Clare hurler Aaron Cunningham has expressed his disappointment over the Clare support at Sunday’s Munster final.
The Banner were vastly outnumbered by Cork supporters in what was their first Munster final in nine years.
The Cork bandwagon has been rolling like never before over the past few weeks and the Rebel supporters played a huge part in selling out Semple Stadium last Sunday.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Clare supporters. Though they were victorious in their semi-final, they didn’t exactly light up the championship.
As a result of this, there was something of a lack of optimism within the county. And this was seen in the attendance.
Clare attacker Cunningham did take notice of the lack of support and the 2013 All-Ireland medalist was left disappointed on Sunday.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, he admitted that he felt the lack of support was a contributing factor in their defeat.
“It was our first Munster final since 2008, we hadn’t won it since 1998. We were expecting a huge crowd but they just didn’t come. Very disappointing.
“Hopefully they can get out the next day. Maybe Páirc Uí Chaoimh might encourage a few of them to go down and make a trip out of that.
“When you go out and see the sea of red you’re thinking, ‘What’s going on here’. We obviously knew Cork had a huge following and we were going to be outnumbered but even the Clare end looked like a sea of red to us.”
The county that’s famous for ‘the Banner roar’ were most certainly lacking in volume this past weekend, and this is where Cunningham feels the crowd were a loss.
“It’s great when you score and the crowd gets behind you, It really does push you on when you feel like you are emptying and you haven’t much more to give, it helps you on. The last couple of minutes when the game was over, the Cork crowd were chanting and getting behind the players, it definitely got them over the line.”
The 2013 All-Ireland champions have only defeated three teams since their shock All-Ireland victory four years ago. The fact that two of these teams were Laois and Offaly makes for even worse reading.
Clare now face Tipperary in their All-Ireland quarter-final. This Tipperary side are coming into form after a convincing victory over Dublin and will most likely enter as favourites.
Cunningham and his Clare teammates will be hopeful of a bigger crowd for the last eight clash.
Kevin Daly, Pundit Arena