by Daragh Ó Conchúir
CLARE manager, Patricia O’Grady says that her players will have to put the disappointing defeat to Dublin in the opening week of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship behind them if they are to register victory over Waterford on Saturday.
The Déise girls lost their opening Group 1 tie as well, to All-Ireland champions Kilkenny, and with Galway also battling for the three available spots into the knockout stages and getting their campaign underway against the Dubs, a win is imperative at Cusack Park this weekend.
“That’s sport” said O’Grady on Clare FM. “We can be down but we can do nothing about what has gone on in the past. It’s still in our own hands as we move forward.
“After the game, it’s very difficult, and you probably over-analyse it to a certain degree, looking at what went wrong and forgetting what you did well, because we did a lot of things well.”
O’Grady felt that the unseasonal wet conditions did not play to her side’s strengths against Dublin, who she felt were more powerful. but is adamant that her charges will do everything they can to bounce back.
“We struggled in terms of the physicality of the Dublin side and coupled with what was the extremely soft conditions. We’ve been playing top-of-the-ground hurling for the last month with the very dry weather. We were playing on a very soft type pitch which is not what we would have expected during a Championship campaign. You’re gauging yourself for the ball to be hopping off the ground but it was stuck which made it a more physical game.”
She continued: “We were unfortunate at times. We were penalised extremely harshly at times which accorded Dublin a lot of scoring opportunities. The stats will reflect that. At times I don’t believe it was our discipline but you don’t control those things. You control what you do with the ball. It’s back to the drawing board for our next game against Waterford.”
The Banner boss did not try to downplay the importance of the upcoming game.
“We’re going in search of our first three points. It’s as simple as that. It’s another challenge and we’ll be taking nothing for granted. It’s a home venue but outside of that, there’s no advantage.”