ANTHONY Daly will come face-to-face with his native Clare on Saturday week after Dublin were given a home tie against the Banner in phase two of the All-Ireland SHC qualifiers.
As beaten Leinster semi finalists, Dublin were entered into pot 1 of the draw and could have been paired with either Clare or Limerick – both of whom lost in the Munster last four – but Offaly were pulled out with Justin McCarthy’s hapless charges before Dublin were drawn alongside Clare.
Daly, who captained the county to two All-Ireland titles in 1995 and ’97 before taking over as manager between 2003 and 2006, will also walk the line against childhood friend and Clarecastle clubmate, Ger O’Loughlin.
The Banner missed out on National Hurling League promotion after being beaten by Wexford in the Division 2 decider and put in a much-improved showing in their Munster clash with Waterford, leading for a significant portion of the match before a late Deise surge handed Davy Fitzgerald’s men a four-point win.
“Clare are coming off a very good performance against Waterford,” Daly told the Herald today. “There’s a bit of a high down here at the moment as to all the young lads and how hopeful they are of coming through. But sure look, it was going to be one or the other.
“They really took the game to Waterford, which is an encouraging thing from a Clare point of view. They really had a go whereas we would have felt against Kilkenny that we didn’t really have a go at all.
“But I think the two teams would have similar profiles as well in terms of age. There was a draw in the league last year so I wouldn’t think there’s that much between the teams. It’s about whoever gets it right on the day.
“Obviously, we’ll have to decide to go for it and go for breaking ball like our lives depend on it, which we didn’t do in Croke Park against Kilkenny.”
The Dublin panel will train tomorrow night for the first time in a week after being released back to their clubs last Tuesday as they start preparations for their do-or-die showdown with Clare.
“We trained Tuesday night and had a chat and let them get away from each other for a couple of days,” Daly explained. “We’re back in Tuesday and we’ll do a hard week.”
Daly’s only injury worry is David Treacy who he said was “highly unlikely” to play any part against Clare. The Cuala attacker has been suffering with a hamstring injury for the past month and broke down again last Wednesday lining out for the Dublin U21s in Nowlan Park as they beat Kilkenny by five points.
“He broke down in the U21 match there the other night. He’s only going for treatment on Thursday so no, I wouldn’t think he will be ready,” Daly added.