18 Aug 2022

GAA: Nobody will run away with this Division- Jack O'Connor reflects on Kildare's League defeat to Clare

GAA: Nobody will run away with this Division- Jack O'Connor reflects on Kildare's League defeat to Clare

Sunday afternoon proved to be the first big setback in Jack O'Connor's reign as Kildare manager after his side lost out to Clare in Ennis.

The Division 2 tie was a scrappy affair played in difficult conditions but Clare managed to dig out a result.

O'Connor was naturally disappointed with the defeat but gave credit to the victorious team.

"There was nothing soft and that's what you get when you come to Ennis and we knew they would be fighting for their lives after losing last weekend and that's the way it panned out really. It was a tight game and a lot of marginal calls going against us but that's the reality and we were aware of that before we came here".

"The black and red cards didn't help either and in a one point game those things are important. When Paddy Brophy got sent off it really knocked the stuffing out of us as it was an energy sapping game and it was going to be even tougher then with 14 men but Clare played well and they tackled ferociously"

"We missed two shots at the end which would have given us a chance of getting a draw out of it but the reality is we leave with nothing and we face in to a tough test against Armagh. Every point in this division is gonna be hard earned."

The Kildare boss didn't want to get drawn on on the refereeing that left Kildare with ten cards including a black to Paul Cribbin and a red to Paddy Brophy which eventually turned the tide in Clare's favour.

"I don't want to get in to controversy about referees but like what I said earlier any marginal calls seemed to go against us but that tends to happen when your playing away from home with the home crowd baying for blood with physical challenges in slippery conditions. That's the way the referee saw it but we did get a lot of cards that's all I know", O'Connor said.

For many Kildare's downfall arrived in an opening half with the aid of a stiff breeze where they only went in level.

The Kerryman was pleased with the effort of the Kildare players but knows they were missing a clinical edge.

"Clare had a lot of bodies back in the first half  and we didn't get the ball in as quickly as we should and even though we came out of here with nothing I couldn't fault the players as their attitude was good and they fought really hard.  We were a bit unlucky not to get a point but it's a League that's very hard fought".

"Clare were fired up and they played like that out there. They were very defensive and it made it difficult to kick the ball in so we had to be patient and the conditions didn't allow for free flowing football as it was raining constantly throughout and it was a tough enough day at the office but we'll dust ourselves down"

"Nobody will run away with this Division and Clare will take points off more than ourselves".

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