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Davy Fitzgerald: "The one word I would use to describe St Joseph’s is resilience."

Tulla win shows Clare hurling in good fettle, says Davy

SAINT Joseph’s Secondary School Tulla have raised the bar for other Clare schools to achieve hurling success following their fairytale first Harty Cup victory, according to Davy Fitzgerald.

In an interview with the Clare Champion, Davy said St Joseph’s were well deserved winners over Ardscoil Rís in the Harty Cup final, having followed their meteoric rise all year.

“I am a Clareman, you can’t get away from watching Clare teams and results. The one word I would use to describe St Joseph’s is resilience. They never gave in, they never gave in and fought on their backs.

“That augurs well for young hurlers in Clare, the way St Joseph’s have led this. Hats off to them the way they fought on the field. St Joseph’s were underdogs on a few occasions, but just because you are underdogs doesn’t mean you are going to be defeated.”

“That is what we want in Clare, they have given us that light, St Flannan’s did it a year or two ago. St Joseph’s don’t have the numbers that St Flannan’s or some of the other schools have.”

The former Clare and Wexford senior hurling manager described St Joseph’s Harty Cup success as “amazing”.

While some people have expressed concern about the state of underage hurling in Clare following last year’s drubbing by Cork in the Munster minor hurling championship, Davy remains optimistic about the future in view of the recent success of St Flannan’s and now St Joseph’s.

“I know some people would like to play down Clare hurling and are worried about their underage. There is no fear of Clare underage hurling, we can see that with the schools and the clubs with how well they work together. A lot of Clare clubs work really hard. Well done to St Joseph’s, I am absolutely thrilled for them.”

Having won two Harty Cup, Dean Ryan and an All-Ireland title with St Flannan’s, Davy fully appreciates the great joy St Joseph’s have brought to hurling enthusiasts throughout the county.

“When I was a young hurler I am remember travelling to Harty Cup games with Dr Quinn from Sixmilebridge. The atmosphere at Harty Cup games was incredible. I said some day I will get to play for St Flannan’s and I did.

“I was lucky enough to be part of some great St Flannan’s team and play with some great players. The atmosphere in the Gaelic Grounds for the Harty Cup final between St Joseph’s and Ardscoil Rís was brilliant.

“St Joseph’s are now the role models for the young second, third and fourth year students coming up behind them. St Flannan’s were down but they came back. Rice College Ennis are making definite progress and can make more. St Caimin’s and St Patrick’s Comprehensive, Shannon, there is potential for these schools to be really strong.”

“Scariff Community College have been very competitive. Now the bar has been raised by St Joseph’s who came from nowhere to win the Harty Cup. It shows what can be done.

“I don’t think people realise what St Joseph’s have done for Clare hurling, which is great for us as Clare people to see. No one gave St Joseph’s a chance of beating Ardscoil Rís in the Harty Cup final.

“Any team can be beaten at any stage, the thing I love about St Joseph’s is they have shown that. I am so proud as a Clareman. St Joseph’s have given everyone a huge lift, which is brilliant,” he concluded.

By Dan Danaher

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