Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald bitterly disappointed by defeat to Cork

Updated: Sunday, 23 Jun 2013 23:07 | Comments

Davy Fitzgerald's side will enter the qualifiers
Davy Fitzgerald's side will enter the qualifiers

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald was “bitterly disappointed” by his side’s defeat to Cork in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final today.

The Banner came into the clash at the Gaelic Grounds full of confidence after a promising campaign so far and were hoping to earn a fourth win in-a-row against the Rebels.

But Cork were domiant in the second period to set up a final date with Limerick.

The Clare manager said: "I'm bitterly disappointed. We probably didn't ourselves justice out there.

"We didn't have enough of a lead built up at half-time with that gale. In fairness Cork were tenacious today and they deserved their victory.

"It was the same when we played Limerick last year. We beat them three times and they came back and had the bit between their teeth for the Championship game with us. It is very hard when you beat a team, they are going to get so motivated.

"Cork were in a league final last year and Cork were in an All-Ireland semi-final last year. But people just choose to ignore them facts. We didn't. We tried to prepare as best as we could today.

"It just wasn't good enough on the day. We needed more scores before half-time."

Fitzgerald was unhappy with the performance of referee Barry Kenny and in particular an incident with John Conlon.

The Clare boss felt decisions did not go the way of his side but admitted Cork were the superior outfit.

"If you look back on it, it would be very interesting to find out the refereeing statistics. I would be fairly certain it was over two to one. I'm not going to go into them. A lot of them win games when you get enough of them. We obviously didn't get enough today.

"In saying that, Cork had a lot of opportunities and they took them well. I'd be a little disappointed, I thought we had good goal opportunities that we didn't take. That is a pity.

"It was very hard to be out there with one or two things that happened today. Hopefully our wing forward John Conlon will be alright as well. It is just disappointing.

"He was concussed, we had to take him off. I thought he was okay but he came over to me and he didn't know where he was or what the story was. He was hit off the ball before that.

"I said it to the linesman and he said I saw it but I can't tell the referee. Does that make any sense in GAA. I don't know. But that is the way it is. But you will always have one or two little gripes. Cork were the better team today. I'm not going to say any more."

Fitzgerald has said he retains faith in his players to make a major impact in the Championship under his tenure and that success may not come in the short-term.

"This is a long process. I've said that. People were trying to build them up to win Munsters and All-Irelands. You don't win them easily. It takes a bit doing. We'll just come back and we'll go again and we'll just try hard again. We will obviously come in for a bit of criticism and maybe rightly so.

"We can play a bit better. But I still have great time for these guys. They are a brilliant bunch of lads. I will defende them to the hilt.

"They will give it a go in the next round and if that is good enough fine, but if it isn't we'll just have to come back to try again next year. We'll keep trying, no fear of not."

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