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*Fionnan Treacy in mid-flight. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE’s minor hurlers will return to the drawing board following their surprising sixteen point loss at the hands of Galway.

Minor manager, Brian O’Connell was visibly disappointed when the final whistle sounded at Kenny Park in Athenry on Saturday.

He was also perplexed by the showing he witnessed, coming just over a week on from a stirring display from the county’s minors who lost to Tipperary in the provincial final by means of a penalty shootout.

“It’s hard to put our finger on it to be honest, it just wasn’t us at all today. We model ourselves on workrate and tackling, good ball to hand and moving the ball and none of that worked for us today. When you are playing against a quality side like Galway they will punish you straight away when it’s not working for you. Fair play to them they put up a good score but it just wasn’t us at all,” the Wolfe Tones clubman reflected.

He added, “The damage was done in the opening quarter. Niland was on form and fair play to him. Right from the off we were struggling to get energy into the lads, we were struggling all over the field. We have a two week break now and that’s a little bit of a positive, two weeks after playing matches week after week. Maybe that caught up with us, maybe it will lead to a little bit of freshness in the legs which will stand to us the next day”.

The Clare manager agreed, “there is a lot going on for them with exams coming up, but its the same for all the other teams. We are massively disappointed. I really don’t know what to say, we have to go back to the drawing board now, get a little bit of freshness into the legs and try and perform in two weeks time against Laois”

Looking ahead to the Laois challenge which will be a home fixture for Clare, O’Connell noted, “it will be a tough challenge, you don’t get to a Leinster final without playing good hurling. They are well coached, we played them a few times in challenge games earlier in the year. They were moving the ball well, they will not be a pushover and we won’t be taking them one bit lightly. We need to look at ourselves in the next couple of days”.

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