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Clare v Galway: story of a hurling rivalry

The story of neighbours along the Wild Atlantic Way — we uncover their storied past, and ask whether Daithi Burke or Brian Lohan is the better full-back

With thanks to OrgaRetro.com, Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney talk through the Clare v Galway hurling rivalry.

Christy Moore or the Saw Doctors, The Burren or Connemara, Salthill or Lisdoonvarna, the Cliffs of Moher or Spanish Arch.

Clare and Galway could have quite a bragging match, and that’s long before you get to the hurling rivalry.

Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney of the Irish Independent pore through the annals to reveals some fascinating strands to this story.

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Though it may never have become a nasty feud, it is no less enthralling that the struggles these counties have had with other rivals.

Clare’s and Galway’s proximity has led to wonderful subplots.

Take, for example, the late Niall McInerney being member of the breakthrough 1980 All-Ireland winning Tribal team, despite hailing from Sixmilebridge and first playing inter-county for the Banner.

Who could forget saffron and blue legend Ger Loughnane taking over Galway for a couple of seasons, with designs of adding to the two All-Irelands he had claimed as manager of his native land.

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Not to mention, as Damien Hayes once described at a live GAA show, the lead-up to Loughnane bringing his adopted side to Ennis for a championship clash in 2007.

“I always remember that before that game,” said Damien Hayes. “We were in the hotel and getting ready to go.

“Next thing, Frank Lohan starts walking up towards the hotel. I remember watching this and thinking, ‘What’s Frank doing?’ as I was potentially going to be marking this lad.

“It turned out Frank was heading up to our hotel to get a rub, or some treatment, from Colm Flynn, who was part of our set-up! I was going, ‘What’s the story here?!’”

When the Tribe lost the Leinster final to Kilkenny in 2016, Loughnane was scathing in his review of Galway and their mentality.

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“Galway are always looking for a crutch,” he wrote in his Star column. “There’s always someone or something to blame.

“The manager, the trainer, the physio, the length of the grass on the training pitch, the weather…”

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