Attendance at Páirc UÍ Chaoimh shows Wexford and Clare fans really weren't happy
The All-Ireland quarter-final off the back of those monstrous provincial groups.
Except, at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, it felt nothing like knockout hurling. It felt nothing like the last eight. It was as if this wasn't two counties 70 minutes from the semi-finals.
As Wexford and Clare did battle to take themselves closer to Liam MacCarthy, as one county's dreams were set to die in Cork, only 10,255 showed up to support them.
We were well-warned.
When the fixtures were released - eventually - and it was revealed that Davy Fitzgerald and Donal Moloney would have to take their respective sides to the banks of the Lee to do battle, eyebrows were raised all over the country.
Why take Wexford two and a half hours down the road? Why two hours for Clare? Why not Thurles? Why a bloody Saturday afternoon? Why not a double header with Sunday's quarter-final between Kilkenny and Limerick? Why not pack out the home of hurling?
As it was, just 10,000 people were present for one of the biggest games of the season as an amazing hurling championship felt like it was petering out when it's only really getting going.
Davy Fitzgerald not being drawn on his future
"The best team won but our lads kept trying... You know where my heart will be going on" pic.twitter.com/qbo0NYZAaP
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 14, 2018
It was Wexford who lost out in the end as Clare advanced with a 0-27 to 1-17 win.
Although they had to trek to Cork to do it, it's the Banner county's first time booking a place at Croke Park since they won the All-Ireland back in 2013.
Seven points from Peter Duggan and five from play for Tony Kelly did the damage in the end but the decision to put it on in Páirc Uí Chaoimh was the biggest takeaway for most hurling fans.
Jez. Embarrassing pic.twitter.com/NsMM3Ylinh
— David Roche ☘️🌍 (@davr1977) July 14, 2018
If only there was some way we could've known that this might not have been, a) the best idea or b) the most popular idea in the world.
GAA hierarchy outdo themselves with stupidity and greed again. Clare v Wexford in Pairc ui Chaoimh with no Hawkeye, Limerick v Kilkenny in Thurles with Hawkeye at the EXACT same stage of the competition. Ridiculous. Imagine if that's what it comes down to? #GAA
— Derrick Lynch (@DLynchSport) July 9, 2018