Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League Round One in Cusack Park Ennis
Clare 1-20 Cork 0-21
A storming finish from Clare saw the Banner overturn Cork in the opening round of the Munster Hurling League.
The home side trailed by 0-21 to 0-17 with just 2 minutes left to play before Colin Guilfoyle rattled the net to leave just a point between them.
Niall Deasy stood over a free from his own “65 yard line to level the sides just moments later, and Ryan Taylor sent Clare into the lead for the first time in the game with a tidy finish in the 3rd minute of injury time.
Diarmuid Ryan capped a fine performance with a brilliant score from the left wing to give Clare an unlikely two point win which puts them within touching distance of the Munster Hurling League Final.
Cork started brightest and hit the first three scores of the game inside the opening 7 minutes after some poor wides from Clare.
Michael O’Neill’s powerful run was halted illegally by the Cork defence and Niall Deasy slotted the resultant free before Gary Cooney opened his account with a well taken point to leave the minimum between them.
Declan Dalton landed a brace of frees for the Rebels to stretch their advantage once more before Cooney found the target again to leave it Cork 0-5 Clare 0-3 after the opening quarter.
John Meyler’s charges were quickest into their rhythm and hit 0-3 unanswered in as many minutes with Dalton landing another free either side of good long range scores from Michael O’Halloran and William Kearney to leave them 0-8 to 0-3 clear with 20 minutes on the clock.
Another Deasy free left it at double scores but the Rebels were starting to hit their stride and were denied twice by Keith Hogan in the Clare goal as Dalton raced clear but couldn’t get the better of the Clooney/Quin man.
Dalton’s second shot was deflected out for a “65 which he duly converted and then O’Halloran capitalised on some indecision in the Clare defence to slot over the bar, it looked as if the game was starting to slip from the Banner.
Deasy kept the scoreboard ticking over with another free which was quickly followed by a good score from the right wing by David Conroy to cut the gap to four.
Two more points followed for Cork with O’Halloran again on target from play and Dalton finding the range once more from a “65.
Diarmuid Ryan snapped over a good point for the home side but it was Jamie Coughlan from a close range free who had the final say of the opening half as Cork headed for the dressing rooms with a 0-13 to 0-7 lead.
Whatever message was delivered by the Clare management at the break had the desired effect as they stormed out of the blocks in the second half. They reeled off 0-4 unanswered thanks to a Deasy free and good efforts from Ryan, Conroy and Cathal Malone to leave just two points between the sides.
Cork hit back once more with a Dalton free but two more scores from Deasy and Cooney cut the gap to the minimum on 45 minutes.
Deasy was the man who landed the next four points for Clare with Dalton firing over two more frees for the Rebels along with a brilliant score from a sideline cut on the terracing stand side of Cusack Park into the Cloister end. Coughlan was also on target as the game approached the final ten minutes with Cork still ahead by 0-18 to 0-17.
Try as they might, Clare just couldn’t seem to find the score that would level the game with numerous chances dropping wide. It looked as if their chance was gone when Cork hit three in a row between the 62nd and 67th minute with Robbie O’Flynn on target either side of another Coughlan score to see them lead by 0-21 to 0-17 as the full time whistle loomed.
Enter Colin Guilfoyle. The big Newmarket man was quickest to react when a long ball into the danger zone dropped to the floor. He whipped on it first time and the sliotar flew past Pa Collins in the Cork goal to leave just a point between the sides and the home crowd growing in confidence. Deasy then found the target from his own “65 with a free before Taylor and Ryan ensured it would be a winning start to the new campaign for the Banner.
Up next is a trip to Dungarvan to face Waterford on Sunday next with a 3pm start where victory for Clare will see them into the decider on January 13th.
Clare: Keith Hogan (Clooney/Quin); Jason McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona), David Fitzgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona), Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones); Aidan McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona), Colm Galvin (Clonlara) (c), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge); Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge), David Conroy (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield); Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe), Niall Deasy (Ballyea), Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin); Gary Cooney (O’Callaghan’s Mills), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley).
Subs: Colin Guilfoyle (Newmarket on Fergus) for David Conroy (50 mins); Conor Cleary (Kilmaley) for Colm Galvin (53 mins); Jack Browne (Ballyea) for David Fitzgerald (58 mins); Cathal McInerney (Cratloe) for Aron Shanagher (65 mins).
Clare scorers: Niall Deasy 0-10 (0-7f), Diarmuid Ryan (0-3), Colin Guilfoyle (1-0), Gary Cooney (0-3), David Conroy (0-2), Cathal Malone and Ryan Taylor (0-1 each).
Frees for: 16
Yellow cards: Colm Galvin and Rory Hayes
Cork: Pa Collins (Ballinhassig); Sean O’Donoghue (Iniscarra), David Griffin (Carrigaline), David Lowney (Clonakilty); Roberty Downey (Glen Rovers), Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum), William Kearney (Sarsfields); Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr’s) (c), Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsigh); Cormac Murphy (Mallow), Michael O’Halloran (Blackrock), Aidan Walsh (Kanturk); Declan Dalton (Fr O’Neill’s), Jamie Coughlan (Newtownshandrum), Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own).
Cork scorers: Declan Dalton 0-10 (0-7f, 0-2 “65, 0-1 sideline), Jamie Coughlan 0-4 (0-1f), Michael O’Halloran 0-3, Robbie O’Flynn 0-2, Cormac Murphy and William Kearney 0-1 each.
Yellow cards: Declan Dalton and Robbie O’Flynn
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).