That Clare are no longer in control of their own destiny is as much as they deserve following back-to-back no-shows, joint-manager Donal Moloney has admitted.
As well as needing to beat Cork at home this Sunday, Clare also require Limerick to score either a draw or victory at Semple Stadium in order for the Banner to finish in third place and progress to an All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final in early July.
“It is out of our hands now and, probably, we don’t deserve much more after the last two weekends,” said Moloney following yesterday’s 18-point hammering at the hands of Limerick.
“We want to turn in a performance that we can be proud of. That is our primary focus, rather than thinking about results of other games. That would be where our mindset would be right now.”
Such was the margin between the teams at the finish, Moloney described it as a “low” day for Clare hurling.
It has been a difficult week and a difficult day. You can’t dress that one up. Of course, it will be difficult [to turn it around]. But we have got guys in here who have done great things in a Clare jersey and will do so again.
“Sometimes when guys are on the precipice they can respond really well. We thought we would get that response today, but we didn’t. It was always going to be a very, very difficult game today, especially with the way Limerick responded to their opening round loss to Cork. Limerick played with great confidence today and they were far superior to us.
“We are sorry for the fans that we would have let down today, as well. Because we universally have had great support from the Clare public. We recognise we didn’t make them proud today. That is something we have to look at, and see can we address that for next weekend.”
Clare’s failure to convert a single one of the three goal chances they created early on, Moloney conceded, did hurt them.
Limerick scrambled well to close them down. Limerick responded to those early goal chances by upping their performance. We looked flat.
“I don’t know whether last week’s defeat had an impact on us in terms of the energy we brought to the table but Limerick were definitely a good bit ahead of us today. They seemed to have more energy than us. No matter what we tried, they seemed to be able to close us down.”