Credit where credit is due to the team on this win over a decent Antrim team. They stood up when it counted & when down to 14 men & Antrim (+ the referee) rampant with the wind at their backs the Bannermen dug deep & eeked out the win that now puts them back in position for a decent tilt at promotion. Their confidence I believe will be much enhanced after this win. Well done to the team & management.
Would like to hear from anybody who was at the match as I followed it on the radio. Commentators bemused by some of the refereeing & linesman decisions. Any comment anybody?
I was at the match and the officials poor in my opinion. I thought that the ref completely favoured Antrim and the linesman were poor also. The umpires even waved a clear clare point wide only for the ref (the only time he sided with clare) to overrule it. Mc Inerney's red card was a joke, there was nothing in the second yellow although I must admit I didnt see his first yellow.
All and all it was a good days work. Never easy for any team to win in casement especially a team with apparantly no confidence. I though Pat vaughan did very well considering how long he has been out. Nikky was class in midfield. he seems to have bulked up. Conor Cooney is fine hurler. he can be a super defender for clare for years. he was marking a man mountain but I though he did very well. Honan looked unfit but was dangerous when he caught the ball. He kept cramping up throughout the game which is a sure sign of a lack of training. D Mcmahon seems to have gone backward altogether.
I must also be complimentary to our hosts in Antrim. Although they were small in numbers they were very knowledeable on the game and were great craic.
I was bemused too at some referee decisions, such as allowing Clare's second goal in spite of a charge on our keeper, and the decision to award the last free to Clare when Shane McNaughton was gobbled up by Clare defenders and had a free against him. The ref did nothing for Antrim yesterday - that's for sure.
I was at the game and although the referee was poor, I can't say I agree with you dingle1 that the referee was favouring Antrim. Definately, the last free we got that was converted by O'Connell could have gone either way. The sending off of McInerney seemed very harsh, and I still don't know if it was a straight red or a 2nd yellow. The referee indicated that he chopped down on an Antrim hand and if it was a 2nd yellow then fair enough, a striaght red would have been very harsh.
Touhy did quite well in goals. Full back line was reasonable, but I thought Cooney was in trouble through out the game. Antrim had a big strong full-forward and Cooney didn't seem to be able to handle him. Bugler had a very good game, so hopefully he is getting back to the form he was in a few years back. Dillon was only ok at centre-back. He did not command the position and game seemed to pass him by which is not what should happen for a centre-back. Midfield was our best sector whith O'Connell & Vaughan playing well.
Conlon was our best forward and got through an amount of work. Diarmuid Mc struggled to get into the game and was replaced by mid way through 2nd half, but to be fair he wasn't worst of forwards. Despite getting 2 points Honan never really got into the game. Jonathan Clancy was brought on in 2nd half and taken off, which is never good for a player. Personally I don't think he is up to the mark. I thought Fergal Lynch made a big impact when he came on at wing-forward and won a lot of posecession when we were in trouble.
All in all, a good win for Clare and probably deserved too. P.S. Had the Loughgiel boys been playing for Antrim then we may have really struggled, particulary with someone like Liam Watson up front.
LohansRedHelmet, I was most definately at the game. As you can see from BrendanBelfasts comments, the Antrim boys felt the ref was against them and not the other way around. Always in tight games the ref will get blamed, an usually by both teams. Indeed Clare's 2nd goal could well have been a free out. I was also in croke park the night before and sitting beside some Tipp lads who were raging with the ref throughout the game and I actually thought the ref was reasonably fair. In fact, they should have been more worried about how their forwards were playing as Dublin really should have won by a lot more than 1 point.
I do agree with you that Conor Cooney is a good hurler, but my problem is that as an inter-county full back you cannot let the full-forward be dominant in the air and the Antrim full-forward caught a lot of high ball. I'd be worried if he were to face the likes of Martin Comerford, Mike Cussen or Iarla Tannian. Then again, I would be more confident if he were up against the likes of Lar Corbett/Eoin Kelly.
In relation to your analysis, in my opinion the free in we got at the death was without doubt a free in. The defender was swamped by 4 Clare players who simply harried him, no fouling took place. The player took 10 steps with the ball. McInerneys sending off was a second yellow. From what I could see it was a very harsh yellow. I missed the yellow in the first half but I have heard that is was justified.
I agree Touhy was solid in goals and made a great save in the first half down low to his left. He looked comfortable under the high ball all day which as you know is a scenario that worries the life out of Clare fans - Dublin last year springs to mind. I defo didnt think Cooney was in trouble, in fact I was very impressed with his handling of a far bigger opponant. He gave the forward very little opportunity to turn throughout and cleared a lot of ball. Its inevitable a man of Carsons size will field a lot of ball against any full back in the counrty but the manner in which Cooney dealt with him when he did collected it impressed me most. he hassled and harried and more often nothing resulted from Carson catching the ball.
I agree we did well in Midfield and that is a partnership I could keep going forward.
In relation to best forward it's between conlon and mcgrath. Conlon seemed to go missing for patches of the game and he seems quite laboured and finds it difficult to make space for himself. it was quite similar in the under 21 Munster final last year. I do think as the pitches dry out and he gets a rest from hurling he will be back to his sharpest best.
Finally, the referee was poor. The 2 Antrim fans in front of me were even laughing at some of the decisions and they agreed the final minute free in from nikky was a free. The linesman on the stand side was completely favouring antrim as well in my opinion and if you remember even the umpires tried to deny us an obvious point in the first half, only for the ref to overrule.