*Clare senior hurling manager, Brian Lohan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE’s senior hurlers are very satisfied to be back in the Munster final.

For the third year in a row, Clare and Limerick will do battle in the provincial final with John Kiely’s side chasing a sixth Munster title in succession.

Brian Lohan will be patrolling the sidelines against Kiely. Speaking following their three point win over Tipperary, Lohan said he is “happy with the result and happy to be back in the Munster final”.

Sunday’s result means Clare have won three of their four outings in the province, the only defeat coming in the opening round against Limerick at Cusack Park. “We came down to do a job and it’s a tough job to do and we got it done,” Lohan said of the Tipperary tie.

There was no difficulty focusing the Clare side ahead of the Tipperary game even though the Premier County were out of contention, he admitted. “We try to prepare as well as possible but obviously in the back of your mind you say you may not even need a result here. Look we are really happy with how the lads prepared and how they always prepare. We are happy to be back in a Munster final”.

On their display in Thurles, the Shannon man said, “we didn’t play all that well in the first quarter, we put in a better second quarter, we were very good in the third quarter and then in the last quarter fell asleep a little bit again. There are areas we have to work on but coming down to Thurles and getting a win, it’s a good positive sign”.

He continued, “There were some very good performances from those who were introduced. Conor Leen had a very good game today. Look we are delighted with the squad, delighted with the attitude of the players and with their workrate and we are looking forward to the final”.

Four-time All Star Tony Kelly was among those introduced. The Ballyea man is likely to get a first championship start of 2024 for the Munster final, having made his third appearance off the bench on Sunday. He was brought on with forty seven minutes to another loud cheer from the Clare supporters.

Kelly opened his account from a Shane O’Donnell assist within five minutes and landed a monster free for insurance from his own 45. “Tony is in good shape, good to start. The big issue with Tony is just match fitness now,” said Lohan. “He’s been out for a long time and every minute that he gets is an improvement for him. This time of the year, it’s hard to get game time because the matches are coming so thick and fast so it’s great to get game time into him”.

Players are continuing to impress, Brian added. “We try to prepare as best we can for each game regardless of the opposition, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Look we are just delighted with the attitude of the players, delighted also with the support and we are getting great support and we really appreciate that”.

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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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