Defending the ‘Banner’


Screen shot 2013-08-15 at 09.46.10THE wide open spaces of Croke Park are a forward’s dream and a back’s nightmare. Limerick are faced with policing one of the most mobile forward lines in the history of the game on Sunday. Three men who will face that task, Gavin O’Mahony, Wayne Mc Namara and Tom Condon spoke to PostSport this week about how they believe they can defend the ‘Banner’
“It is a tricky one and getting the balancing right is crucial. They play so unorthodox – it will be a case of saying, you use your head and look up and watch what is going on and pick up the guy nearest to you,” commented wing back O’Mahony.
“Obviously I have watched their games and they are very hard to close down – we are going to have to find a happy medium and I would be hoping that there is enough experience there in the back line. They do seem to play out the field a lot and the forwards seem to drift back and for a defender that is very difficult to stamp out because if you follow them you leave space behind and if you don’t follow them you have fellas scoring points from 70yards out the field,” added the Kilmallock man.
One man who will put in more than his share of running and covering this weekend will be centre back Wayne Mc Namara. The number six is looking inwards first, before concentrating on Clare.
“We haven’t really looked at defensive plans just yet. We have to control ourselves. Control the controlables. We have seen a lot of them. As the championship went on you tend to watch more and more games. Clare have learned from the mistakes they made against Cork and they have changed  their style in almost every game. That is some feat.Croke Park is where I have wanted to play all my life with Limerick and it has to be the place that we deliver,” added the Adare Club man.
The full back line for Limerick of Stephen Walsh, Richie Mc Carthy and Tom Condon will be the last line of defence in front of Nicky Quaid once more this weekend. The number four from Knockaderry, Tom Condon, has been studying hard ahead of a big test.
“I have watched their games live and I have watched back some videos too. They play a very short passing game. They are a very fit team. Their style of play is to work the ball up the field with no long balls. We have studied that to try and suss out their gameplan. You have to go out with the mentality of being better than your opposite number. You have to think like that otherwise you are starting off on a bad note. They are fast and lively and you just have to mark them and all going well, we can close them down enough. “