‘Terrible, terrible display, so many errors’

JOB done and a first McGrath Cup title for Clare since 2008, but beyond that in the words of manager Colm Collins it wasn’t a job that was very well done.
Cue his immediate reaction on the Hennessy Memorial Park pitch afterwards as he reflected on a 70 minutes was underwhelming to say the least.
“The less said about that the better,” began Collins. “Terrible, terrible display, so it was. So many errors, so many mistakes, we have a lot to work on. I was very disappointed with our display to be honest about it. It was a pre-season game and there’s no question in two weeks time that that display won’t get you very far,” he added.
That said, a win is a win, with Clare circling the wagons in the final quarter to claim their first ever final victory over the Rebels. “There was character,” said Collins. “There was some pretty good scores against a pretty stiff breeze, but we shouldn’t have been in that position. We were the architects of our own destruction in the first half. We kept handing the ball back to them when we should have been out of sight.
“That’s being picky, but I still think we are going to have to improve a lot for two weeks time; we’re going to have to keep the ball a way better; we’re going to have to get in a win breaks; we’re not getting in and winning breaks.
“Keelan (Sexton) kicked some sweet frees and Cathal (O’Connor) kicked some nice ones in the first half. The wind was difficult enough and hard on a free takers, so you’d have to be very happy with that aspect of our play.
“I thought in the second half we did do better. We didn’t play into their hands as much but we gave away far too much ball in the first half to them.
“You expect a decent team to have their time in the game and they did have their time. I would have no problem with the display if we had been keeping the ball but what I felt is that we were the architect of our own problems in a lot of cases. We were winning possession pretty well, we were keeping it and the next thing the final ball was just given away. Cork had players in defence and we just kept giving them the ball. That’s something we can’t be doing in future,” he added.
With that Collins’ thoughts had already turned to the seven-match National League programme. “It’s grand — it’s a McGrath Cup and all that,” he said of that first victory in 11 years, “but we can’t lose sight of where we are going or what we’re about.
“It’s doesn’t make a whole pile of difference. I’d give ten points in the National League for this any day. The important thing for us in the National League and to build on it for championship. As for now all we are thinking of is Donegal at the end of the month and getting our best team on the field and giving a really good performance.”

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