Crossword Genius

Was afraid bloodsucker lost out to cardinal? (6)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

feared

I'm a little stuck...
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Here is my best explanation:

'was afraid' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)

I don't understand how the rest of the clue works.

Ross

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This clue was last seen in The Irish Times

(Other definitions for feared that I've seen before include "Was scared of", "Dreaded", "Was in awe of", "Was terrified", "Was uneasy or apprehensive about" and "Was afraid of".)

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