GAA Digest: Tough Dubs annihilate Westmeath, big hurling win for Clare and more
Down shows tough streak, Kingdom cruises to easy win, Kildare makes Leinster semis
“Maybe we should start having a look at maybe two championships running simultaneously together. You need to get players competing or otherwise they’re going to go away.
Flanagan at least has some answers to put forward as to how the likes of Westmeath can find a more level playing field.
“I’d develop a second meaningful championship. We go into qualifiers now and let’s be totally honest, the pressure is going to be on players to go back to clubs, the pressure is going to be on players to go to America,” Flanagan said.
“We need a meaningful competition that’s going to give these guys an opportunity to progress. They deserve better.”
Big Hurling Win for Clare
The glory days may still be some time away, but Clare hurling fans finally got something to shout about in Thurles on Sunday as their team sent Waterford crashing out of the Munster Championship – their first win in the competition in five years.
Limerick, beaten in 2008 by the Banner, were the last side to go down to the Clare men in the provincial championship so the turnaround in fortunes was worth celebrating for manager Davy Fitzgerald and his players after their 2-20 to 0 1-15 win at Semple Stadium.
Young full-forward Darach Honan scored three points from play as Clare cruised into a semifinal meeting with Cork, and he took great delight in the manner of victory and the experience.
“It’s actually my first time getting a win in the Munster Championship. That meant a lot to us. A lot of the other lads on the team have been playing for two or three years and it’s our first time getting a win,” Honan said.
A resilient second half performance saw Clare turn a four point halftime deficit into a 12 point win, mainly thanks to hunger and work-rate according to Honan.
“I think we started winning our own puck-outs. It was more desire and aggression to win the puck-outs and get the breaks. That was the only thing that was lacking in the first half,” Honan said.
Legendary boss and All-Ireland winner Fitzgerald felt his Clare team proved they are the real deal on Sunday.
Fitzgerald said, “This is a good bunch. It might not be this year but it will come for them. They are the real deal. They will work very hard and they’re as honest as they come.”
Down Shows Tough Streak
Down showed great heart and huge commitment to come from five points behind and beat Derry by 2-17 to 1-15 in their Ulster Championship quarterfinal on Sunday according to their manager James McCartan.
He said, “Well obviously the second half was all very positive, in contrast to the first half. For the second period of the first half we were beaten out the gate.
“We were very porous and letting Derry score for fun and we tried to correct that at halftime. The fact that we kept them to five points in the second half gave us a chance of victory.
“We were not implementing the sweeper system the way we wanted to so we tried to tweak it and see how we would get on and, thank goodness, the balls dried up.
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