Hurling: GERALD: WE WILL IMPROVE; GUINNESS MUNSTER SHC: Cork 1-18 Clare 1-11, Semple Stadium, Thurles
Byline: By MICK SCULLY
THE TALK beforehand was that maybe it wasn't such a bad thing to lose this Munster championship game. What was once heresy suddenly had merit.
Cork's path through Munster remains very problematic with Waterford next up while Clare can now regroup and look forward to a qualifying group involving Galway, Antrim and the losers in Leinster.
Cork's victorious boss doesn't see it that way.
"We're defending Munster champions and our wish is to defend that title," stated Gerald McCarthy.
"We got the right result but it was hard-earned. We were happy with it but there's a lot of work to do.
"Clare aided us a little bit by missing some scores early on. There's room for improvement, but it will come in time.
"It was flat for long stages but the swirling wind conditions are never good for hurling. It's a first round game and it's good to get it out of the way."
But Clare supremo Tony Considine didn't look too upset at the final whistle.
He agreed it was a flat occasion - at least after the pre-match fun and games.
"I don't know, maybe it's because you are going into another round anyway," he shrugged. …