Tuesday 17 July 2018

'It was patience and work,' says Moloney after his side book final berth

Clare joint manager Donal Moloney. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Clare joint manager Donal Moloney. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Patience and hard work provided Clare with the roadmap from a first round defeat to a Munster final and they are now confident it will take them even further. They were fiercely disappointed after losing their opening round robin game to Cork but remained convinced it wasn't a fair reflection of what they or their season were about.

Three wins later, they have another opportunity to test themselves against Cork and this time the Munster title will be on the line.

"The lads really found out a lot about themselves in the last number of months. That's no surprise to us. We always knew it was there. It was just a case of patience and work with them, let it eventually come out," said Clare joint manager, Donal Moloney.

"The last number of weeks, their leadership has just been phenomenal. When we lost in Cork there was no panic. We played quite well - not many people agreed with that but we did."

They played a lot better yesterday, gradually squeezing the resistance out of a Limerick team whose stock has risen substantially this year.

Cramming

And there may be more to come but first they have to deal with a defeat that has re-directed their All-Ireland ambitions via the preliminary quarter-final route.

"I was quite happy with where we were at half-time and we got a reasonably good start to the second half but I think you saw very quickly how the team ran out of energy. That was the biggest problem we had in the second half," said Limerick manager, John Kiely.

Since this was Limerick's third game in 15 days, the question of fixture cramming inevitably arises. Did the busy schedule leave them flat?

"I think playing that level of sport so intensely over a short period of time you really would need to be professional. I think next year they're going to put in a gap weekend for everybody.

"But I'm not using it as an excuse at all today. Clare were better than us, they had energy all over the pitch and they were so efficient in the second half playing against the breeze. It's a setback for us but I'm sure it's one we can absorb and can bounce back from," said Kiely.

Moloney agreed that the fixtures rota was very demanding on Limerick. Clare had a break after their first two games before heading into the final two.

"That's a big factor. We knew at half-time Limerick had expended a huge amount of energy to keep the game tight. We knew we would get a run on them in the second half because of the third week factor," Moloney added.

Irish Independent

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