Manager of the Year in 2022, Kilkenny’s Brian Dowling wasn’t happy with his side’s first-half performance against Clare yesterday (Sunday). Kilkenny had grabbed an injury-time winner last year against the same opposition but Clare managed to hold off to record a deserved victory over the All-Ireland champions.
“Obviously we came down to win and we didn’t do that”, Dowling told KCLR after Sunday’s defeat. “We didn’t deserve the win. We were second best for most of the game. We hurled for 10 mins and I thought we played brilliantly for 10 minutes after half-time but completely dropped tempo after that and let Clare back into it. It’s a very disappointing result and it shows we have a huge amount of work to (to do) get back again.”
Speaking to KCLR’s Martin Quilty after the game about conceding two goals, Dowling said:
“The two goals were mistakes on our part. A lot of the Clare scores came from mistakes on our part, composure on the ball – especially in the first half – wasn’t good. We are not going to panic, we obviously are back a couple of weeks later, we haven’t as much work done as we’d like to have done. We can’t overload players by going straight back into it and we have to be careful.”
“Clare were well up for it today. Since I’ve been involved, every time we’ve Clare in the league they have put it up to us. In UPMC Nowlan Park in 2020 they beat us and we got an injury time point last year to beat them. We weren’t happy with the first half, the wind was very, very strong, it was a very difficult wind to play into. In the first half, four points down against it wasn’t too bad. We had it overturned within ten minutes and I thought we would have pushed on but we didn’t and that’s the most disappointing thing. To get that point up with the wind, with 20 minutes to go we had all the momentum and we just dropped off completely and maybe that’s a lack of fitness.”
“We need to look at ourselves now. We have a huge battle against Galway after they lost to Tipperary and we just have to go again on Saturday. It’s a huge game if we lose that we are basically gone out of the league, we’re looking for a better performance”.
You can listen back to the full game on Big Game Live at the link below