*Clarecastle’s Lee Brack. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
CLARECASTLE FIND THEMSELVES back in “make or break territory” with a relegation battle looming for the Magpies.
It’s sink or swim now for Eric Flynn’s charges as three defeats on the bounce to Broadford, Feakle and Éire Óg leave them fighting for their senior status.
They face Clare Cup champions O’Callaghans Mills with the winner consolidating their status while the loser drops down to intermediate for 2024.
Speaking to The Clare Echo following their eleven point loss to Éire Óg, Eric noted, “We’re obviously disappointed to have not only lost but also be in the relegation play-offs. We knew that Éire Óg were a serious opposition but we had hoped to get off to a good start but they actually got the start that we needed”.
He continued, “They got a run on us then and used their experience to capitalise as much as possible. That Éire Óg team are around a while and are clearly used to playing together over a long period of time. We are a bit off that as we are currently in a rebuilding process but while it would have been easily to down tools after conceding three first half goals, I thought we showed a bit of spirit and were a bit better in the second half”.
A member of the last Clarecastle side to win a senior championship, Eric believed there was positives to pick from their loss. “When we ran with the ball, we moved it well and quickened things up and got some good scores. We ended up with 13 or 14 points from play and actually won the second half which is a further improvement from the last day so there are positives to take from what was a disappointing result”.
However a third relegation battle in as many seasons awaits the Magpies, a now familiar battle but one they are determined to prevail in. “We just have to dust ourselves down and go again now. We’ve four weeks to get ourselves right so let’s see where that takes us as it’s now make-or-break territory”.