Tuesday 20 February 2018

Clare face anxious wait ahead of Collins scan

Podge Collins limped out. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Podge Collins limped out. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Clare's Podge Collins is to have a scan today on the foot injury that brought his Munster Championship semi-final with Limerick to a premature end in Thurles.

Collins limped out of the game in the 59th minute after an opponent fell awkwardly on him and if a broken bone is detected it would potentially rule him out of a Munster final in five weeks.

Clare joint-manager Gerry O'Connor said he wouldn't speculate on the extent of the injury ahead of the results of the scan being made known to them.

O'Connor also acknowledged there was room for improvement in terms of performance, but he was happy with the resilience shown when Limerick ate into their early lead, built courtesy of two Shane O'Donnell goals.

"We've been in two pressurised situations in the last two months," he said.

"One was the second-half of the relegation play-off against Dublin.

"The real positive aspect from us was the way we responded to Limerick eroding that eight-point lead in the middle third of the first-half. We got five unanswered points in that 10-minute spell in the first-half and I think that was the key.

"We spoke about that mental resilience to turn things around when the momentum swung against you. It is only in adversity that you realise what your mental and physical capabilities are."

O'Connor said qualifying for a first Munster final in nine years was something for the players more than the management, who had focused on winning a game more than where it took them.

"We had targeted this game as the one we were going to be judged on. We had put seven months' work into it and the players would have had serious concerns about how they would have performed in Munster in the recent past, but as a management team we don't really dwell on the past.

"That brings its own pressure and Limerick were in a good place from the point of view that we were made the bookies' favourites."

O'Connor said the management team has taken no view on where the Munster final might end up being played.

There is speculation that if it's Cork they are playing, Clare might be reluctant to agree to playing it in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which Cork are planning to re-open for the Munster football final if they reach it.

A Waterford v Clare Munster hurling final in the Páirc might be a different matter for them.

Wherever it is, O'Connor hopes that it will be an opportunity for the Clare supporters to get out in bigger numbers.

"We probably would have felt that we could have had more support in Thurles," he said.

"From the volume of noise, I don't know what the numbers were, but when Limerick got on that roll, it felt like they had more support."

Clare were buoyed by the return to form of O'Donnell, but O'Connor said he was just as happy with the impact that they got from their bench.


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Irish Independent

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