Clare should be too strong for Longford in football qualifier

Jack Sheedy’s side travel to Ennis seeking second win after Dublin drubbing

This is the first meeting in the championship between the counties and both have similar profiles coming into this encounter this evening: a competitive win over a peer county followed by a punishment beating from higher-ranked opposition.

Longford have had the chance to get back on the horse with an emphatic win over Carlow, which at least pushes the Dublin ordeal farther into the rear-view mirror, whereas Clare haven't played since losing to Cork.

Jack Sheedy’s team have a decent chance. Their comeback against Offaly was impressive, they created some good early chances in Croke Park, and their finishing was good in the defeat of Carlow.

Clare though have the obvious advantages: home venue with an attendance swollen by the hurlers’ presence on a double bill, plus they played the league in a higher division, although Longford will be joining them there next year.

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There's also good news in the camp with top scorer David Tubridy returning to the team after missing the Cork semi-final with a groin injury.

Also fit enough to be included on the bench are other first-teamers Shane McGrath and Enda Coughlan.

It’s an open match but Clare look more likely winners.

CLARE: TJ Hayes; C Russell, K Hartnett, M McMahon; S Hickey, G Kelly, D Ryan; G Brennan, C O'Connor; S Collins, J Malone, K Sexton; E Cleary, D Tubridy, P Burke.
LONGFORD: P Collum; D Brady, B O'Farrell, F Battrim; C Smyth, B Gilleran, D Masterson; K Diffley, M Quinn; P Gill, R McEntire, R Connor; L Connerton, B Kavanagh, D Reynolds.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times