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‘Not the game the people of Clare were expecting’ – O’Brien

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*Seanie Malone, Oisin Looney and Enda O’Gorman surround Keelan Sexton. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Missed chances stood out for St Josephs Miltown boss David O’Brien as the main sector in which his side can improve for next weekend’s Clare SFC replay against Kilmurry Ibrickane.

Miltown only took the lead for the first time on thirty five minutes but looked to be on course to record back to back titles for what would be the only time in the club’s history when Conor Cleary nudged them in front with sixty one minutes on the clock. However Ian McInerney equalised at the other hand to guarantee the result would be decided by a replay. “We’re disappointed that we didn’t win but we should have been down at half time, Kilmurry Ibrickane were definitely the better team for the first twenty to twenty five minutes but we were the better team for the second half so it balanced itself out.

“We missed a couple of good chances, some good goal chances that we didn’t take but I don’t think we deserved to win or lose it, both teams will go with that, none of us did enough to win it but didn’t deserve to lose it. It was always going to be close, the first fifteen minutes was tense, nobody was willing to do anything, it was only 0-01 0-00 after ten minutes but it opened up and we were happy with a lot of what we did in the second half but it wasn’t enough,” O’Brien said following Sunday’ s draw.

A former selector with the Clare senior footballers, DOB described some of the expectation from around the county as “disrespectful”. “In fairness to the players with the talk around the county the last two weeks was disrespectful to the two sets of players because I don’t know what people were expecting would happen, it wasn’t high in quality but it was high in effort”.

“I just think a lot of people turned up today thinking it was going to be a bloodbath, it was a good game of football between two teams who love representing their club and were willing to do everything it took to win but at the end of the day nobody did enough,” he explained.

For the duration of the game, David was based in the stand only venturing to the sideline to pass on instructions and observations to his management team of John O’Sullivan and David Geaney. To win the next day out, he was adamant they need to be more clinical in front of goal. “We missed two goal chances. Pato is an excellent goal keeper, they have to be right in the corner to get scores past him and we didn’t do it. There were a couple of chances in the first half when Kilmurry were on top that they were nearly in and Seanie got a block so we could have found ourselves four points down having to chase the game back”.

At the final whistle, the Miltown panel went a beeline for the corner by the Cloister end of Cusack Park and began a stretch and warm down, from here they ran into the dressing room where O’Brien gathered them in a huddle and told them the focus was now on the replay. “It’s a week out from a county final, this is gone so it’s more or less recovery from now on and having yourself right. It’s all go again, there was no flashpoints, a brilliant effort”.

Cusack Park will host the replay on Sunday with 2pm the start time.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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