Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
INPHO/Donall Farmer Cratloe's David Ryan dejected after the game.
# Underdogs
Cratloe boss: 'We're sickened - I thought we'd the game won'
The Clare club nearly pulled off a massive shock in yesterday’s AIB Munster SFC club final.

THEY WERE THE rank outsiders but Cratloe came desperately close to toppling Munster club giants Dr Crokes yesterday afternoon.

With the clock ticking down, the Clare club were remarkably a point ahead after having trailed by seven at the interval.

They looked on the cusp of a famous win against a 14-man Dr Crokes side but were caught at the death by late points from Daithi Casey and Johnny Buckley.

“We’re sickened”, admitted Cratloe boss Colm Collins, father of attackers Podge and Sean. “When we went a point up, I thought we’d the game won. A little bit of composure is what we lacked. We rattled them and I thought Crokes were in trouble.

“Belief was never a problem with these lads. We knew well that the pre-match odds were ridiculous. They needed no psychologist to tell them that they were there or thereabouts. We felt we could have had another cup in the closet. We just were a bit flat in the second period of the first-half. That cost us.”

Cratloe were left to rue their first-half display but a refocus at half-time helped them produce a storming second-half showing.

“Our first-half display was chronic. You’d wish it was a basketball display and you’d get a time out. We got them in at half-time, we talked and everyone manned up in the second-half.

“Dr Crokes had taken over midfield and all year long we’d been winning comfortably in that area. That was the main area I felt we needed to address at half-time. That was the launchpad for our comeback.”

Despite the searing disappointment, Collins tipped his hat towards their superior opponents.

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Cratloe manager Colm Collins (file photo)

“That’s football. Credit to Crokes and to two fantastic footballers in Daithi Casey and Johnny Buckley. Best of luck to them and hopefully they’ll go on with the Gooch getting the All-Ireland medal he wants.”

And he lavished praise upon his own players.

“Overall you’d have to be very proud of them. It’s a privilege to be dealing with them and training with them. It’s been a fantastic year winning Clare for the first time. They’ve been a dream to work with.”

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