Cork 0-19 Clare 0-15
CLARE relinquished the Munster Senior Hurling League title at windswept Sixmilebridge on Wednesday evening when they went under to Cork in their final group game. Cork will play Limerick in the final on Sunday.
A strong wind blowing directly down the field made matters difficult for the players and it was the visitors who adapted better to the conditions.
That said, Clare will rue some missed chances, especially in the opening half. However, it was Cork’s superior strength and better ball control in the second period that proved decisive.
Clare did not want to play the game due to the involvement of more than half of their panel in Fitzgibbon Cup games on Tuesday but their efforts to delay the game failed.
Cork had already qualified for the final of the competition before Wednesday’s game, which Clare needed to win to get to the final.
Clare made seven changes in personnel from the side that beat Waterford and the team included Cratloe’s Conor Ryan at centre-back for his first outing of the year.
Five of the starting 15, Jason McCarthy, Jamie Shanahan, Peter Duggan, Colm Galvin and Bobby Duggan, had seen Fitzgibbon Cup action on Tuesday.
Things did not look good for Clare at half-time, as they led by just the minimum after playing with the aid of a strong wind.
Clare could and should have had a greater tally at this point but wayward shooting cost them, as they hit seven wides in the opening 35 minutes.
They led 0-3 to 0-1 after eight minutes but failed to build on that and Cork hit back and took the lead at the end of the first quarter.
In all, they were level four times in the first half, before Bobby Duggan’s point in injury time edged Clare a point in front at the break.
Points were exchanged twice early in the second half, before Cork took a grip and hit five-in-a-row to open a five-point gap, which ultimately proved decisive.
Clare: Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona), Cian Dillon (Crusheen, captain), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge), Conor Ryan (Cratloe), Brendan Bugler (Whitegate); Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge), Colm Galvin (Clonlara); Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin); Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara).
Subs: David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Galvin, David Reidy (Éire Óg) for P Duggan, Eoin Quirke (Whitegate) for C Ryan, Conor O’Donnell (Crusheen) for O’Connell and Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones) for Shanahan.
Scorers: Cathal O’Connell (0-6), Bobby Duggan (0-4), Shane Golden, Aaron Cunningham (0-2 each) and Seadna Morey (0-1).
Referee: Johnnie Murphy, Limerick.