Kildare a step too far for Clare
Home side have momentum but Jason Ryan’s team should prevail
Kildare’s Tommy Moolick and Hugh McGrillen in action against Down in Round 2B of the All-Ireland qualifiers. Photograph: Inpho.
All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round3B Clare v Kildare Cusack park, Ennis Saturday, 7pm Good to see the much put-upon qualifiers still throwing up new and interesting pairings even after all these years. Clare and Kildare have never met before and, in any new-world order that eventually comes along, would be pretty unlikely to meet again.
Best get this fixture while it’s hot.
Even with the benign draw that gave them the very manageable hurdle of Carlow last time out, Clare are still well worth their place in the last 14. They ran what we now know is a very decent Kerry side to four points in Munster and, regardless of the opposition, not every team in the country would have run up 4-26 away from home last weekend.
Colm Collins clearly has momentum behind his side. The way he casually rejected any notion that a job lot of the county hurlers might join up now was impressive, as was his insistence that they’d be welcome if they were going to make it a long-term thing.
For all that Kildare are decidedly unproven, this would clearly be a scalp.
It’s certainly possible, especially against a Kildare defence that leaves itself so open so regularly.
Clare should beat the four-point spread. Winning ought to be a step too far though. Verdict: Kildare.