*Dermot Coughlan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

IT CAME down to the first quarter for Clare’s minor footballers as they exited the Munster championship, manager Dermot Coughlan maintained.

Eight points separated Clare and Cork in Quilty on Tuesday with Cork racing into a 1-5 0-0 lead against the shell-shocked hosts to carve out a solid platform on which they built the win.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Coughlan reflected, “We have a lot to be proud of and I’m delighted with the second haff performance but obviously we’re very disappointed with the first quarter. We started slow, the Cork runners got at us and we never matched it and I think they scored 1-5 before we got off the mark.

“When we played the running game in the second half, I thought it suited us a bit more as we settled into the game, worked some great ball and created goal chances. So for 45 minutes of that game, you’d be happy enough but unfortunately we probably lost it in the first 15 minutes”.

Midfielder Aidan Weaver received a straight red card on twenty two minutes which was another blow to the Clare cause. “I didn’t [see what happened with the sending off] to be honest with you and I asked the fourth official and he didn’t see anything either but obviously the ref saw something so until I watch it back on the video I can’t really comment”.

He added, “We had a Plan B but unfortunately when you lose a man you have to work that little bit harder but overall I’m delighted that we created goal chances”.

Coughlan said, “We’ll regroup again but my initial thought is one of disappointment. We had home advantage in Quilty tonight and I felt that we had a lot of work done and also had momentum coming into the game so being our fifth game, I thought that we were well set-up to have a go.

“I know we can’t go back and play it again but that first 15 minutes will have a lot of regret for us. Once we settled in we proved that we were just as good as them and our football was as good as them but at this level, you cannot afford to give a team like that such a head start and hope to make up the ground on them,” he concluded.

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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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