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Pa Kelly: Clare never panicked at end of drawn final against Cork

Updated: Saturday, 28 Sep 2013 12:46 | Comments

Pa Kelly puts his body in the way of a shot by Anthony Nash in the drawn final Pa Kelly: "We're here again next day because of that point"
Pa Kelly puts his body in the way of a shot by Anthony Nash in the drawn final Pa Kelly: "We're here again next day because of that point"

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Clare goalkeeper Pa Kelly says that even though his team were a point down he never panicked as he took his final puck out against Cork in the drawn All Ireland final.

Patrick Horgan had just put the Rebels ahead for the first time in the game - deep in injury time - but Clare drew level with the most dramatic of interventions from corner-back Domhnall O’Donovan, who earned a replay with his first ever Championship point.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Kelly revealed that it was his manager’s words, plus the space O’Donovan found, that led to him choosing that side of the field for the puck-out.

Kelly said: “Thoughts flooded back to the relegation final back in April against Cork down in Limerick.

“We were two points down in the 71st minute and Davy (Fitzgerald) had drilled it into us all year not to panic.

“I suppose I had the puck out and I looked to my right but there was a cluster of players, and Domhnall was to my left hand side with Stephen Moylan and there was a heap of space in behind them.

“So I felt if I got the ball into that space - Domhnall is a very physical player, a very quick player and a good striker - he’d have been well able to hold his own against Stephen Moylan and brush the tackle off.

“But as it worked out he broke the ball and Pat O’Conner I think gave a pass to Nicky O’Connell and Nicky passed it onto to Domhnall and look, the rest is history. We’re here again next day because of that point."

"They obviously ran at us, they scored goals and they’re going to try to do that the next day" - Pa Kelly

“Thank God it wasn’t off his right hand side, it would have been going into the Hogan Stand, it wouldn’t have been going over the bar anyway and that’s a fact!

“But he showed serious character, serious courage and intelligence to make himself available for that last puck out and look, we hope for more of the same the next day. Next day he might be able to get a winner.”

Asked whether there were any doubts that Clare could manage to repeat the performance from the last day out Kelly stressed that Cork had played well, saying they had shown "serious character."

“They obviously ran at us, they scored goals and they’re going to try to do that the next day, it’s probably part of their plan.

“But we know we’re going to have to bring our game up another 10 or 15% to match Cork. They’re a serious outfit and this is going to be our sixth time meeting them this year.

“We’re probably sick to death of meeting each other at this stage, we know each other well, we fancy beating them, they’re going to fancy beating us, and look there’ll be nothing in it at the end of the day.”

Live television coverage of the All-Ireland Hurling Final Replay between Clare and Cork from 16:00 on Saturday 28 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).

Highlights and analysis of the All-Ireland Hurling Final Replay on The Saturday Game from 21:30 on Saturday 28 September on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only).

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