THE smile on his face said it all as Christopher Joyce, who had an outstanding second-half against Clare, tried to sum up what this meant to Cork to retain the Munster title.
“It really has been a brilliant Munster championship, to get to play five games like we did was massive and to retain the title is almost impossible to put into words.
“I think the crowd really got behind this new format and they really got behind us out there today.
“Going out there for the second-half we knew we had a lot of work to do and we knew had the fitness to get it done. We looked after ourselves all week with the weather and knew that we have to be careful with the heat.
“If we didn’t then it was going to be very easy to run out of energy, but in fairness, to all the lads they looked after themselves well and I think it really told in the second-half when we needed it to,
“It was very hot out there and we tapered the warm up to that as well. Declan O’Sullivan has been looking after us all week in that regard and has been telling us what to do every day.
“We tapered down our training during the week to make sure we had the legs for the 70 minutes and, as I said, even the warm-up was tapered today to make sure we were ready to go all the way.
“I think in the second-half there Clare might have struggled with the sun and we managed to push on to thankfully get over the line.
“But the goal and point we got just before half-time were huge scores and the difference of going in just four, rather than seven or eight points down, was huge.
“But there was no panic at half-time, we came in and sat down and gathered our thoughts before anyone said anything.
"The thoughts were that we haven’t played well at all and we are still right in it and, knowing full well we can do a lot better.
“Clare are also probably saying how are we only four points up and maybe should have been more up, so that was probably been on their minds as well.
“There was no panic and we just said, lads, we are only four points down and we are not going to let this pass us by.
"We knew there was more in us and again, we never panicked and kept doing the same things and it worked out for us.
“You have people like Danny (Kearney) and Luke (Meade) and the work they put in up and down the pitch is unbelievable for the team.
"We will enjoy ourselves tonight and then start looking to the All-Ireland semi-final then,” concluded Christopher.