Cult hero Cahalane jokes 'It was probably the only time the crowd ever cheered when I got the ball!'

Cult hero Cahalane jokes 'It was probably the only time the crowd ever cheered when I got the ball!'
Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash and Damian Cahalane celebrate. Picture: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

THE crowd rose to their feet to cheer him on, one of the biggest cheers of the day as the much-maligned full-back drove on past the half-way line to lay off the ball to what led to another Cork score.

He has had his critics, a lot of which has been over the top, but throughout this season Damien Cahalane has let his hurling do the talking and if you ask most forwards he is one player they don’t fancy coming up against.

After the game the smile on his face said it all, but he also showed his sense of humour when asked about the run.

“Games like these, days like these are what you put in the hard work for so it’s unbelievable when you manage to win a title like that.

“People were talking about us at the start of the year, saying we were going to be the whipping boys in the league, not to mind the championship.

“But at the start of the year we talked about it and we wanted to get a bit of pride back in the jersey. The results didn’t really matter a huge amount, it was about getting pride back in the jersey and the results would come.

“We got a bit of momentum from the Munster League, we didn’t set out to win it but it got us off to a good start and we continued to build from there.”

Clare's Peter Duggan and Mark Ellis of Cork. Picture: INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Clare's Peter Duggan and Mark Ellis of Cork. Picture: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

On the run up the pitch he joking said: “It was probably the only time they ever cheered when I got the ball, but it was great. It was one moment of many in the game and I was just looking to win that moment to clear the danger and thank God we managed to get a score out of it.

“It’s difficult to put into words what this means, not just to us, but to the supporters out there as well today. They were simply magnificent and the way they have been behind us is unreal. When you looked around all you could see was red everywhere and there must have been close on 35,000 Cork supporters in the ground.

UNDER PRESSURE: Cork fans Shirley McCarthy and Alison Dwyer look on near the end of the game. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
UNDER PRESSURE: Cork fans Shirley McCarthy and Alison Dwyer look on near the end of the game. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

“At times during the game you have to block it out and when I was coming out with the ball that time I didn’t really hear the roar. But afterwards when you might get a moment or two you take it all in and it’s great to hear the crowd.

“They are a huge part of this win and the way they come out to support us is unbelievable and we can’t thank them enough for that.

“Fair play to them and hopefully they will keep coming in their numbers and we continue to give them something to shout about.

“I suppose not too many would have thought we would have won the Munster title at the start of the year and now on top of that we have an All-Ireland semi-final to look forward to now as well.

“I know the game isn’t too long over but that game is in the past now and we will celebrate it tonight, but then have to turn our attentions to the semi-final after that,” concluded Damien.

Cork supporters, from left, Alan Murphy, Donal Lenihan and Eric Hickey. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Cork supporters, from left, Alan Murphy, Donal Lenihan and Eric Hickey. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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