*John Carmody. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

FINISHING their Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior camogie championship campaign means a hell of a lot to Clare, manager John Carmody insisted.

Clare missed out on a place in the knockout stages of the All-Ireland series but crucially didn’t have to worry about a relegation battle this season.

Speaking shortly after the final whistle had sounded in Saturday’s win over Wexford, the Kilmaley man said “I have just been told that this is the first time in ten years that Clare have won two matches at this level. We felt we would be in with a chance of a quarter final spot but we missed our experienced players this year. We were without our captains, Clare Hehir and Niamh O’Dea from last year”.

He continued, “I am just delighted for those girls out there because sometimes when things are going against you it appears that the work isn’t been done but that group have put in a savage amount of work for Clare camogie this year. There were nine or ten debutants and to beat a team like Wexford is great. Scoring 1-15. it was a great game, it ebbed and flowed. We will go from this now and we will learn from this”

Referring to their game against Dublin he said, “went without Abby Walshe, Laura Foley and Cliodhna Queally and when you are building a new team you can’t really be without anybody. This win is huge for Clare camogie, it might seem like it was a dead rubber coming in. It’s all about rankings and its something for us to build on. We will be in Division 1B next year in the league and hopefully some of our more experienced players can come back refreshed having had the year out”.

Carmody went on to say “they will see that there is potential and Clare camogie will have a trophy to fight for. We have to build, this win will build confidence and hopefully this win will give the girls renewed belief, you see the buzz here with the supporters. Hopefully this will show that Clare camogie is a team worth playing for, hopefully we will target the Division 1B league title next year and get a bounce from that going into the championship. That’s what Dublin did this year”.

“These players will grow from this. We want more to come in and compete for the jersey so that we can have 24/25 that you can call on any day. The talent is in Clare but the pool is small and when we are down a few bodies, it’s very difficult. We played some outstanding hurling today and I am delighted for the girls, they finished the season on a positive”.

Concluding he said “we will re-group and come together over the winter. Today it was important to finish above Wexford. There is a big difference in being beaten today and being one game away from the trap door of relegation, The reality is that we are one game away from a quarter final and that is the stance we will take from it”

Clare and Wexford will be in opposition again next week, this time at intermediate level, as they meet in a relegation battle. ”Our intermediate team suffered badly for the last few games with injuries. We hope to finish on a positive next week. Most of the girls out here today came through the junior last year”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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