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Clare hurling manager Gerry O'Connor pictured during the Munster SHC Final against Cork. 
Clare hurling manager Gerry O'Connor pictured during the Munster SHC Final against Cork. 

O'Connor says Clare will recover from Munster Final loss

By John Fallon

Clare joint manager Gerry O’Connor said the Banner county will regroup for the All-Ireland quarter-finals and try put their Munster final loss to Cork behind them.

O’Connor also suggested that Cork showed why they are worthy Munster champions.

They closed down the threat posed by Clare full-forward John Conlon, who scored 0-5 in the opening half but was held scorless after that.

“The game is played over 75 minutes, we just weren’t able to get possession from our own puckout as regularly as we were in the first half and as a result of that there was a lot of ball being cut out by their half-back line and feeding their forward line," said O'Connor.

“Also, as a consequence of that our supply to our full-forward line, particularly to John Conlon who was having an excellent game in the first half, we were being starved of possession inside in the full-forward line in the second half.

“They came out at the start of the second half and you have to give them great credit, the reality is they were worthy champions last year and they are worthy champions this year.

“They played really good hurling in that 15 minute spell just before half-time and I think that’s where the game was won and lost.”

O’Connor was pleased with the way his men responded but said they were unable to get on top as they didn’t make the most of their chances.

“We stabilised things after 15 minutes of that second half but they appeared to get on top of our half-back line. Their half-forward line stormed into the game, they seemed to get a lot of scores from there.

“That 10 or 15 minute period just after half-time, we missed a few frees, they got a few handy scores and that’s just the nature of it, we just weren’t able to get a foothold on the game after that,” he added.

Their focus now switches to an All-Ireland quarter-final and O’Connor said they wouldn’t be dwelling on the disappointment of another Munster final loss.

“It’s a short turnaround but maybe that will suit us. The reality is we’ve got to go and prepare diligently for an All-Ireland quarter-final in two weeks’ time,” said O’Connor.