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A dramatic draw but 'the biggest anti-climax ever'

Cork “would have killed for the draw at half-time” but Rebels left to reflect on All-Ireland title that got away.

Question time: Cork's players speak to referee Brian Gavin at the final whistle.
Question time: Cork's players speak to referee Brian Gavin at the final whistle.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

CONOR O’SULLIVAN STRUGGLED to come to terms with the fact that Cork and Clare will have to do it all again in three weeks’ time.

Corner-back Domhnall O’Donovan was the unlikely hero of yesterday’s All-Ireland senior hurling final, scoring his first Championship point deep into stoppage time as Clare forced a dramatic 0-25 to 3-16 draw.

The sides meet again on Saturday 28 September with the GAA confirming that it will reduce ticket prices for the replay.

“Ah it’s just the biggest anti-climax ever,” Cork’s O’Sullivan said afterwards.

“You’re coming up and you’re expecting to be finished hurling for the year one way or the other. Now they’re saying we’ll be playing in three weeks. It’s just a strange feeling.

“At half-time we would have killed for the draw. We went up a few points then. You’re happy and you’re sad in one way. You just don’t know how to feel.”

O’Sullivan battles against Conor McGrath (INPHO/Morgan Treacy)

Cork never led until the 72nd minute when Pa Horgan scored to give them a one-point advantage. With time running out, it looked like the Liam MacCarthy Cup was heading back to Leeside for the 31st time before O’Donovan intervened to snatch a deserved draw.

“When [Conor Ryan] came through near the end and he put the ball over, they went three or four up. I thought that was the game,” O’Sullivan said.

“There was unreal fight out of us. I don’t think too many teams would have done what we did.

If you told us we’d keep a clean sheet and we’d score three goals, we’d have been happy and thought we’d win it.

It just wasn’t to be there today.

Meet Domhnall O’Donovan – Clare’s All-Ireland final scoring hero

Clare’s Darach Honan left ‘dizzy’ by Shane O’Neill helmet swipe

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Niall Kelly

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