Victorious Clare hungry for Premier opposition

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Ger Keane

BRING on Tipperary. That was the battlecry from selector Ger Keane in O’Connor Park in Tullamore on Sunday as straight away Clare looked to turning two successive league victories into the hat-trick that would keep up their challenge for a first league promotion in 20 years.
“We know that Tipperary are going to be a very hard nut to crack this coming weekend, but already we are focusing on them,” said the Kilkeeman after Clare’s two-point victory over Offaly.
“We haven’t beaten Tipperary in a good while and they’ve had the upperhand on Clare in recent times. We are really looking forward to that game and having them in Cusack Park,” added Keane after being buoyed by Clare’s impressive win over Offaly.
“We said during the week that if we could put two wins together that would show progression. We put in a good second half against Leitrim and it was a fairly good 70 minutes today, so as much as anything else we’re happy with that,” he said about a contest that Clare dominated for much of the 70 minutes.
“We didn’t panic after the goals. After the first one Gary Brennan made a great catch for the kick-out and he gave it to Chris Dunning and he raced through and got a great point. That settled us down again.
“We got two more after that from Shane McGrath and Enda Coughlan and we know going in at half-time that we had been the better team and had just been got on the break with a sucker-punch of a goal.
“They did the same for the second goal – it was great the way they were able to bounce back after the second goal and again show great character. It was a mature performance,” he added.
The former Clare and St Senan’s Kilkee star refused to talk up his side’s promotion challenge after their rehabilitation from the opening round defeat to Waterford continued, but forecast that the push for promotion will go down to the last round of games.
“With Waterford being beaten for the first time, with Leitrim beating Carlow I think that everyone is back in it. It is going to go down to the last game. For us it’s a case of taking it as it comes,” he said.

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Joe Ó Muircheartaigh graduated from University College Dublin in 1989 with a degree in history and politics. After completing a Diploma in Journalism at The College of Commerce, Rathmines in 1991, he embarked on a career in journalism. Joe spent four years with Clare FM from 1992 and was with The Clare Champion from 1996 to 2005. He has won two McNamee Awards for GAA journalism and has published two books. Contact Joe on [email protected]

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