Clare veteran Marty McMahon believes it’s a huge benefit to have a game under their belts heading to Killarney the weekend after next.
The defender acknowledged the performance in beating Limerick on Sunday left a lot to be desired but is happy to go into the Munster semi-final against Kerry with some momentum.
“Two years ago, it worked out the same way and we gave them a bit of a fright in Ennis. It didn’t really work out well for us in the end.
“The one good thing the Munster Council have probably done is they have given the so-called weaker teams a game before they face Cork or Kerry.
“We’re under no illusions — we know that performance will not be good enough. “We’re going to have to up it a bit more. There was probably a 10- minute spell where we kicked four or five points in a row where you could see the work we had been doing with our kick-passing.
“We were moving the ball into a forward position to score with three kicks. Against Kerry, we have to do that all of the time if we are to get anywhere near them.
“We’re still in a great position. We’re going back on Tuesday night and looking at a video and saying ‘This is where we can improve the next day’, instead of waiting for a qualifier game four weeks away, which can be a depressing thing.”
McMahon wasn’t as dispirited as Colm Collins who had described the team’s display as “terrible”. Limerick, said the Kilmurry-Ibrickane man, were always going to test their mettle.
“What we talked about all week was if the roles were reversed what would we be thinking. A lot of us would remember six or seven years ago and Limerick being the in-form team, the third team in Munster. We were the minnows then and we knew it was going to be tough coming into their ground. The days are long gone when you are going to let a man run through. Even watching the football last weekend, the one bad thing said about Derry was there were no hands placed on men going through. We knew that wasn’t going to happen to us.”
The job done by Limerick on Gary Brennan proved they had done their homework on Clare. McMahon, though, was pleased with how they coped. “Gary had been getting great plaudits and has been great for us and yet you’d often hear back in west Clare that ‘you don’t kick the ball often enough out to him’. We were lucky in the league we tried other things because if Gary does have an off-day we have to have other options. I think we showed in our kick-out strategy we won a lot in the second half. On the opposite side of that, I don’t think our forwards will be happy with their shooting efficiency.”
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