A relieved Johnny Buckley admits Dr Crokes were hugely fortunate to overcome underdogs Cratloe in Sunday’s Munster Senior Club Football Championship final.
The Kerry kingpins had gone in seven points up at half-time but the Clare champions were a team transformed after the restart.
Buckley, who scored the late winning point at the Gaelic Grounds, told RTÉ Sport: “At start of second half we’d hoped to get a stranglehold and maybe kick on.
“But Cratloe came out all guns blazing and we found it difficult to match their pace and intensity.
“In fairness, they were very good kickers and some of the points they scored were outstanding.
“They had really strong runners from the middle. We are just very lucky and very grateful to have gone through.”
Buckley said the game was a wake-up call after his side had been relatively untested during their run through the Kerry and Munster championships.
“This will do us the world of good to come through a game like that,” he added.
“We’ve learned a lot of lessons individually and collectively. We made a lot of mistakes on the day so there’s a lot to be learned from it.”
Next up will be Castlebar in the All-Ireland semi-finals in 2014, affording Buckley and his team-mates plenty of time to recharge.
“We’ll relax and recover and get our gym work done over the next month or so and then we’ll tear in to them.”