*David McNamara scrambles to win the ball with Oran Cahill and Ikem Ugwueru closing in. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
ENNISTYMON can take more positives than negatives from their 2022 Clare SFC campaign but they remain dejected with the outcome of Sunday’s county final.
Mark Shanahan’s charges lost out 0-09 0-06 to Paul Madden’s Éire Óg in Sunday’s final, the Ennis side claiming back to back honours at the expense of the North Clare outfit.
As ever, there was no complaints from the always dignified Shanahan at the final whistle. “County final day is about the winners and congratulating the winners, they are worthy champions, congrats to Éire Óg and we wish them all the best in the Munster club”.
In his view, Éire Óg’s winning experience helped see them through. “It’s hard to tell straight after the game but they are a fairly well tuned machine at this stage, they had the bit more experience and know-how, they were a bit marginally better than us, that’s the bottom line”.
Shanahan is in his third tenure as Ennistymon manager, the previous stint saw them also contest the Clare SFC final in 2018 where St Joseph’s Miltown proved too strong. Comparisons were difficult to make in the immediate aftermath of the latest loss, “The initial feeling straight after is just fierce disappointment, I can’t really (draw any similarities or differences), 2018 seems like a lifetime ago now. The initial thing is how gutted we are to lose a final”.
How Ennistymon kept battling until the end, scoring three of the final four scores was a positive, he acknowledged. “That’s very pleasing, we kept fighting in fairness, we just weren’t quite good enough, we’ve to learn from it and take all the positives out of the year, there’s loads of them it’s been a very positive year so we’ll take them out and try learn from today”.
“Even losing today they showed the right character, it augurs well for the future,” he told The Clare Echo. “We’ll look back on the year and try get as much as we can, there’s so many positives to be taken and we’ll attack next year”.