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“Conor Cleary is a huge loss…” — Jamesie

Clare legend Jamesie O’Connor discusses with Shane and Michael the injury blow to Clare full-back Conor Cleary

Clare legend Jamesie O’Connor discusses with Shane and Michael the injury blow to Clare full-back Conor Cleary.

Jamesie O’Connor feels that Brian Lohan’s biggest call for the Munster hurling final is picking a full-back in place of Conor Cleary.

The commanding defender left the pitch clutching his shoulder and in a serious amount of pain during their most recent outing against Cork, and is not expected to feature at the Gaelic Grounds against Limerick on June 11.

“Yeah he’s a huge loss because he matches up really well with Aaron Gillane,” says O’Connor of Cleary.

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“He’s physically strong, he’s experienced, he’s a proper full-back, and we arguably don’t have a readymade replacement.

“Look back over the league games over the last two years, I think Conor Cleary has played every one of them.

“Adam Hogan is probably the long-term solution there but Adam is still Under-20.

“Physically, is he capable of handling or manhandling Gillane or (Seamus) Flanagan as you maybe have to do? I’m not so sure.

“Seadna Morey and Paul Flanagan are the two guys that would come in maybe as corner-backs, but two Limerick lads ask different questions, especially in a two-man full-forward line.

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“Brian has the option to put David McInerney back there but you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul because McInerney has been outstanding on the wing, and he matches up really well with Gearoid Hegarty outside.

“So yeah, at least they’ve had time to weigh it up and look at a few things in training.

“I’m not sure exactly what the situation is with Conor. He’s as tough as they come and maybe he’s harbouring hopes that he might play some part.

“I don’t know and I haven’t been talking to anybody close to the set-up.

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“But that’s the biggest call that Brian and the Clare management have to make because Limerick looked at the weekend (against Cork) like they can get goals.”

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