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*Tadhg Lysaght battles in the air. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

It’s knockout championship now for the Clare minor footballers according to team manager Dermot Coughlan.

Speaking after the team’s loss to Limerick in Rathkeale he said, “we have to beat Tipperary onThursday if we are to advance in the championship. Its a home game for us and we have to throw everything at it. Unfortunately we picked up a couple of injuries tonight and we have to look at it but its next Thursday and we have to get a result to continue”.

The Kilmurry Ibrickane clubman admitted that the damage was done in the opening quarter, “They got the two goals and it was 2-2 to them after ten or twelve minutes,. We were playing catch up for the rest of the game. They ran at us, they cut through us early on, we were switched off really”.

That said the Clare manager had praise for his charges efforts in the second half. “Fair play to the lads in the second half, they settled and took the game to them At that stage they had 12 or 13 behind the ball and we had to work the ball in closer to get scores and we found it hard but the effort was definitely there in the second half”.

“Should we beat Tipperary it will probably be three teams on four points each and then it will be down to score difference. Look we have to get out and look at getting a result. There is a big improvement needed on tonight’s performance”, according to the manager.

Continuing he said “there was a strong breeze here tonight. We have no complaints with the performance in the second half. That’s what you expect from a Clare team. They took the game to Limerick. We just had to take it that extra bit, use that extra handpass to get into a scoring position because the wind was so strong. They (Limerick) were able to close it out, they had the bodies. All they had to do was not to concede goals and that is what they did”.

“We were here on time, we had the warm up earlier but we were very flat in the first half, we didn’t get tackles in and when you don’t its a worry and there will always be scores out of it. We have to get a result in Shannon next week, that’s the challenge facing us”, he concluded.

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