THROUGH gap in the dressing room door, Clare captain Frank Lohan can be seen shaking the hands of play- ers and thanking them. The place is almost empty. Players are filing out, heading back up that cavernous stretch under the David Stand.
Lohan, shakes the last of hands, says a few more words before ac- knowledging the two lads with the tape recorders.
He makes his way out the front door of the dressing room. Outside the stillness is rocked by another de- lerious roar as Cork and Waterford endeavor again to bring the very best out of each other.
He’s known better days on the big stage and knows the way Croke Park can provoke a thunderous response in a team.
On Sunday, it just wasn’t there. A genuinely dejected looking Lohan offers his thoughts on why Clare
failed to rise to the occasion.
Too many wasted chances. Allow- ing Limerick to get a run on them. According to Lohan it was a combi- nation of factors. “We gave them a soft goal and that put them a bit away. They got ahead of us so it was prob- ably that bit comfortable for them at the end of the day.”
With Limerick renewed by their three game saga with Tipperary, Lo- han said it was always going to be difficult once Clare fell behind.
“They had that bit of a cushion. It was three points for a bit and then it was seven or eight points and you can’t do that with a team like Lim- erick and let them have that sort of a cushion.”
Lohan also had words of praise for goalkeeper Philip Brennan. The Tul- la man had been the focus of unfair attention earlier in the season after filling the position vacated by David Fitzgerald.
‘Philip has had a great year. He’d a
difficult year too. He is a great goal- keeper and he is going to show that in years to come. We had three lads in Croke Park who were playing for their first time, maybe even a few more and hopefully that will stand to them”’.
“We came up with the intention of getting to an All-Ireland semi final and I suppose we didn’t play as well as we wanted. But that’s it, fair play to Limerick,’ he added. There was nothing left to say.