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Clare's GAA hurling team become the 2013 All-Ireland champions

Davy Fitz’s Clare win epic All-Ireland hurling final replay against Cork

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Clare's GAA hurling team become the 2013 All-Ireland champions

Clare are All-Ireland champions for 2013 after a sensational win over Cork in an eight goal final replay at Croke Park.

Shane O’Donnell scored a hat-trick of goals for the Banner in a 5-16 to 3-16 win that will live long in the memory.

Substitute Darach Honan scored the final goal to seal the deal in the closing minutes of a thrilling game.

The win sealed a first All-Ireland title since 1997 for Clare and capped a remarkable first season for manager Davy Fitzgerald.

He told Irish state broadcaster RTE afterwards: “In my opinion over the two days we were the better team. I think Cork are a fantastic hurling team, but I really believe that we were the better team over the two days.”

Clare were eight points clear at one stage before a remarkable Cork comeback pulled them level in the closing stages.

Fitzgerald added: “A lot of teams would have left it. When someone goes back at you like that twice.

A lot of teams would capitulate. Clare won’t give in, and no one can ever take this away from us.

“We let Cork back into the game, we made it as hard as we could for ourselves but my God what character.

“We’re 2013 All-Ireland champions and it feels so good. I’m so proud of them young boys. They did it and fair play to them.”

Fitzgerald also praised his coaches and backroom staff. He added: “We’ve had tough times over the past few years, I’m very proud of the team and exceptionally proud of the management team, because sometimes my name gets mentioned a bit, and it shouldn’t because there’s a lot of super guys around me.

“It is hard to say how I’m feeling. I am just so, so proud of my players. It is nothing to do with us, it is down to them.

Goalscorers O’Donnell and Honan came in for special mention from their grateful boss.

He said: “Shane O’Donnell is an unreal young lad, some talent, but we have a lot of good young lads like that.

“Darach came on and scored a goal to finish it as well and we needed that at the end.”

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