*John O’Meara. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
KILADANGAN forced themselves into a winning position but were unable to close out the game against Clonlara in Sunday’s Munster club semi-final.
This resulted brought an end to the first season in charge of the Tipperary champions for Sixmilebridge’s John O’Meara. He was disappoionted with the final outcome but very proud of his side’s character.
“We are very disappointed but I have to commend the character and the battling qualities we showed to get into a winning position but we just didn’t close it out. To do that with 13 men was a phenomenal effort and we are very proud of them. It was just a killer that we didn’t get over the line. The game was challenging with one sending off and worse with the second one,” O’Meara said.
He felt Kiladangan didn’t deserve to lose Willie Connors and Sean Hayes to red cards. “I know the first one was called by the linesman, I didn’t see the incident. There wasn’t a dirty stroke in the game, neither of the two boys are dirty players. It was just terrible for them and they didn’t deserve it”.
O’Meara had no complaints with the amount of additional time. “There probably was five minutes added time but when I saw the board going up I said ‘oh no’,” he admitted.
A three-time Clare SHC winning manager, John heaped praise on Clonlara. “Hats off to Clonlara. It’s the team that’s ahead at the end that wins. We were very unlucky to concede the last score but fair play to them for getting it”.
For the final against Ballygunner, he felt the Clare champions had nothing to lose. “I wish Clonlara the best of luck, they will be going into the final as massive underdogs, a great place to be. Today was up another level from our county finals and they will have to get up another level again from today. Today’s performance won’t be good enough and they know that. They have great lads over them and they will have them prepared for the final”.
An All-Ireland minor winner in 1997, John concluded, “For us I couldn’t but be proud of the lads. To put in that performance and we down to 13 men. They are devastated in the dressing room but that’s sport, some days it works out. We were here a few weeks ago and got out of jail. They know they were damn close. Some days it works out and other days it doesn’t”.