Diarmuid O’Sullivan: Clare have turned a corner, but they’re not contenders yet

The Rock of Cloyne looks ahead to Sunday’s massive clash at Cusack Park and assesses where the Banner County are in the All-Ireland race…

The game in Ennis on Sunday is massive for both Limerick and Clare. Cusack Park has been sold out since the final whistle of last week’s games. It’s going to be some cauldron in there. It’ll be a ferocious and intriguing contest as you’re talking about a rivalry that in some places has only the width of a bridge or a crossroads separating the two counties.

At the moment, I’d pick Limerick to win on Sunday because a lot of their big players seem to be firing. Clare are still relying on four or five fellas to get them over the line. Tony Kelly has yet to fire for them this year, so if he could light up Cusack Park, that could be a huge advantage to Clare and swing it their way.

But, Limerick will punish the amount of wides Clare ran up against Tipp. They’re a very good side, who are growing in confidence every week.

A Munster title for either Limerick or Clare would be a huge bonus for them. It would definitely be more important for either of them to win Munster than Cork. The Banner County have been quietly building away. They might have suffered a first round defeat to Cork, but ultimately, they haven’t paid a heavy price for it.

There were a lot of questions asked of them after that and I was one of the people that did so. I wondered where the leaders in the team were, and where was Clare hurling going?

However, they’ve progressed really well in the last couple of games and are deservingly in the shake-up to win a Munster title. They’ve without question turned a corner, but they need more guys to step up to the plate to be contenders.

I don’t believe there’s an All-Ireland in Clare yet though. There’s just too many teams I’d have ahead of them at this moment in time.

Head over to paddypower.com for the latest on Clare v Limerick

What do you think?