Clare got their Munster senior hurling championship back on track in Cusack Park at the weekend, in their two outings thus far no player has been more influential than Clonlara’s John Conlon who says this was the game they agreed to “die on the field” for the Banner cause.
Speaking in the aftermath of their nine point win over Waterford, Conlon indicated that they were fully aware of the importance of getting the right result following their defeat to Cork seven days previous.
“We knew we had a lot at stake. We done a lot right last week, we missed six or seven goal chances I know, we were giving out to ourselves that we didn’t take the shot to get the goals or didn’t trouble Nash, we got to the final stage and the pass was wrong or we took the wrong option.
“This week we said we’re going for the jugular, if you’re going through you’re going straight for goal and if you’re not you’re taking your scores and we did that today. We’ve a lot to improve on, ten minutes before half-time and ten minutes from the end we lost our shape again and that’s when we need to be powering on. It’s wide open this championship, Waterford will be back next week again once they get the few injuries and things right, there’s nothing between any of the teams in my opinion”.
Emphasis is being placed on how teams manage the recovery periods in between games. The St Aidans teacher outlined that members of their panel who featured for the Cork game did a recovery session the day after while those who didn’t partook in a full session. According to Conlon, it was here and a meeting held on the evening of the loss that Clare laid out their intentions for the Waterford game.
“It was just basically to tune back in, that game was over Sunday evening, we actually had a meeting Sunday evening after the match and just said ‘tune back in, get right for the match next week’ and we went to recovery, tuned in for Waterford. We used the league the same way, we’d two games in a row and then a break in between and we just used it as a tool towards getting right for championship”.
In two games, Conlon has notched a personal tally of 1-08, he admits to having done a lot of preparation this year but rushes to push praise towards fellow teammates.
“I’ve a lot of work done this year and just getting things right off the field and on the field, I’m really enjoying my hurling at the moment, it’s not about me it’s about the whole panel there were leaders all over the field everyone stood up. David McInerney had an outstanding match, Tony and Colm were outstanding, all the backs everyone came out with ball. We just said today that we were going to give it everything, die on the field, every sub that came in worked really hard for the team”.
Clare now have a rest for this weekend, getting a win ahead of the break was required. John revealed his Clonlara coach Shane McGrath referenced how difficult teams find coming to Cusack Park. “Shane McGrath of Tipperary is over us this year and he said Ennis was one of the places he hated coming to because they start banging the galvanise and everyone starts going. The Clare crowd when they get behind you are special, we’re hoping that the crowd will come out in two weeks time to Thurles”.