Ger Cunningham: "The first half was our demise"

Clare beat Dublin 0-20 to 1-15 in the National Hurling League

Ger Cunningham: "The first half was our demise"

Clare's Cathal Malone tackles Niall McMorrow of Dublin. Image: ©INPHO/Tom Beary

Dublin hurling manager Ger Cunningham has blamed his sides' first half performance for their narrow loss to Clare at Cusack Park.

Speaking to NewstalkSport's Oisin Langan after the match he said: "It's always going to be tight coming down here, Cusack Park is a tough place to come and probably looking back at it now in the cold light of day 20 minutes after the game we probably had chances in the first half that we probably needed to be more in front with the strong winds we were facing in the second half.

Clare's Cian Dillon and Ryan O'Dwyer of Dublin. Image: ©INPHO/Tom Beary

"And we had chances. We missed a couple of frees, we had chances. I think we took our time to settle on how they were structured and what they were doing and we didn't push up on their poc-outs in the first half and they got a lot of possession. They ran at us but I thought the second half performance showed great character and we really took the game to Clare and it was right in the melting pot up to the end.

Clare’s Peter Duggan with Liam Rushe of Dublin. Image: ©INPHO/Tom Beary

"We struggled in the second half with that wind. They've got some big men across the half-back line there and we just felt we had to work the ball up the field rather than hit the ball long. They're good in the air, they're big and strong so we felt we had to try and bypass it as best we could. It worked for a bit of it but there was a period there where there was 15 minutes where we didn't score. We had chances but we needed to take all those chances in the second half.

Clare's David Reidy scores a point from a free. Image: ©INPHO/Tom Beary

"I can't fault the effort and I can't fault the character of the team in the second half. Looking back at it, probably the first half was our demise," he added.

Dublin play Kilkenny in two weeks time.