It has been a successful introduction to Clare hurling so far for O’Callaghan’s Mills boss Donach O’Donnell with the Limerick native guiding his side unbeaten to the last four.
It has been an impressive run for the Mills with victories over Broadford, Crusheen and Kilmaley making them one of the form teams of the championship so far. O’Donnell is pleased with the manner in which they have hit the ground running.
“We are pleased to be there, and we are lucky to have such an honest and hardworking group of players. They are intelligent in the way they go about their hurling and they have been very open in what we have been trying to get them to do and working hard on it. Like any winter, we were starting off and getting to know them. We had a few weeks done before Covid hit and that was hard. Once we got back again, we were in smaller groups and you got to know them a bit better. They are a great bunch and the club is really strong. We get on great as a management team and they know the lads inside out. They know how they think and they know how they play so that has been a great insight to tap into” he noted.
O’Callaghan’s Mills have been putting up impressive scores in their games to date with seven goals in three outings being a testament to the firepower up front. O’Donnell feels their focus has been on improving game on game and he is confident there is more to come.
“You try to improve with every game you play and learn a little bit more and that is how we have approached. It is a formula that has been working for us and we will try to stick it to it the next day. The last two scorelines have flattered us a little bit because those games were really close up to the last quarter, but we have pushed on in the closing stages to get that breathing space and opened up a bit to drive it home” he said.
A third showdown in recent years with Ballyea awaits on Sunday and while O’Donnell admits it will be a tough task for his side, he feels they have the right mixture in the squad to make it a battle.
“Ballyea have been close to the top side in Clare for the last few years and have a huge amount of experience behind them. They are very hard to break down as a unit so we will just play our game and do what we can to take it to them. We have good experienced players along with the younger lads and that really helps. You have the experience of the older guys and then the innocence of youth who don’t see any fear which is a great mixture to have and I think that will stand to us. We have been lucky with injuries too and that is down to the medical team and also the players in the way that they are so diligent in how they look after themselves” he concluded.