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David Fitzgerald of Clare celebrates a goal against Cork during their Munster Senior Championship game at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Photograph by John Kelly. The final score is @GaaClare 3-26 , @OfficialCorkGAA 03-24 @MunsterGAA #GAA

Banner’s second half backlash ignites Munster challenge

Munster Senior Hurling Championship Round 2
Clare 3-26 Cork 3-24
It wasn’t good for the heart but crucially Clare secured their first ever championship victory in Páirc Uí Chaoimh the hard way after completing a nine point second half turnaround.
In front of 36, 814 at Cork headquarters, the sides were level seven times in an inch-tight opening half by the half hour mark, writes Eoin Brennan.
However, Cork finished with three of the last four points to edge 0-14 to 0-12 in front before responding to Mark Rodgers’ opener with a 1-3 blitz in just two minutes as a Patrick Horgan lob just trickled over the line before Rory Hayes could clear while a Shane Barrett shot was also deflected for a ’65 that Horgan converted to see the Rebels soar 1-17 to 0-13 clear.
While things looked bleak for Clare at that stage, there was no panic on the field as points from Aidan McCarthy and Diarmuid Ryan were bolstered by a 43rd minute goal when John Conlon and Shane O’Donnell combined to centre for Mark Rodgers to find the net and halve the deficit to just three.
David Reidy and McCarthy both hit braces as the Banner made it a one point game on three occasions by the 50th minute.
However, there would be another major twist at the turn of the final quarter when following a Mark Rodgers saved shot, Sean O’Donoghue’s robust third man tackle on Shane O’Donnell earned him a second yellow card and Clare a free that Aidan McCarthy duly converted to level the tie for the first time in twenty minutes at 1-20 apiece.
Backed by momentum and a numerical advantage, Clare wrestled back control for the remainder starting with an opportunist goal for Shane O’Donnell after an excellent one-two between Diarmuid Ryan and David Fitzgerald saw the former take on Cork’s last line before centring for the talisman forward at 2-20 to 1-20.
Horgan kept Cork in touch before seemingly hit by the clinching blow entering the final ten minutes when Mark Rodgers offloaded to David Fitzgerald to cut in from the right wing and roof to Patrick Collins’ net at 3-23 to 1-23.
Game over? not until the final whistle unfortunately as the obstinate hosts ensured an anxious finale with timely lifeline goals through first a Horgan 20 metre piledriver before a last gasp Robert Downey rebound proved the last score of an absorbing tie.
There was time for two more sightings on goal but home substitute Damien Cahalane’s attempt was blocked by the excellent Rodgers while Aron Shanagher’s last gasp bat to the net was ruled out for overcarrying to the welcome sound of the final whistle as Clare’s Munster challenge starts here.

Clare: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle); Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones), Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown), Adam Hogan (Feakle); Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe), John Conlon (Clonlara), David McInerney (Tulla); Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Cian Galvin (Clarecastle); David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), David Reidy (Éire Óg), Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin); Mark Rodgers (Scariff), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
Subs: Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge) for Galvin (52), Conor Leen (Corofin) for McInerney (61), Paul Flanagan (Ballyea) for Conlon (70), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for McCarthy (73)
Scorers: Aidan McCarthy (0-10, 8f); Mark Rodgers (1-6, 1f, 1s/l); David Reidy (0-3); Shane O’Donnell, David Fitzgerald (1-1 each); Peter Duggan, Diarmuid Ryan (0-2 each); David McInerney (0-1)
Cork: Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig); Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons), Eoin Downey (Glen Rovers), Sean O’Donoghue (Inniscarra); Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum), Ciaran Joyce (Castlemartyr), Robert Downey (Glen Rovers); Ethan Twomey (St Finbarr’s), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville); Declan Dalton (Fr. O’Neill’s), Shane Barrett (Blarney), Seamus Harnedy (St Its’s); Brian Hayes (St Finbarr’s), Alan Connolly (Blackrock), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers)
Subs: Ger Millerick (Fr. O’Neill’s) for O’Mahony (7-8, BS), Mark Coleman (Blarney) for Twomey (49), Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own) for Dalton (50), Luke Meade (Newcestown) for Harnedy (54), Shane Kingston (Douglas) for Hayes (59), Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s) for O’Mahony (64, inj)
Scorers: Patrick Horgan (2-10, 1-7f, 2’65); Declan Dalton (0-4, 3f); Seamus Harnedy (0-3); Robert Downey (1-0); Alan Connolly, Darragh Fitzgibbon (0-2 each); Tim O’Mahony, Ciaran Joyce, Shane Kingston (0-1 each)
Referee: James Owens (Wexford)

About Eoin Brennan

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