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22nd Apr 2024

“Clare have had a tendency to blame everybody from RTÉ to referees” – Donal Óg doesn’t spare Clare


Donal Óg Cusack says Clare have no-one to blame but themselves for their ‘last quarter collapse’ against Limerick in the first round of the Munster senior hurling championship.

The National League champions had the look of winners when they led Limerick by nine points with just 20 minutes to go but they were defied by a late surge from the All-Ireland champions, who went onto win the game by three points.

Three last quarter goals re-ignited John Kiely’s side but the game-changing scores weren’t without their controversy.

The Clare players contested two of the goals on the basis that, on both occasions, Aaron Gillane should have been penalised for a square ball.

But the goals were awarded by Colm Lyons and his team of officials.

Speaking on The Sunday Game, former Cork goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack said that Clare should be looking at themselves rather than the officials on the back of the loss, however, having been outscored by 3-6 to 0-3 in that damaging final quarter.

“Gillane’s foot is inside the square,” said former Cork goalkeeper Cusack on The Sunday Game.

“By the letter of the law, he was in the square.

“We watched it (back) on 10 different cameras so that should also be said, the difficult job the umpires have trying to judge a ball going at this speed,” said the Cork man.

“Having said that, Clare are going to be really disappointed.

“This is bread and butter for a full-back and goalkeeper and neither Conor Cleary nor Eibhear Quilligan will be happy with that,” he added.

“That’s the key thing here for Clare.

“You have to say that Clare over the last couple of years have had a tendency to blame everybody from RTÉ to referees, there’s only one group of people Clare should be looking at for that collapse in the last quarter, and it’s themselves.”

“For most of the game today they looked in control but then they got that shot into the jaw and it was like as if they panicked.

“Going down the stretch, there was only one group of players on the field who had that championship mentality and it wasn’t Clare.”

The loss heightens the importance of Clare’s meeting with Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh next weekend, with both sides going into the game on the back of losses. Jackie Tyrrell said it was a ‘positive’ for Clare going into that game that their manager Brian Lohan didn’t seem to be blaming the officials for the calls.

“Listening to Brian Lohan, I didn’t get any sense he felt aggrieved so that is a positive,” said the Kilkenny man.

They haven’t time to dwell on this, they need to park that and learn from what they didn’t do today in that final quarter,” he added.

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