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Bubbles O'Dwyer Was Dumbfounded By Davy Fitzgerald's Tactics In Loss To Clare

Bubbles O'Dwyer Was Dumbfounded By Davy Fitzgerald's Tactics In Loss To Clare
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Clare have secured a big wins over Munster rivals Waterford, running out as winners on a 2-22 to 0-16 scoreline in their provincial round robin clash this evening.

The result means they have one foot in the All-Ireland series, while Davy Fitzgerald's men have been eliminated from contention with a game to spare after three defeats on the spin.

Clare certainly had the better of the play in the opening half, looking like a much more cohesive unit in attack in comparison to their opponents.

While Waterford would rack up the wides in the first 35 minutes, Brian Lohan's side were much more clinical in front of goal. This goal from Ian Galvin after 20 minutes was the perfect example.


Things would soon get even more difficult for Waterford.

They were reduced to 14 men before the interval after Calum Lyons was sent off after picking up two needless yellow cards. While the gap was only three points at the interval, Clare looked to be very much in ascendancy.

So proved to be the case.


Clare were utterly dominant after the halftime break, with Waterford having no answer for them at the back while also struggling to lay a glove on them at the other end of the pitch.

In the end, Clare would run out as comfortable winners with nine points to spare, with Waterford being eliminated from the championship.

Bubbles O'Dwyer confused by Davy Fitzgerald approach in Clare loss

Waterford will rue some of the opportunities they missed in the opening half, while the red card made the the second half a very difficult prospect.


In saying that, they probably didn't help themselves.

Davy Fitzgerald clearly sent his players out with a man-marking system, one that would see them given opposition players to tag as their primary focus in defence. Clare reacted to that by dragging the Deise men around the pitch, often resulting in them playing in uncomfortable positions.

For example, Jack Fagan often ended up in the fullback line, while the same was true of Neil Montgomery as he marked Clare's David Fitzgerald.


Speaking on GAAGO at halftime, Bubbles O'Dwyer was baffled by the approach the Waterford manager had sent his team out with to start the game.

It was actually [Jack] Fagan who was picking up [David] Fitzgerald there (for the Clare goal). Jack Fagan by trade is a forward, he is inside fullback. Davy Fitzgerald knows he doesn't want to be inside there, let's bring it in and see how uncomfortable we can make him.

Waterford are playing to a structure where you should pass that back to your fullback and you go back out to sweeper. They have come out and they were told 'you're picking x, you're picking y' and they're just doing that.

Clare are doing the right thing. With Davy Fitzgerald, Neil Montgomery was picking him up so lets bring him in fullback. How comfortable is Montgomery going to be at fullback? That's what Clare are doing, they're using their head and playing off the cuff...

If you take out your sweeper, the first thing Brian Lohan is going to do is put Tony Kelly inside. You've got Darragh Lyons, who is a midfielder or maybe even a half-forward, inside marking him.

I think Waterford's matchups are completely wrong here.

You've got Conor Prunty, who is probably one of the the best fullbacks in the country, picking up Mark Rogers at wingback. You have Conor Gleeson picking up Ryan Taylor at midfield? Conor Gleeson plays out the field for his club, I understand that, but their matchups are all over the place.

He certainly had a point.

The tactics used by Davy Fitzgerald did his teams no favours in this game, capping off what has been a disastrous championship campaign upon his Waterford return.

It's difficult to know where they go from here.

SEE ALSO: Pat Gilroy Reveals The Advantage Dublin Have Lost Over Other Counties In Recent Years

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