Lonesharkoy previews the Munster Senior Hurling clash between Clare and Limerick.
Clare vs Limerick, Munster SHC
The uncertainty surrounding this tie is very much in evidence in the odds on offer from the bookmakers out there. Both sides can be backed at odds against (Clare are 11/10 with a variety of firms, Limerick are top of the shop with Betway at 21/20) and in the case of both teams, we know that they are capable of far more than they showed in the Allianz League.
As a general rule, struggling to compete in a higher tier is usually better preparation for the championship than cruising through poorer opposition and Limerick’s dismal showing against Dublin in the league quarter final would corroborate that view.
Clare on the other hand seemed to find a little bit of form as the campaign went on and it’s fair to say that if they hurled all year as they did in the relegation final against Kilkenny, they wouldn’t have been in so much trouble in the first place.
Nonetheless, these are two sides with very different styles and while Clare tend to thrive that bit more as the ground dries out and the summer progresses, Limerick have made a fine habit of putting their best foot forward in the Munster championship. Clare have now lost at the first hurdle in Munster six times in a row and the list of absentees from their line-up makes it very hard to imagine that they’ll break that run this week, if Limerick find any kid of form at all.
Brendan Bugler, Colm Galvin, Conor McGrath and Podge Collins are all expected to be missing from last year’s team and while there has been plenty of discussion regarding the breaking up of the Galvin/Tony Kelly partnership; for our betting purposes, we’d be more interested in the absence of McGrath - admittedly he’s one omission from the starting fifteen that hasn’t yet been confirmed.
When McGrath and Shane O’Donnell can work in tandem, Clare then offer a real goalscoring threat. However with McGrath out, Limerick will be able to sweep in front of O’Donnell and that makes it very hard to see Clare getting a goal from anywhere else. No Clare goalscorer is a 4/1 shot with Boylesports, while covering your stake on O’Donnell is probably wise, just to be on the safe side.
This is a wager that might be as well left until the starting teams are confirmed, since McGrath could yet be a late springer into the side, which would change things utterly.
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