*Shane O’Donnell and Aron Shanager. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Clare’s league final success was massive for the group according to team manager Brian Lohan.

Speaking after the win over Kilkenny at FBD Semple stadium on Saturday night he said “the display wasn’t all that brilliant but it was good to get the result”.

Hitting three goals was pivotal to their success, he maintained. “Anytime you can get green flags against Kilkenny it’s good, there was good running and good movement, it was crucial to get the win”.

Aidan McCarthy’s first half goal on thirty one minutes put Clare in front for the second time in the game and they remained ahead until the sounding of the final whistle. “Any of those scores were crucial. Our lads in the full forward line were threatening, taking up good positions but then lost possession. It wasn’t too surprising that we got one,” he said of the first green flag.

Brian Lohan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill.

“They are an experienced bunch now, they have put up with disappointments and you learn from disappointments, they are a resilient bunch. Sometimes you get the rewards for your work and sometimes you don’t, they do stay working hard. If winning a league is a reward, tonight was a reward”.

He added, “there is a great group there, they have a great attitude and a great workrate.

Winning the league will put Clare in a positive place ahead of the start of the Munster championship on April 21st against Limerick. “The Munster championship is so even, it’s such a tough competition, home, away, home, away. There is real quality of opposition whoever you are playing, it’s something to look forward to. It’s about recovery now and getting right for the games”.

On fitness, Lohan confirmed that Tony Kelly was not close to having an involvement in the league final. Management are hopeful he will be able to play some part against Limerick. “He is still working hard as he always does, we are hoping that he will get better”.

Clare’s fifth league title is “massive for this group,” the manager stated. “The group works really hard and you do want to get some reward for your effort, particularly with our results against Kilkenny over the past few years. We have had to deal with a lot of disappointment from Kilkenny so we are very focused, the players have been working really hard for the last while. Sometimes you get reward and sometimes you don’t. We got that bit of reward today”.

Notching this success in advance of the championship is a big plus, he acknowledged. “You can’t beat winning, it’s an old saying but a true one. It’s great for the group, great for the county and great for hurling in the county. It’s been a really good week for hurling in Clare. Our minors did well on Thursday, our under 20s won last night (Friday). The pressure was there for the seniors to do something and thankfully they did. We are delighted with our group”.

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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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