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Clare hurling team joint-manager, Donal Moloney. 
Clare hurling team joint-manager, Donal Moloney. 

Donal Moloney: 'Our efficiency came up short'

By John Harrington

Clare hurling team joint-manager, Donal Moloney, couldn’t help but feel that karma had a role to play in his team’s defeat to Galway in yesterday’s All-Ireland SHC semi-final.

Had Aron Shanagher’s 68th minute shot hit the back of the net instead of the post then the Banner County would most likely now be preparing for an All-Ireland SHC Final.

But Moloney didn’t think he could justifiably curse his luck considering they almost certainly wouldn’t have even made it out of the Munster Championship had Tipperary’s Jake Morris not hit Clare’s post with a shot himself late in final round match of the provincial series.

“Six weeks ago a post helped us out here in Thurles against Tipperary,” said Moloney after yesterday’s defeat to Galway.

“There’s swings and roundabouts in a season, I always kind of knew that maybe that would come back at some point and unfortunately it did today.

“Who knows, even if that went in, Galway are such a magnificent team that they might have still come with a point to bring it in to extra-time.

“You don’t know if that would have been the difference.”

For the second match in a row Clare gave themselves a mountain to climb against Galway when they went nine points down early in the first half, but Moloney didn’t accept that they were guilty of having a slow start.

“It’s not a slow start, it’s nothing to do with a slow start, Galway have a level of capability – that’s three games running, the Leinster final replay, last week in Croke Park and this week,” he said.

“So they are not really slow starts, it is magnificent play by Galway the way they come out of the blocks. Fair play to that in terms of how they figure that. We always reckon it’s better to finish strong. It helped us this year, to finish big.

“Unfortunately we just ran out of time and space, and our efficiency came up a bit short.

“We were basically looking at, okay, the second half would be close on 40 minutes long, that’s the time to come with the big plays. Unfortunately, I suppose our efficiency let us down.

“Normally our efficiency is much, much higher than that but it let us down a little bit. Having said that, this is game eight and our players have just been magnificent this summer, they’ve grown so much and they left it all out there on the field.”

Moloney and Gerry O’Connor’s two-year term as Clare’s management ticket is now up, and they’ll bide their time before deciding whether they’ll seek an extension.

“That’s for another day,” said Moloney. “Everybody has invested an awful lot in this journey, it’s not just this last two years for Gerry O’Connor and myself, this is going on since 2006.

“That is a long long time in anyone’s life so we’ll have to look at that.”

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