CLARE fell to a disappointing second successive Munster final loss to Cork in Thurles. Played in front of a crowd of 45,364, Clare were chasing their seventh Munster title in what was their 13th provincial final meeting with Cork. Clare are still without a Munster title since 1998 and on reflection, Cork’s late first half goal, put away by Luke Meade, was a key score.
Clare led 2-11 to 1-10 at half-time, following an immense 35 minutes from John Conlon. A minute before half-time, Clare led 2-11 to 0-9 and looked to be approaching the interval in an excellent position. However, Meade ghosted through and finished to the Clare net, while a minute later, Mark Coleman pointed a superb line ball. Clare’s first half goals were put away by David Reidy, following a superb Seadna Morey run, while Peter Duggan finished the second to the net, after a Donal Tuohy free dropped in front of Anthony Nash’s goalmouth.
Clare played some good hurling in the first half but at times their final pass into Shane O’Donnell and Podge Collins did not favour either player. Conlon won virtually every ball delivered into him in that half. However the supply to the Clonlara man, dried up considerably in the second half. Cork outscored Clare 0-6 to 0-1 in the opening quarter of the new half and hit the first three points, to draw within one of their opponents.
As the second half wore on, Clare lacked cohesion up front and allowed players like Horgan and Harnedy too much latitude in the Cork attack.
Ian Galvin put away a very late Clare goal but it did not come early enough to shake Cork’s belief that they were going to retain their Munster championship. Clare have to go back to 1932 for the last time they beat Cork in a Munster senior hurling final.
Clare: Donal Tuohy (Crusheen); Pat O’Connor (Tubber – captain), David McInerney (Tulla), Jack Browne (Ballyea); Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge), Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s, Miltown), Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge); Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin), Tony Kelly (Ballyea), David Reidy (Éire Óg); Podge Collins (Cratloe), John Conlon (Clonlara), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg).
Subs: Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Cathal Malone (50), David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Jamie Shanahan (60), Darragh Corry (Tulla) for David Reidy (63), Ian Galvin (Clonlara) for Conor Cleary (68).
Scorers: Peter Duggan 1-7, (6f) John Conlon 0-5, David Reidy 1-2, Ian Galvin 1-0, Podge Collins 0-2, Conor McGrath, Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly (0-1 each).
Cork first half scorers: Horgan 0-11 (7f, 1 65 ), Seamus Harnedy 0-5, Luke Meade 1-1, Conor Lehane, Daniel Kearney 0-2 (each), Bill Copper, Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon (0-1 each).
Cork: Anthony Nash; Seán O’Donoghue, Damien Cahalane, Colm Spillane; Christopher Joyce, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Eoin Cadogan; Mark Coleman, Bill Copper; Daniel Kearney, Conor Lehane, Seamus Harnedy (captain); Luke Meade, Shane Kingston, Patrick Horgan.
Subs: Robbie O’Flynn for Shane Kingston (59), Michael Cahalane for Luke Meade (64), Lorcan McLoughlin for Daniel Kearney (66),
Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath).