This Sunday, Clare will face Tipperary at home in Cusack Park, Ennis. Given that we are at a crucial point in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, where every win and point counts, both teams will be hungry for a win.
Last year, Clare defeated Tipperary on Tipp’s own home turf, knocking them straight out of the Championship. A shock many people didn’t see coming. So you can guarantee, that is going to be a brilliant match between the two sides.
Peter makes his point
Peter Duggan will line out this weekend with Clare, and being their free-taker, the Bannermen will rely on him to hit some cracking scores. It is to be expected, given that last year, Peter hit one of the best points we have ever seen during the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Semi-Final against Galway. So what was going through his head when it all happened?
“All I remember was I was running and I took the shot. I don’t know really what exactly happened! I didn’t even realise until afterwards. I met one of my clubmen, and he said, ‘Peter did you see your score?’ I didn’t realise at the time at all what he was talking about. I just thought it was a normal score! He showed it to me then. I just kind of panicked really and well, if I missed that I would have been killed altogether! I was lucky that it went over!”
“Last year, we had a great year, making it to the Semi-Finals and answering to Galway on two occasions! It just shows, we aren’t as bad as people make out as we are, we are a very young team and a small bit more experience, we could be a very good side for the next coming years. That’s all we are trying to build on this year. We got a lot of the supporters back in Clare as well, and that’s great! It really helps surge us on. A lot of my neighbours went over to Boston for the Fenway Classic.
Other years, there is no way in hell that that would have happened. Clare generally don’t travel to anything. It shows that the Clare supporters have really bought into this team. They are backing this team, in comparison to other years when we wouldn’t really have seen them too much at all. We would have empty stadiums. I remember in the Munster Final last year, I think we were outnumbered 85% to 15% or something like that. This year, it has just changed completely, everyone wants tickets to everything. It is a brilliant sign and it makes it a lot easier for us to go training and go hurling when you know that people actually want to see you do well.”
Aside from the support of the fans, the core of Peter’s support comes from his family.
“My Mam is a Leitrim woman. She came down to Spancill Hill, where my Dad is from. The whole Duggan family are from there. So the second she moved down, she was converted from a football woman straight into a hurling woman. She absolutely loves it now. Anytime that I am playing, she would be more into the game than I would be.
I generally come home and she would be questioning me, asking me, why I didn’t do this or that. I try and take as little notice as possible and say to her she hasn’t a clue but I know how proud she is. Especially when she goes back up to Leitrim. She is utterly proud, she absolutely loves it and I love going up there too with her. Our friends would come up and they would say, ‘Oh is that Peter the hurler?’ and I can see the smile that she has then. That would be half the reason that I stayed playing hurling.
It’s the same for my Dad then too. My Dad would never miss a game, with Clooney (Peter’s club) or Clare. He would travel aboard a good bit with his work and he organises the way he goes travelling to make sure that he doesn’t miss any of games. I play hurling for the two of them.”
A way of life
And the Duggan household it is all about hurling! It is part of their family life.
“We grew up hurling mad. My brother plays hurling over in London and our family life revolves around hurling. I was debating not really going back because I had kind of been on the scene for a good while and hadn’t really made a breakthrough. I was getting a few doubts and in a way I was starting to grow sick and tired of it. I ended up ringing the brother and I told him I was going to pack it in but after talking to him I stayed with it. I thought ‘I may as give it one more smack and see what happens.’
I am very grateful for all of them, Mam, Dad, my brother Martin for making sure that I went back. I always just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, and it gives you a lot more confidence for this year. They are always on the sideline of every game and they are heavily involved with Clooney. When I land home for any club game, my Dad will always say, ‘How did you do?’ pretending like he wasn’t even there, and I would say, ‘Don’t worry Dad, I spotted you.”
Clare v Tipperary is live this Sunday on RTÉ. You can purchase tickets here. Littlewoods Ireland are proud sponsors of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Keep yourself up to date with all the #StyleOfPlay action on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts!