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‘Frees drained us’ – Kelly

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*Tony Kelly. Photograph: Martin Connolly

In their second defeat of the 2019 Allianz National Hurling League, Clare paid the price for indiscipline and basic mistakes according to Tony Kelly.

When it came to wides, Clare had eleven, Cork only seven. But most costly off all was the frees, Cork were awarded 22 over seventy minutes and Clare 7. Kelly hit 6 points from play, while Clonlara duo John Conlon and Ian Galvin scored 4 points each however Patrick Horgan slotted 16 points, 15 of which were from placed balls. Tony admitted affording free after free to the Glen Rovers sharpshooter was unsustainable.

“Some aspects of our play were very good and others not, maybe at half-time we probably should have gone in ahead, we squandered a lot of ball not even wides but misplaced passes and the finer things to our game, that second half it was the frees that sticked out in my mind just gave away too many of them and you can’t be giving Patrick Horgan free shots at goal, you’d be doing well to come out of a game and give him fifteen frees”.

“Once they went one or two up we found it hard, made the wrong decision once or twice, we could have levelled it. Things to learn and take for the next two games and that is a positive in itself, we can work on the finer part of our game for next week for Limerick and Wexford”.

While Clare’s backs left a lot to be desired when it came to discipline, the former Hurler of the Year pointed out that mistakes up front need to be eliminated. “We left chances after us, if we scored our chances we would be coming out of here with a different result and we mightn’t take as close a look at the frees. It might do us no harm and get back to the training field and work on our finer things, there was a lot of positives to take from it and our back play especially in the first half maybe that sloppy goal we gave away I think they only got a point from play which was a good return in the first half. It was the frees that drained us in the second half”.

Next weekend he will line out in Cusack Park for the first time in this year’s League and the Ballyea man maintained they will be trying to be better at earning their frees when Wexford come to Ennis.

“From our own point of view we’ve to work on it a bit harder to make our frees. That’s taking nothing away from Cork, they’re not the ones giving their own frees they are just putting over what they get and if we took our chances we still should have come away with a draw or a win, it’s definitely one area we need to get down on and if it’s the only thing we need to cut out for next week and going forward it will be a big step in the right direction”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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