Brian Lohan opens up on what inspired Clare comeback in semi-final thriller against Kilkenny

Clare manager Brian Lohan celebrates after Saturday's semi-final win over Kilkenny at Croke Park
-Credit: (Image: ©INPHO/Bryan Keane)


Brian Lohan admitted his Clare team were fed up of being nearly men on the big days - as they left the capital with the knowledge that the biggest of all is just two weeks away.

Lohan's Banner claimed a famous two-point victory over Kilkenny to break the Cats' hold over them in All-Ireland semi-finals.

It took a monumental second half display to do it after the Clare supremo admitted everyone in the Banner set-up was "very frustrated" at half-time after coming in five points adrift.

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"We feel we're a good team," he said. "We know that Kilkenny are a good team but I suppose we came up thinking we were better.

"And there was that pressure - to lose three in a row up here on the back of three in a row in Munster, sometimes you get fed up with it and it has to stop sometime.

"Things turn around when you work hard and our lads work hard.

"We had an awful lot of work done and to play as poorly as that in the first-half, like, we probably weren't punished as badly as we could have been punished in that first-half.

"But look, there was an awful amount of frustration but we did rally in that second-half and our big guys stood up.

"You get that from working hard and we have worked really hard over a long period of time.

"Sometimes it's just a case of enough is enough, we have to respond, we have to give our supporters something to cheer about - we can't let them down again."

Lohan was all too aware of the nearly men tag that had been put on his team after losing at this stage in the previous two years - and after going down to Limerick last month for the third consecutive time in the Munster final.

"I suppose there's pressure associated with that," reflected Lohan.

"You don't want to be the nearly guy or the nearly team all the time. So there is pressure but it's about dealing with that.

"You can't get over excited about that, you still have to make good decisions and you have to try to do what you know that you're good at and try to make good decisions on the ball. We just didn't do that. Probably weren't let do that.

"But look, the game is over 70 minutes, it's not over 35 minutes and you have an opportunity to reset and change things and we did that and our players responded, and we're delighted with our players."

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