*Cian Moriarty lifts Colm O’Meara into the air. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

WHEN IT COMES to eating the turkey on Christmas Day, Clonlara’s hurlers wanted to be able to say they give it everything in the Munster club semi-final and they did, manager Donal Madden maintained.

Speaking following Sunday’s dramatic victory over Kiladangan in Semple Stadium, Madden revealed that he saw it difficult for them to get back into proceedings at half-time.

He said, “It was gone from us at half time. There was a huge breeze there and we hadn’t taken out chances, we had wasted a lot, the workrate was poor and we weren’t hitting our targets. I knew what Kiladangan were going to bring. I knew the forwards they have and if they have ball they will really hurt you. I was really worried at half time”.

Madden acknowledged that Kiladangan “lifted their game when down to 13 men. When a referee sends a fella off, he tends to give a lot of frees and maybe we panicked on the ball and maybe we didn’t use the ball well and we handed over two or three scores to them by using the ball poorly”.

According to the secondary school principal, “there was a bit of disarray until we got our stuff together on the sideline and we did and we got the next three scores. I am very proud of the character and spirit shown by us. Munster club games, not that I know a lot about them, take a life of their own and this did. If we lost the experts would be telling us that we threw it away”.

Their impact from the bench was impressive, he felt. “Substitutes Cian Moriarty, Micheal Stritch and Daniel Moloney had a huge impact. Diarmuid Stritch came up with that moment of magic. He is one for the future, he is only doing his Leaving Cert and he is certainly one for the future. He will be back in school on Monday morning, his attitude is top class. We have a gem there”.

It was a special weekend for their leader, John Conlon who won his second All Star on Friday night. “We had a lovely moment for him on Saturday but all that was bothering him was what time we were training so that he would be home in time to train. I am delighted for him. I am delighted for the club and everyone in the panel, some guys that are les documented really stood up today. Paraic O’Loughlin was outstanding today”.

The Munster Final “will be the biggest day ever in the history of the club, he concluded by saying “the result wasn’t worrying us coming down here today, rather it was that when we would look back when enjoying the Christmas dinner, we could do so knowing we gave it everything in Thurles. I think we did and there is huge satisfaction in that”.

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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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