, who will play in Division 3 next year.

McInerney has not been a regular starter for the hurlers.

He came off the bench in the Munster semi-final against Cork, started their drawn qualifier against Wexford, when he scored 0-2, and was used as a sub in the replay.

Cratloe could yet contest both senior county finals this season. They play Clarecastle in the hurling semi-finals tomorrow and face Cooraclare in the football semi-finals in a week's time.

Elsewhere the race to become the new Mayo football boss will be between Kevin McStay and a joint team of Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes - they are the only nominees.

Holmes and Connelly managed the county to an All-Ireland U-21 title in 2006, while McStay managed Roscommon club St Brigid's to the All-Ireland club title in 2013.

Irish Independent