Donal Moloney: Disallowing Conor McGrath goal a harsh call

Clare joint manager Donal Moloney felt disallowing Conor McGrath’s early goal last Saturday afternoon was “very harsh” but added that the Banner “wouldn’t be complaining too much” about referee Colm Lyons’s call.

“It was very harsh, to be perfectly honest. We couldn’t buy a free in the first 20 minutes.

“Look, it is a big game for Colm Lyons as well, we wouldn’t be complaining too much about it but that was a very harsh free. There were loads of other incidences of overcarrying throughout the game and that was a big call to make.”

Moloney preferred to focus on the positives: “Yeah, we have a terrific group of players, We still maintain they are the best players in a generation in our county, they have already won a lot.

“We are trying to change how we play the game and so on and we are very optimistic. This is our first year, we have learnt a huge amount. We will definitely put that to good use.”

Moloney admitted to disappointment with Clare’s wides tally. “I am not sure what the exact tally was — 18, was it, Tipp had 13, did they?

“From that perspective, some of those we would expect to finish, and it was a little disappointing that we missed a couple of frees and a few from play but overall I don’t want to take from Tipp’s victory in terms of how they won the game.

“Probably certain patches of the game cost us — from the seventh or eighth minute of the first half, the few minutes before half-time, and when we got within a point, we couldn’t maintain the momentum.

“Fair play to Tipp, they came back, they’re good champions and got a bit of daylight there again.”

Tipperary’s run of scores before the half helped to create that daylight, Moloney agreed, though he didn’t accept that the Premier County’s full-back line was a weakness.

“That’s something we’ll look back on (the scores before half-time), it’s part of the game — Tipperary probably made mistakes as well and gifted us a couple of points. Those swings and roundabouts happen, but I wouldn’t be holding players accountable for that.

“You wouldn’t consider any line of the Tipp team a weakness given they’re All-Ireland champions.

“It’s much changed since last year but that’s one of our strengths, we have a full- forward line with great mobility, fast hands, we probably didn’t exploit it as much as we could, though we did create a lot of goal chances.”

As for the new stadium and surface, Moloney wasn’t using that as a reason for Clare’s defeat.

“The pitch was fine. There was an awful lot being made about it, there was a bit of slipping and stuff but it was the same for both teams. “Croke Park was the same when it was opened, we had the same problems until the pitch matured. It is a beautiful stadium, we wouldn’t be blaming the pitch for anything. Tipperary players were slipping too.”

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