Munster Under 20 Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Limerick v Clare @ LIT Gaelic Grounds Limerick, Monday 8.05pm (Michael Kennedy, Tipperary)
THE emotional rollercoaster of being an inter-county manager was aptly encapsulated within a single hour on Monday evening as Clare went from sublime to subpar against hosts Kerry without any middle ground.
It was a frustrating experience that Clare manager Sean Doyle found difficult to justify but with a more ruthless Limerick eager to punish any lapses on home soil this Monday, it’s a warning sign that the Banner will be determined to heed according to the Bodyke native.
“A win is a win but overall as a management team, we’re disappointed by the way the lads didn’t perform in the second half. They played well in the first half but just went away from what we’ve been showing them in the second half and it just shows that we’ve a lot of work to do in the next week as we’re coming up against formidable opposition next Monday night.
“I know you could say that by half-time the game was won but that’s not the way we were viewing it. We wanted a serious performance and we got it in the first half but didn’t in the second.
“Now it’s easy talk from the sidelines as we were up against two sweepers at times and it was difficult to break that down but we have a serious bank of work done but we just lack that desired energy in the second half. We lost that half by 0-10 to 0-05 which isn’t up to the standards that we require.
“I’d say themselves going home tonight, the players know that they have to up it at least 40% if they want to beat Limerick on Monday night.”
Doyle is acutely aware of the threat that Limerick pose having been on the end of an agonising minimum defeat to the same opponents at minor level three years previously in Cusack Park when Clare led for the majority only to be pipped at the post by a Cathal O’Neill inspired side who leapfrogged their hosts into the Munster decider.
“Limerick are a serious opponent and they’ve kept their senior players on ice which makes the competition a bit lop-sided as we’re without some of ours.
“But look, we’re expecting a big performance and I’ve no doubt with the character of these lads that they’ll bounce back and give a massive display on Monday night.”
Clare will monitor the progress of Cian Galvin and Killian O’Connor before naming their team at the weekend.
by Eoin Brennan