THE Clare senior hurlers have moved to sincerely thank their fans following their heartbreaking exit from this year’s All Ireland following a tense semi-final replay against Galway in Thurles.
The Clare team’s reconnection with its fanbase was highly evident as the Banner faithful filled the terraces and stands on Sunday while Galway fans for the most part looked to be marooned in a sea of saffron and blue.
A scramble for tickets in Clare last week saw queues out the doors of Centras and Supervalus across the county, and it has since been
estimated that Clare fans outnumbered Galway by three to one as they witnessed the Tribesman edge Clare by a solitary point.
In the wake of defeat, a spokesperson for the Clare senior hurlers thanked the fans for their support throughout a season which has seen the Banner defeat Tipperary, Waterford, All-Ireland finalists Limerick and Wexford while they etched out a stunning draw with reigning champions Galway in Croke Park, a match which will go down as one of the greatest in living memory.
The spokesperson said on Twitter, “The players and management would like to sincerely thank and acknowledge our supporters who shared our journey during 2018. We are devastated to have not made to the final but will learn and grow together from our experiences
The statement continued, “We appreciate the expense supporters incurred following us and for sharing some great days with us this
“We are down now but we will lift our heads in time to focus on coming back stronger, better and even more together in 2019. An Clár Abú.”
Clare fans weren’t long in returning the gesture, with many sending the team well-wishes
Ennis native Mike Hanrahan, of Stockton’s Wing fame, wrote “Thanks for an incredible year and your unbelievable dedication. It was nothing short of excellence. Mighty.”
Newstalk journalist and Clare supporter Richard Chambers added, “Well done gang. The journey back to the promised land goes on. Bring on the league!”
Local businesswoman Róisín Garvey wrote, “I went to every game because ye reminded us all how great hurling is. Thank you soooo much … all the lads. Legends all.”
While Clare fan Robbie Healy added, “Unbelievably proud to be a Clare man, this is a great Clare team, there are serious days ahead next year, Cork and Tipp have to come to Ennis, up the Banner!”
Meanwhile, Dónal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor are expected to return for a third year in management with the senior side but on Sunday, Dónal admitted they would take time before making any decision.
Addressing the issue while speaking to reporters after the defeat, he said, “That’s for another day. Everybody has invested an awful lot in this journey, it’s not just this last two years for Gerry O’Connor and myself, this is going on since 2006”.