It was a summer of highs and lows for the Bannermen of Clare.
Ultimately, they fell short to Galway and missed out on the chance of playing in the All-Ireland Final. Surely, a hard pill to swallow. They were also defeated by Cork in the Munster Championship Final for the second year in a row.
Back in June, they were spectacular when they pushed Tipperary out of the Championship on Tipp’s home turf, a shock many didn’t see coming.
They served up two nail-biting matches against Galway in the Semi-Finals. For any neutral supporter, they were a pure joy to watch, for the Clare fans, it must have been unbearable.
Peter Duggan is one of the Bannermen’s key men. As well as being their free taker, he is lethal on the ball, once he gets going, he is pretty hard to stop!
After a great performance in the gold and blue jersey of Clare, Duggan now has an All-Star nod and was the top scorer of the entire Championship. We sat down with Peter to find out he what made of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship this year!
“I had a thoroughly enjoyable year as a whole. It was great craic. There were games in and out, there was no waiting around for games like in other years, so it was a lot more enjoyable for everyone. All the players seemed to like it.
One thing most people don’t like in general is the waiting around. You could be stuck there waiting for six weeks. If you got to the Munster Final and you won, you could be waiting weeks for another game, like the way it has been in the years before. So I really enjoyed it this year!”
During the drawn game of the All-Ireland Semi-Final, Peter scored one of the best points we have ever seen in hurling, as he battled off four Galway defenders and still managed to hit a magnificent score! So what was going through his head when it all happened?
“I just remember going in through and I don’t know really what exactly happened! I didn’t even realise until afterward! I just thought it was a normal score. I met two of clubmen, and they were saying ‘Peter did you see your score?’ They showed it to me then. I just kind of panicked really and if I missed that I would have been killed altogether! I was lucky that it went over! It is a small of a momentum to have for the year anyway. We went out the way we didn’t really want to go, but it was nice to have that.”
Although Clare were knocked out by Galway after a replayed Semi-Final, Peter is content with Clare’s performance and it will help in future years to come.
“We came back against Galway twice! It just shows we aren’t as bad as people make out as we are. We are a very young team and with a small bit more experience, we could be a very good side for the next coming years.
Over the last few years now with Clare, we haven’t really done a huge amount. We have been struggling since the 2013 All- Ireland win so it was great to actually get a little bit further this year and to give back to not even just the players but we got a lot of the supporters back in Clare this year as well. It was huge!”