The trend of the rest of the match was firmly set. The Barrs won the puck-out and as Ethan Twomey was about to shoot at the target, he was hooked by Gary Brennan and Aaron Griffin scored off the turnover. Then Twomey set up Ben O’Connor for another equalising point. And on it went until Ballyea eventually edged the match by one point.
All the odds pointed towards a Ballyea win after the sending-off, not just for their numerical advantage but because of the Clare side’s far greater experience at this level, with this being their seventh game (including a run to the 2017 All-Ireland final) outside Clare in four previous campaigns. Yet the Barrs showed heroic bravery and fortitude to take the game to the absolute wire.
It was cruel for Cunningham to miss that last-second 65 but that shouldn’t detract from the impact Cunningham had on the game. From 11 plays, Cunningham scored four points from play while he was fouled for a free and forced another free.