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Playing to tactics pays dividends

PUTTING Portlaoise on the back foot had been a priority for Kilmurry Ibrickane, according to midfielder Peter O’Dwyer.
“They’re a real running team, they’re a flair team and they move the ball quickly. We felt we had to take the game to them and get a good start. We didn’t want to be chasing the game against Portlaoise, they’re a confidence team. We just wanted to move the ball quick, be in their faces, tackle hard, get it into the full-forward line quickly and get scores, which is what we did.”
Often teams struggle to make the best use of a numerical advantage and he felt that during the second half they had been guilty of some over-elaboration.
“Sometimes a team that goes a man down can be galvanised by it and play a bit better. They’ve a bit more room and they move the ball a bit quicker because they have to. When you’ve an extra man you can end up playing the ball a bit slower, bizarrely enough, because you end up playing it sideways or backwards, because there’s always a man near you, instead of moving it into the full-forward line, which you should be doing. That was probably a fault of ours today in the second half, we probably weren’t moving the ball quick enough.”
It was an outstanding performance from the Clare and Munster champions and he was delighted with the outcome. “It was brilliant. We laid to rest some of the ghosts of five years ago and in some way made up for it. I’m really happy for everyone involved with the club, I’m delighted for the management and players’ who’ve put in huge effort all year, it’s just fantastic to be there, it’s a bit surreal, it hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Darren Hickey felt that the first sending off may have been a little tough on Portlaoise. “The sendings off made it awful open for us. We had men to spare all over the field near the end. The first challenge was dirty enough, it was high around the neck but I don’t know should it have been a straight red.”
He said that they had been conscious they were outsiders and it had been a bit of an incentive. “We knew going into it that we were total underdogs. We were four to one and they were two to nine so we had a point to prove. We knew we had to hit them straight away, in the first 10 minutes. Thanks be to God our forwards clicked today. We showed today that there are serious forwards in our club.”
He said that in the run-up to the semi final the Kilmurry Ibrickane backs had spent a day together at Enda Coughlan’s house and that there was a strong bond there. “Every Saturday before we have a game all the backs get together, we’d have an aul bet at the bookies, maybe watch the soccer. That’s how close we are. The forwards might have been doing the same thing because they clicked out there today!”
Mark Killeen also praised the forward division. “The difference today was discipline. They had a man put off at the start, their game fell for a while and we took advantage. We took our scores today, in other matches we weren’t doing it but the forwards really stood up today. Usually, the backs are getting the praise but today the forwards were excellent.
“We knew their game plan. We watched the Leinster final and we had our tactics right today. People might look at the sendings off but we still had our job to do.”

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