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It’s no coincidence that James Organ produced a storming player-of-the-match display this time last week to overcome Cork and advance to a prestigious Munster Minor A Hurling Championship decider.

Munster Minor Hurling Championship Final
Clare v Tipperary at TUS Gaelic Grounds Limerick, Wednesday 7.30pm (Nicky Barry, Waterford)

After all, the powerful Corofin attacker was part of ‘that’ 2021 Clare minor side that was on the receiving end of a 40 point pummelling from the Rebels along with the subsequent criticism and stigma that accompanied it.

Organ and Co. had already proved themselves with comprehensive back-to-back victories over their own against Waterford and Kerry in recent weeks but avenging Cork was an itch that simply had to be scratched when finally renewing acquaintances in Páirc Ui Rinn last Tuesday. What transpired was a near flawless statement of intent including a brilliant quartet of points from Organ to dethrone the defending Munster and All-Ireland champions in their own home patch.

“It was huge. It was almost like an All-Ireland final for us, it meant so much to get the win. We were out for Cork but they had come through their group quite easily so deep down we knew that they didn’t think much of us especially after last year.

“We had a point to prove though so we were determined to put our hearts on the line. Being a semi-final, we also knew that it could be our last game so we threw everything at them and just went for it really.

“It didn’t change last year’s result but it was still hugely important for us. I mean last year we were the laughing stock of the county almost and that has kind of stuck with us until we beat Cork really. So thankfully we’ve kind of reclaimed our status a bit.”

That’s putting it mildly as a remarkable 43 point turnaround was the icing on top of an already momentum-fuelled run that is particularly noteworthy by the collective assuredness of their performances. Three successive victories have catapulted Clare to their first provincial decider since 2019 where they will embark on another revenge mission, this time against Tipperary who inflicted the Banner’s only defeat of the campaign in their opening tie in Semple Stadium a month ago.

“Against Tipp, we didn’t feel that we played as good as we could that evening. In the first half, we were all over them and should probably have been more up at half-time but let in two quick goals at the start of the second half that really knocked us back. It was disappointing to lose that match but we immediately worked on a few things in training and everything has just been going upwards since then.

“We started to find form against Waterford and Kerry. We began to score more and the forwards gained confidence and it has just gone from strength to strength since then. Having beaten Cork, we feel we can match anyone now. It’s good that it’s Tipp we’re playing in the final too because we know what they’re like now and we know that we can win because we’re every bit as good as them.

“Especially after last year, playing in a Munster Final is a special occasion that we don’t want to pass us by. We’ve just got to do what we do best and hopefully we can get the win”.

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