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*Brian Lohan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

A relieved Clare boss, Brian Lohan has voiced his frustration with the sending off of captain David McInerney.

Speaking following Clare’s narrow one point championship win over Laois, the former county full-back admitted that the contest was a struggle. “We were very relieved, it was a tough struggle all day and a tough game, particularly going down to fourteen men and having to play fifty minutes with only fourteen men against that type of game and that sort of intensity that Laois bring”.

Seeing McInerney receive a red card on thirty four minutes came as a surprise to Lohan and the Clare management. “He barely blew the whistle for the first twenty five minutes and then he sends David McInerney off,” Brian said when asked for his thoughts on the incident. Having spoke to the Tulla man at half-time, he commented that jostling went on but linesman James Owens made the final call.

Undoubtedly happy to have got the job done against Laois, the four time All Star wasn’t of the opinion that confidence was down following the ten point Munster quarter-final and Allianz National League final defeat to Limerick. “I thought we played reasonably well. We conceded three goals and anytime you concede three goals like opposition like that you’re going to be under pressure. We conceded three poor enough goals so we’ve something to work on”.

Prior to Saturday’s tie, in the four championship qualifier meetings between the counties since 2004, Clare had an average winning margin of 21 points. Despite the margin dropping considerably, the 2015 Fitzgibbon Cup winning manager defended the efforts of his charges. “We’re delighted with our lads, they are working real hard in difficult circumstances against fifteen men being a man down”.

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