Clare half-forward Colin Ryan believes that the Munster defeat to Cork helped to inspire his team to reach the All-Ireland final - where they will have the chance to get revenge against the Rebels.
Clare take on Cork at Croke Park on Sunday and Ryan will be hoping that it’s a very different game to the Munster SHC semi-final in which his side were well beaten by Jimmy Barry Murphy’s men, losing 0-23 0-15.
“After losing to Cork, we really thought about it and really wanted to do ourselves justice over the rest of the summer and that’s all we were concentrating on,” Ryan said.
“Cork sort of surprised us, maybe things didn’t go our way on the day, maybe Cork were better than us, but there was only one way we could get to an All-Ireland final after that and that was through the qualifiers.”
The Newmarket-on-Fergus clubman revealed that manager Davy Fitzgerald and his backroom staff immediately lifted his squad after that defeat and helped them to focus on the qualifiers.
“To have the (management team) we have behind us, they’re excellent and they made sure that we got a performance out of Laois and then Wexford and then Galway," he said.
"We just really wanted to do ourselves justice for the rest of the summer after the Cork game and that’s all we concentrated on.”
"Cork sort of surprised us, maybe things didn’t go our way on the day, maybe Cork were better than us" - Colin Ryan
Those victories over Laois, Wexford and Galway helped to set up the first all-Munster senior hurling final in 16 years and now that they’re there, Ryan believes his side have every chance of lifting the Liam MacCarthy cup.
“We took every game on it’s merits, we made sure we didn’t take any for granted.
"We are where we are now and maybe at the start of the year it would have been a bit early to think about All-Ireland finals.
"We weren’t really focusing on that, but now that we’re here we’ve a 50/50 chance and it’s great opportunity,” he added.
Live television coverage of the All-Ireland Hurling Final between Clare and Cork from 14:15 on Sunday 8 September on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only). Live radio coverage of all the day’s action from 14:00 on RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ RnaG and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).