Monday 18 March 2019

Kelly's class no surprise to Collins ahead of club duel

Clare's Tony Kelly. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Clare's Tony Kelly. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Anyone who follows the Snapchat activity of GAA fanatic Buff Egan can bear witness to some of the astonishing scoring feats which Clare hurling star Tony Kelly has achieved with his club Ballyea in recent weeks.

The 2013 Hurler of the Year has been posting some outrageous tallies from play including 1-11 against Cratloe and 1-9 versus O'Callaghan's Mills since the Banner went down by a point to Galway in their replayed All-Ireland SHC semi-final.

Clare team-mate Podge Collins ended up marking Kelly for a short period when his Cratloe side lost to the 2016 Munster club champions in that second-round clash and he hopes history isn't repeated in Sunday's Clare SHC final.

"I actually remember giving an interview when I was minor and this lad was U-17, and I was like 'what this lad can do in training, people haven't seen before'," Collins said at the Aer Lingus jersey launch for the 2018 Fenway Hurling Classic yesterday.

"It was what people were doing on a hurling field at senior. He's always been a special talent. He's focused, hard-working and he's always been the same way in work and school and the same on the hurling field.

"What he does off it is why he is so good, and he's really showing it on the field this year. He'll need watching on Sunday but if you go through their team, nearly all of them have played inter-county in either hurling or football and they'll be a tough ask."

Should their paths collide again, Collins hopes to limit the damage Kelly inflicts. "I don't know. I don't know if they will ask me! I'll see, if I do hopefully I will do a better job than last time."

Irish Independent

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