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Shane O Donnell, man of the match, looks on as the cup is presented following the All-Ireland senior hurling final replay against Cork at Croke Park. Photograph by John Kelly.

Nothing Cork could do about O’Donnell – McGrath

SPEAKING to The Clare Champion after the game, Cork selector Seanie McGrath said his wife, an Ennis native, would torment him later.

“She’ll be doing my head in tonight!” he laughed, showing good humour in the face of disappointment.

He acknowledged Shane O’Donnell’s three goals in the first 20 minutes had a huge bearing but said the scores had been created further out the field.

“I wouldn’t say that we got caught out there. When we knew that Shane O’Donnell was in, we didn’t change our match up because we felt that Shane (O’Neill) was still well capable of handling it. I think that Shane O’Donnell had an outstanding game but a lot of the goals and the creation of those goals came from out the field to be fair. There were overlaps and he was at the end of some great moves.

“But, all in all, he had an unbelievable game, 3-3 in an All-Ireland final. I’ve seen him for a while and he’s an exceptional talent.”

Going into the drawn game, all the talk was about Clare’s seven man defence. McGrath felt they had got a bit preoccupied, so they focussed almost exclusively on their own team for the replay.

“We felt we overplayed Clare the first day and we focused solely on our own performance. You have to do a bit of analysis on the opposition but we were only worried about our own house.

“Whatever happens in a game you can’t legislate for it, you can’t go back and say we should have this or that; the young fella [O’Donnell] just had a fantastic game and there was nothing we could do about it.”
Cork played some outstanding hurling, particularly in the early part of the second half, but McGrath acknowledged the better team had won.

“While we were a bit disappointed that we didn’t push on in the second half because we felt we had a bit of momentum, they were well worthy of their victory.”

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