*Brian Lohan and Ken Ralph. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Brian Lohan has hailed the spirit of his Clare charges as they secured the county’s place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
Clare advanced to their fifth All-Ireland quarter-final in eighth years having dispatched of the challenge of Wexford in Portlaoise on Saturday.
Speaking after the win, Lohan referred to their round one qualifier clash with Laois and felt insufficient credit was given to Eddie Brennan’s side for the challenge they put up. “They were tough conditions, tough opponents, they really put it up to our lads but there is a bit of spirit in the group. We were unlucky not to get a better result against Laois last weekend, I thought we played well but unfortunately we conceded a couple of goals but they are not a bad team. That result stood us fairly well for this game”.
Though pleased with the efforts of the entire panel, the former Clare captain acknowledged yet another wonderful contribution from Tony Kelly. “Everyone knows Tony is an exceptional hurler but he works so hard, every day we train he is the first guy there and the last to leave”.
With a ten point lead at half-time having played with the elements, the Shannon man stated that he believed their forward line were going to step up to dilute a Wexford comeback. “I thought we had a pace in our forward line that was going to cause them trouble so I was happy enough facing into the breeze, I thought we were going to get more than three points, it depended on whether they would be able to get a goal down the other side and if we could get goals”.
David McInerney’s availability for selection for the quarter-final was welcomed by Brian who voiced his frustration for the Tulla man missing out on the Wexford win.