Clare supporters likely to choose hurling qualifier over Munster football final

Updated: Thursday, 05 Jul 2012 15:54 | Comments

Davy Fitzgerald (l) and Anthony Daly will renew acquaintances on Saturday
Davy Fitzgerald (l) and Anthony Daly will renew acquaintances on Saturday

Clare supporters have two big Championship games to look forward to this weekend, but the recession will force many of them to choose between codes.

And with that being the case, the Clare footballers are likely to lose out in the battle for people’s hard-earned cash.

The footballers have qualified for their first Munster final since 2000, and will take on Cork at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday afternoon.

However, the hurlers will take on Dublin the All-Ireland qualifiers in Ennis the previous evening, and it seems that tie will prove more attractive to punters.

“Obviously, in the current economic climate and with the costs involved, a lot of people will find it hard to take in both games,” Clare Champion Editor Seamus Hayes told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“And that is a genuine reality this week.

“I’ve been speaking to a lot of people who have expressed their concern that they would love to be at both games and simply can’t afford to get to both.

“And I suppose the fact that both are televised would help make up their minds.

“It seems that people who will choose will probably choose the hurling game on Saturday evening because it is a home venue and it is a home game and a huge atmosphere is expected.

“But there is a fear that Saturday evening’s game will affect attendance at Sunday’s Munster football final and that would be disappointing for the footballers.”

Hurling has long been the most popular code in the Banner County, but the return of their two-time All-Ireland winning captain Anthony Daly will add additional spice to the Cusack Park encounter.

Daly managed his native county from 2003 to 2006, but is now in his fourth year as Dublin’s supremo

He will in be familiar company on the sideline on Saturday, as former team-mate Davy Fitzgerald will be donning the Bainisteoir bib for Clare.

But Daly’s tenure with the Dubs has done nothing to affecting his standing with the Clare public, according to Hayes.

“The reality is that they are two people that have won the hearts of Clare hurling people over the years, particularly through the wonderful period of the 90s when Clare had such great success

“And I suppose they’ll always have special places in the hearts of Clare hurling followers.”

Clare head into the game on the back of a spirited display against Waterford in the Munster semi-final, but the Dubs are in the dumps after they were beaten out the gate by Kilkenny in Leinster.

But despite their contrasting fortunes at provincial level, there is a suspicion in Clare that the Metropolitans are a wounded beast they would have preferred to have avoided.

“There’s fairly high hopes that Clare will do well, but the big fear among Clare hurling supporters is that there will be a big backlash from Dublin; that Dublin didn’t play to their potential against Kilkenny,” Hayes said.

"Now that’s not to be disrespectful to Kilkenny, because I think everybody accepts at this stage that Kilkenny are such a magnificent team.

“But there is a fear in Clare that Dublin are capable of much better and that, unfortunately, Clare are the team that it could be taken out on because there is such disappointment in Dublin after their performance against Kilkenny.”

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