Kilmallock boss Ger O’Loughlin said the Munster Club had been his aim with the Limerick side all year.
“I said to them when I went in there first that I wanted to win a Munster club with this team. I have been ramming that down their throat for most of this season.
“That was our aim. I just felt I had seen this crowd . . . they had lost a bit of spirit. Tony Considine had done tremendous work with them for a couple of years and had won two championships with them but I just felt last year I came in to watch the semi-final as a neutral to watch the semi-final that the spirit was gone out of them.
“In January I told them I don’t just want to win a county championship, I want to win a Munster Club.”
O’Loughlin laughed when asked about their All-Ireland semi-final opponents, Portaferry.
“Being truthful about it, how could you think about it when you are playing Cratloe? “We have to go back and celebrate for a few days, which they deserve because they have sacrificed an awful lot. “Portaferry is an unusual name to have in an All-Ireland Club semi-final. They got there on merit so we’ll have to just go and see what’s involved.
“It’s like everything else, if you take your eye off the ball they are the ones that you can be caught out on. We’ll have to work hard again in the new year.”
O’Loughlin acknowledged Kilmallock’s physical power.
“Yeah, maybe at this time of the year, a bit of physicality (and) you can come out on the right side of it but to be fair to Cratloe, their forwards had us at sixes and sevens for most of the game when the ball went in. That’s something you nearly have to put up with.
“I said it during the week that we had forwards I felt could outscore them anyway. That’s nearly the way it panned out.
“There was a bit of physicality in that we were probably bigger, stronger men than they had but in saying that, they have such athleticism and mobility that it counteracts a lot of the physicality.”
He wasn’t exaggerating about his players’ ability to score, as they hit 1-32.
“Huge numbers . . . as I say, all scored from 70, 80m out from play. It was great. I think again, a lot of the lads I asked to stand up and asked them would they stand up and be counted. I think they really did today.
“I suppose we were waiting for things to happen maybe initially.
That’s something that maybe I wouldn’t like to see happening too often. It’s just that we got the breaks today and got on a roll and we thankfully were able to . . .
“I don’t think we missed too much and every score we got in the first half, a lot of them were from 40, 50, 60m out. ”
He also paid tribute to his panel: “The game was so tight that I felt the two we brought in were very effective.
“We have another few we could bring in and on another day when it would be a bit more open and as was shown in other days they were effective for us. You have to go with how you feel the game is going.”
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