*Clare wing-back Josh Guyler. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Clare minor football manager Dermot Coughlan hailed his side’s comprehensive Munster quarter-final win over Tipperary as “fantastic”.
Speaking following Clare’s twenty point victory over the Premier County, Coughlan outlined, “It’s been seventeen months and we were waiting to get our here tonight and to turn on a display like that makes it all worthwhile. It was grand open football and it’s what we train for and we are delighted with the result”.
Commenting on the fact that Clare scored 1-18 of their tally from play he said, “they moved the ball well, they took it on, they pushed up, no one was sitting back. Tipperary dropped a man alright so it forced us to sit Mark O’Loughlin in front and he swept up every ball. There were some tremendous footballers out there, sixteen or seventeen years of age. That’s a copy of how we should play football, play on the front football and have a go and that’s what they did tonight”.
There was little doubt from the Kilmurry Ibrickane man that Clare would deliver a strong display despite the short preparation for the fixture. “We had a lot done pre the first lockdown, we had a lot of games played and we were playing good football at that stage. Even at the second time I thought we had come back to that level. I was afraid we had slipped a small bit in the lead up to this but I knew the talent was there, the attacking ability was there. They are an athletic team, they are great athletes. Their football was good and they are making the right runs. After about five minutes when they settled into it I knew they were going to have a good night”.
“We said to them at the water break, which normally breaks momentum, not to let the momentum go, it will be hard to get it back if Tipperary get on top we will struggle until half time. After the second water break Brian McNamara took over again and we drove on. The lads didn’t drop the heads after the Tipperary goal. That was the main thing that they didn’t drop the heads,” Coughlan added.
For their quarter-final win, Fionn Kelleher, Thomas Collins, Brian McNamara, Dara Nagle, Cillian McGroary and Diarmuid Fahy excelled for the Banner County.
Clare introduced five substitutes during the course of the final quarter and they had victory sealed long before Tipperary were reduced to fourteen with the sending off of midfielder Ciaran Condon on a second yellow card with five minutes remaining. Nine players shared in Clare’s impressive tally with 1-18 coming from open play. Tipperary managed just 1-2 from play.
Wednesday’s semi-final is a home fixture for Clare who will train on Monday evening.