CLARE’S CAMOGIE side are heading back to the drawing board after a sobering twenty point defeat ended their involvement in the All-Ireland senior championship.

It means Clare will not progress to the knockout stages for the third year in a row. Speaking after Saturday’s defeat, Clare boss John Carmody pointed to the injuries sustained by forwards Eimear Kelly and Lorna McNamara as greatly hindering their cause.

“Our game plan today was that we were going to go player on player and attack the game. That’s what we did. In the first minute of both halves we lost two of our best forwards. We lost Eimear Kelly and Lorna McNamara, that wasn’t in the plan. In the second half it was stick or twist. Ideally into that breeze you need to be dropping a player back but we just couldn’t, we were six points down. We were wide open. We had no choice but to go player on player again in the second half and try to get the scores to get back into the game but then we lost Lorna in the first minute of the second half. We were chasing it”.

Cork’s experience was telling during the game, he felt. “Cork won the toss and elected to play into the breeze and we really needed to make the most of it in the second half. To be fair to Cork they brought a huge performance and they were worthy winners. They have experience and All-Ireland winners all over the field but that is where we are striving to get to. Two weeks ago here against Galway we felt we were heading in the right direction but a day like today and you see there is another gear”.

Had Clare won they would have eliminated Cork and taken their place in the quarter-finals, that resulted in a stronger showing from the Leesiders, the Kilmaley man believed. “Everything was on the line for Cork today and they weren’t going to go out of the All-Ireland championship and their performance level showed that. We needed to match that and I thought we tried but we suffered two big blows losing the two girls. On the day Cork were the sharper and stronger team, the scoreline doesn’t lie. We are a work in progress. We have to go back to the drawing board and see can we plug the gaps and can we compete better into the future”.

He added, “In fairness to our girls they are an outstanding bunch and they have given us an absolutely massive commitment, they are a credit to themselves. What they have put in can’t be lost in a defeat like that. We will bounce back, we have to learn from this We are developing young players and those players have to come through hopefully and strengthen the overall panel and going forward Clare will be a stronger group”.

Cork snuffed out any danger when Clare looked threatening, Carmody said. “We didn’t have any time on the ball and that is credit to Cork, the way they closed us down. Cork brought a huge appetite and forced mistakes from us. We made mistakes there today that we haven’t been making, totally uncharacteristic for us and we have to put that down to the Cork performance. Maybe we need more games like this, at this intensity so you learn to play at that pace and not get turned over in those situations”.

Despite this result the manager is happy that “we have seen improvement but that result today doesn’t reflect what the girls are putting in. They are fantastic role models for Clare camogie and they will come again, they have to come again. We have an excellent S&C in Jamie Fitzgibbon, it’s his first year in, maybe we have to double down on that work over the winter and make sure that the players are fitter and stronger. We have to go back to the drawing board and the girls are willing to work”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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