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Clare fall to Rebel’s injury time salvo

Cork 1-9
Clare 0-9

POINTS in the second, third and fourth minutes of injury time earned Cork a victory over Clare in the opening round of the Munster Minor Football Championship at Cusack Park on Wednesday evening.

 

Clare’s Enda Boyce tackled by Alan Cronin and Conor O’Sullivan. Photograph by Declan Monaghan

Cork 1-9
Clare 0-9

POINTS in the second, third and fourth minutes of injury time earned Cork a victory over Clare in the opening round of the Munster Minor Football Championship at Cusack Park on Wednesday evening.
Down to 14 men five minutes into the second half, following the dismissal of full-back, Sean O’Shea, on a second yellow card, Cork struggled for scores against a hard-working Clare outfit.
They never led in the second half until the second minute of injury time but they finished the game strongly to book a place in the semi-finals.
Despite the defeat, Clare must re-group quickly as they will be back in action next Monday when they entertain Waterford at Cusack Park, a game they must win to remain in the championship.
Cork came to Ennis as strong favourites but from an early stage it was clear that they had a battle on their hands. The home side took an early lead when Aidan Malone pointed a 30m free and while Cork replied with a like score, Clare captain Paudge Collins had the home side back in front with a lovely point in the eighth minute.
The Clare defence was caught out badly in the 13th minute and Cork raced through for Brian Hurley to score the game’s only goal. When the same player added a point, there were fears that the Leesiders might pull away but it was Clare who responded impressively.
They dominated the second quarter and points from Niall Hickey, Aidan Malone (free) and a lovely effort from Tony Kelly levelled the game with six minutes still to play in the half. Clare could and, indeed, should have had a couple of more scores during this spell of dominance but the final pass went astray on more occasions than one.
Cork must have been reasonably happy to be on level terms at the break having played against the breeze but when play resumed Clare quickly made it clear that they would not give in easily.
Niall Hickey put them back in front and then Cork were reduced to 14 players when their full back was sent off on a second yellow card. It was, in fairness, a harsh decision by a referee that didn’t endear himself to either set of followers on the evening.
Match referee, Keith O’Brien (Tipperary), awarded 55 frees, 33 of them to Clare, but the greatest criticism came in the closing stages when he failed to blow for what appeared to be a number of obvious infringements
The sides were level for the third time at the three quarter stage and twice in the final 15 minutes they exchanged points to leave the score at 0-9 to 1-6 at the end of normal time, Cork having scored the equaliser with three minutes remaining.
Three minutes of additional time was signalled and in the second of these Daniel McEoin put the visitors in front and one could sense that Clare’s great effort would not be enough. Cork added two more points to give a somewhat flattering look to the scoreboard.
For a hard working Clare outfit, Paudge Collins, Niall Hickey, Tony Kelly and Graham Johnson worked hard throughout.

Clare: Ross Dunne (Wolfe Tones); Jarlath Colleran (Doora-Barefield), Graham Johnson (Kilmurry-Ibrickane), Oisin Vaughan (Ennistymon); Stan Lineen (Kilmihil), Darragh Sexton (Kilmurry-Ibrickane), Wesley De Loughrey (Cratloe); Ronan Linnane (Ennistymon), Aidan Malone (Kilfenora); Seanie Malone (Miltown St Joseph’s), Conor O’Reilly (Doora-Barefield), Paudge Collins (Cratloe) captain; Tony Kelly (Clondegad), Niall Hickey (Kilmurry-Ibrickane), Enda Boyce (Cratloe).
Subs: Anthony Downes for O’Reilly; Adrian Murrihy for S Malone.
Scorers: Aidan Malone (0-3), all frees; Niall Hickey (0-3) Paudge Collins (0-2) Tony Kelly (0-1).

Cork: David Hanrahan; Derek Crowley, Sean O’Shea, David O’Donovan; Tomas Clancy, Darragh O’Carroll, Matthew O’Shea; Damien Cahalan, Jamie Byrne; John O’Rourke, Alan Cronin, Conor O’Sullivan; Daniel Mceoin, Tomas Hegarty, Brian Hurley.
Subs: Darren Murphy for O’Donovan; Padraig Hicks for O’Sullivan; Diarmuid Lester for O’Carroll; Dara Ring for Hegarty.
Scorers: Brian Hurley (1-4), 0-4 from frees Daniel McEoin (0-5), 2 frees.

Referee: Keith O’Brien, Tipperary.

 

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