Éire Óg sharpshooter David Reidy believes his side’s near misses in recent years has helped them become battle hardened for this Sunday’s mouthwatering decider with Ballyea.
After progressing through to seven quarter finals in a row with this year being the third in succession that they have reached the last four, Éire Óg finally reached the decider as they stand just an hour of hurling away from lifting the Canon Hamilton for the first time since 1990.
“We’ve been knocking on the door for the last few years. We have been to a number of quarter finals, a semi final last year and just kept on not getting the job done. These setbacks stand to us.
“You can’t beat experience. It’s probably not the experience that Ballyea have in terms of their pedigree but we built up a lot of experience.
“With Mattie over us he’s brought another edge to us; that resilient side and never say die attitude. Again, that’s what we tried to bring in the semi final and what we will try to bring on Sunday.”
After undergoing a knee operation earlier this year, Reidy returned to the Clare fold sooner than expected as he played an important role in the second half of Clare’s Championship campaign.
He admits the time away from the pitch has helped him to maintain a degree of freshness entering this Sunday’s county final.
“It (injury) was probably a blessing in disguise. At the time you wouldn’t be thinking that but the fact that I probably came back a bit sooner than I had planned, but them five or six weeks without doing too much, just a bit of gym work, that has really kept me going and it’s given me a good platform to drive it on. The fact that it’s a longer year and the fact that we’ve gone one step further with the club this year, it has stood to me.”
Reidy believes Cian O’Dea has slotted in seamlessly after his transfer from Corofin. The Sales Manager with Crown Paints states that O’Dea and the younger members of the panel have brought a renewed vigour to Éire Óg’s dressing room.
“He (O’Dea) has slotted in well. Cian’s working for Éire Óg aswell which is a great boost for the academy side of things and the schools. He’s slipped in to the 15 at the moment. He’s been playing excellent and a couple of younger lads are all giving a new dynamic to the team is the best way to describe it. Something that we probably didn’t have last year or the year before.”
“It’s given that bit of freshness, that bit of drive. That experience then with Cian in training is another thing and add all that in to a side that has been there or thereabouts every year, it’s building nicely.”