Stephen O'Brien: "They really put us under the cosh"

A late goal helped Kerry beat Clare

Stephen O'Brien: "They really put us under the cosh"

Kerry’s Stephen O’Brien. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

A late Stephen O'Brien goal was the pivotal score at Cusack Park in Ennis as Kerry struggled past Clare in the Munster Senior Football Championship semi-final.

O'Brien paid tribute to Clare and how they have improved in recent seasons after Kerry's 1-18 to 1-12 win. 

Speaking to Newstalk Sport's Oisin Langan afterwards, he said: "We knew it was going to be tough coming up here. They're definitely on the rise along with a number of other Munster counties as well.

"So yeah, a good win and looking forward to the Munster final and great to come through that test.

Clare's Jamie Malone and Ciaran Russell with Jack Barry of Kerry. Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Kerry hadn't played a competitive match since the league final win over Dublin but O'Brien doesn't believe that was the reason for their sluggish display.

"We felt we were going very well in training," he said, adding: "so the first half performance I thought we were going to perform well and I think you have to give a lot (of credit) to Clare.

"They really put us under the cosh and had a stranglehold on the game so you have to give them credit for that performance. I thought we were going well at the time so thankfully we were able to show a bit of that in the second half," he added.