Home » Breaking News » Clare show clear in-Ten-t to reach third Minor decider
The Clare team stand for the anthem before their Munster Minor Hurling Championship game at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare show clear in-Ten-t to reach third Minor decider

Car Tourismo Banner

Munster Minor Hurling Championship Round 5
Clare 2-22 Cork 0-19

CLARE will contest a third consecutive Munster Minor Final on Monday week after another storming finish to finally brush off hosts Cork in Supervalu Páirc Uí Chaoimh, writes Eoin Brennan.
With the sides level for the sixth time by the two-thirds mark, it was the defending champions that stood tallest when needed most as they re-establish daylight between the sides before Liam Murphy inevitably provided the telling knock-out blow with his second goal of another memorable evening.
Without two of last year’s Munster and All-Ireland winning squad in Marc O’Brien and Conor Ralph, it was the dynamic O’Callaghan’s Mills poacher that provided a pivotal goal in each half to take his remarkable tally to five majors in just two matches.
Captain Harry Doherty was also hugely influential once more from puck-outs and scores as Clare excelled on the scoreboard with ten different scorers to take the county’s perfect minor record to ten matches.
In contrast, Cork, who needed victory to potentially reach a second successive final themselves, were heavily reliant on Mark O’Brien for inspiration and scores and while that was justified to san extent as he proved a persistent thorn in Clare’s side over the hour, the lively Douglas forward needed more support if the Rebels were going to halt the Banner’s nine match winning run.
That said, Clare goalkeeper Matthew Crotty sill had to pull off five excellent saves to keep his perfect clean sheet record intact. The first came in the seventh minute when a Luke Murphy shot was expertly tipped away for a ’65 that O’Brien duly converted.
That save would be magnified when only six minutes later, Clare made the breakthrough to ignite their challenge as a Paul Rodgers shot was repelled only for Liam Murphy to be perfectly positioned to fire a brilliant rebound volley to the net at 1-3 to 0-5.
Cork hit back immediately but would be thwarted again by the obstinate Crotty who this time delfected a Michael Brosnan shot off the post and out for another O’Brien ’65 at 1-4 to 0-6 by the end of the opening quarter.
Clare continued to match their opponents though as points from Rodgers, Matthew Corbett, Doherty and even a richly deserved Darren Moroney single fended off Cork’s best efforts before Patrick Finneran landed an equalsing point on the half hour mark to secure a half-time stalemate at 1-9 to 0-12.
The Rebels expectedly came out fighting for the new half but an Adam Lee bullet as well as a shot from half-time substitute Joe Twohig were both prevented by the ice-cool Crotty in the opening minutes.
Doherty and O’Brien traded frees but while that seesaw pattern was expected to prevail for the remainder, Clare upped the ante considerably thereafter, outscoring a flagging Cork by 1-12 to 0-06 in the final 20 minutes.
Three quickfire points in just two minutes through Clooney-Quin duo Finneran (2) and Jerry O’Connor provided the cushion while Liam Murphy (2) and Harry Doherty equalled O’Brien’s ripostes before Matthew Crotty again denied Michael Brosnan entering the final ten minutes at 1-17 to 0-17.
Murphy would be much more clincal though when presented with his opportinity in the 52nd minute as he collected Michael Vaughan’s delivery to turn his marker and fire to the bottom right corner of the net to double his side’s advantage.
It proved the final nail in Cork’s coffin as a bupyant Banner raided for five of the last six points as a brace of DOherty frees were bolstered by scores for Paul Rodgers and replacement pair Graham Ball and Ryan Hayes.
It means that for the second time in three years, Clare will meet neighbours Tipperary in the Munster Minor Final on Monday week, May 20th.

Clare: Matthew Crotty (Scariff); Sean Óg Kilkenny (Bodyke), Sean McNamara (Clooney-Quin), Darren Moroney (Éire Óg); Dara Kennedy (Ballyea), James Cullinan (Ruan), Rian Mulcahy (Éire Óg); Graham Ball (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield), Matthew Corbett (Clooney-Quin); Harry Doherty (Clarecastle), Patrick Finneran (Clooney-Quin), Darragh McNamara (Clooney-Quin); Liam Murphy (O’Callaghan’s Mills), Paul Rodgers (Scariff), Jerry O’Connor (Clooney-Quin)
Subs: Michael Vaughan (Broadford) for D. McNamara (HT), Ryan Hayes (Tulla) for Corbett (47), Darragh Ball (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Finneran (53), Jake Gibbons (Whitegate) for O’Connor (58), Evan Crimmins (Newmarket-on-Fergus) for G. Ball (59)

Scorers: LIam Murphy (2-3); Harry Doherty (0-6, 5f); Patrick Finneran, Paul Rodgers (0-3 each); Jerry O’Connor (0-2); Matthew Corbett (f), Darren Moroney, James Cullinan, Darragh Ball, Ryan Hayes (0-1 each)

Cork: Josh Goulding (Glen Rovers); Cian Denis O’Connor (Millstreet), Rian O’Riordan (Blackrock), Liam Kelleher (Douglas); Kevin Beechinor (Éire Óg), Conor Noonan (Kanturk), John Murphy (Mallow); Jack O’Brien (Douglas), Jack Hegarty (Ballinora); Leo Hennessy (Ballymartle), Mark O’Brien (Douglas), Luke Murphy (Barryroe); Adam Lee (Cloyne), Fionn Lardner (Fermoy), Michael Brosnan (Glen Rovers)
Subs: Joe Twohig (Valley Rovers) for Lardner (HT), Peter Barrett (Midleton) for Twohig (34-35, BS), David Enright (Inniscarra) for O’Riordan (40, inj), Barrett for Lee (44), Oisin O’Connell (Carrigaline) for Hennessy (46)

Scorers: Mark O’Brien (0-11, 6f, 2’65); Kevin Beechinor (0-2); Jack Hegarty, Luke Murphy, Fionn Lardner, Joe Twohig, Jack O’Brien, Peter Barrett (0-1 each)

Referee: Alan Tierney (Tipperary)

About Eoin Brennan

Check Also

Special day for Derg as Killaloe club gets Olympic recognition

A new Special Olympics Athletics Club is on the right track in Killaloe following research …