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Clare hero Daly: 'Maybe we're just a bit too caught up in systems and ways to play'

Clare’s two-time All-Ireland SHC winning captain Anthony Daly was puzzled by the Banner County’s sub-standard display in Thurles.

Anthony Daly and current Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald (right).
Anthony Daly and current Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald (right).
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

CLARE’S 1995 AND 1997 All-Ireland SHC winning captain Anthony Daly was at a loss to explain the Banner County’s below-par display in yesterday’s Munster SHC semi-final loss to Waterford. 

Daly, speaking on The Sunday Game last night, lamented a lack of championship fight and tempo from Davy Fitzgerald’s charges at Semple Stadium.

He rejected suggestions that Clare might have been tired, pointing out that both teams followed a similar path in their build-up to the Thurles encounter.

Clare went to Mayo’s Breaffy House on a training camp and had a round of club championship fixtures, as Waterford visited Fota Island for a pre-championship get-together. 

“How do you explain who was a bit flatter?” Daly wondered.

“The one thing we knew was that these teams were meeting on 5 June after the draw last October.

Davy Fitzgerald takes a picture with fans at the end of the game Davy Fitzgerald poses for a picture after the game. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

“We didn’t know they were meeting in a League final, that just happened.

I just thought the Waterford leaders really stood up in championship hurling and our lads weren’t really at championship tempo.

“The championship fight wasn’t there, for whatever reason. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s been missing in Clare in Munster for far too long.

There is a back door, of course, another chance. It’s a talented team but maybe we’re just a bit too caught up in systems and ways to play.

“If they work, everything is brilliant and Derek (McGrath) is the hero tonight and Davy was the hero four weeks ago (following the League final replay).

“But for Clare, it didn’t go right today. Why is it? They were both in the League final, extra-time, a replay. There’s no real reason.

Davy Fitzgerald Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald cuts a frustrated figure on the touchline. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

“Maybe they had a lot of work done early season. Waterford, we heard they were training on Christmas Day. We don’t know the inside workings, really. We’re speculating but they were flat looking on the day.”

Since winning the All-Ireland SHC title in 2013, Clare have won just one championship fixture since then, a qualifier success against Offaly last year.

And the Banner County’s long wait for a first Munster crown since 1998 will now extend for at least another year.

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