Holding the line in the drive for five

GAA: Connacht SFC Final

Safe hands: David Clarke knows there's room for improvement, even after Mayo's big win over Sligo. Photo: Sportsfile

Safe hands: David Clarke knows there's room for improvement, even after Mayo's big win over Sligo. Photo: Sportsfile

This season has seen David Clarke regain the starting spot between the posts for Mayo and the Ballina Stephenites man put in another good showing on Sunday in Hyde Park, pulling off two great saves during the 70 minutes. Asked after the game about how he felt following Mayo’s fifth Connacht title in a row he said, “It’s great, as a group of players and it’s the standard we set ourselves and we’re after hitting another target we set at the start of the year.”

Winning the medal on the field is also something that Clarke took great pride in, saying after the game. “Personally, I haven’t played in a final since 2012, the last time we where here against Sligo, so it’s personally nice to get back on the pitch. There’s huge competition as you can see from the fellas that played and the fellas that came one.”

As for where the performance came from he said it was all down to how the group have prepared and pushed themselves on the training field. “ The start we got, I think it’s all coming from the training and the group that’s there pushing everyone on. We started very well, but we let ourselves slip a bit at the end of the first half. We talked at half-time about about pushing on at the start of the second half. The game was probably a bit flat in second half, but we won the second half and that’s what we wanted to do.”

It’s all about doing the simple things right and keeping that up during the game he added. “There are always different things, you just got to try and make sure you keep doing the right things, no matter if you’re ten points up or ten points down. Do the same things and the right things at the right time and if you do that it’ll work. It’s a mindset you get into and thankfully it worked today.

Even with the large margin of victory, there is plenty room for improvement he believes going into the next game. “As a goalkeeper you’re disappointed we gave up four or five goal chances, it gives us something to work on and hopefully we’ll be stronger for it for the next game” While when asked about the saves he made, he replied “That’s what your there for, if there’s a goal chance it’s either a goal or a save. It’s great if a few hit off you. But in the bigger scheme of things, it’s giving up those opportunities that we need to look at. We’ll enjoy this evening and then we’ll knuckle down. That’s what this team wants to be in Croke Park and we’re looking forward to it.”


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