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Cork keep Clare at arms length

Clare's Martin Mc Mahon under pressure. Photograph by Declan Monaghan

Cork 1-20   Clare 1-11

VALIANT and playing with plenty of spirit, Clare never seriously threatened to beat Cork in Sunday’s Munster Senior Football semi-final in Cusack Park.

Clare's Martin Mc Mahon under pressure. Photograph by Declan Monaghan

Cork 1-20   Clare 1-11

VALIANT and playing with plenty of spirit, Clare never seriously threatened to beat Cork in Sunday’s Munster Senior Football semi-final in Cusack Park.

They were very slow to settle and in fact didn’t register a score until the 19th minute when Shane McGrath notched Clare’s first score after David Tubridy and Gary Brennan combined to set it up.

Cork had already scored seven unanswered points with the impressive Fintan Goold, Daniel Goulding, Brian Hurley and John O’Rourke kicking their scores.

Clare should have kicked the game’s first score when David Tubridy missed a scoreable free, awarded for a foul on Gary Brennan, who moved to full-forward immediately after the throw-in.

Once McGrath put Clare on the scoreboard, they enjoyed their best spell of the entire 70 minutes. Tubridy with two frees, John Hayes attacking from centre-back and Rory Donnelly, set up by Brennan, kicked four points on the spin.

When Fintan Goold and Tubridy from play, exchanged points, Cork led 0-8 to 0-6, six minutes before half-time.

It was then that Cork struck for the goal that put distance between themselves and Clare at half-time. Joe Hayes came off his line to deflect a dangerous, slippery ball away from goal. However it fell to Cork’s John O’Rourke, who slipped it to Brian Hurley. The Cork full forward found Daniel Goulding, who slid to the net.

While Ian McInerney replied with a well taken free, Hurley, Paul Kerrigan and Goulding tagged on three further points to leave Cork 1-11 to 0-7 ahead at the interval.

Kerrigan pointed again on the resumption and, at that stage, it was looking bleak for Clare. They needed a goal to give them life and hope. It didn’t look as if anything was on when Cathal O’Connor slipped as he kicked a point attempt. It fell perfectly for Gary Brennan however who held off Michael Shields and hammered it to the net. Suddenly Clare had a zip in their play but Cork responded clinically with three Goulding points, leaving them 1-15 to 1-7 ahead, 15 minutes into the second half.

Had Gary Brennan not been penalised for an alleged push on Eoghan Cadogan, perhaps Clare would have raised a second green flag, which would have pulled them significantly closer to Cork.

Substitutes Chris Dunning and John Keane kicked a point each, while Rory Donnelly and David Tubridy, with the game’s final score, completed Clare’s tally.

Hurley, Donncha Sheehan and Ciarán Sheehan, the latter two who were amongst Cork’s impressive array of substitutes, kicked their side’s final points.

Martin McMahon played outstanding football for Clare at corner-back, while John Hayes delivered a solid display at centre-back. Gary Brennan was superb at full-forward but a big loss at midfield, where Clare struggled to win primary possession or pick up badly needed breaks.

Donnelly and Tubridy had some good moments, while Declan Callinan was solid at wing-back.

Daniel Goulding, Brian Hurley and Fintan Goold excelled in attack for Cork, who struggled to keep tabs on Brennan in their full-back line.

All in all Clare delivered a decent, manly display but Cork were too slick and in superior physical condition. Their attacking fluency helped them to retain a reasonably comfortable lead once they established their initial advantage. Clare will play the winners of the round one qualifiers in early July.

Clare: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Laurence Healy (Ennistymon), Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s, Miltown); Declan Callinan (Kilmurry Ibrickane), John Hayes (Kilrush), Graham Kelly (St Joseph’s, Miltown); Gary Brennan (Clondegad, captain), Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen); Alan Clohessy (Liscannor), Ger Quinlan (O’Curry’s), Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis); David Tubridy (Doonbeg), Ian McInerney (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Rory Donnelly (Cooraclare).
Subs: Chris Dunning (Wolfe Tones) for Alan Clohessy (46), Francie Hayes (Lissycasey) for Cathal O’Connor (57), John Keane (Corofin) for Ger Quinlan (61), Shane Ryan (Doonbeg) for Shane McGrath (61), Podge McMahon (Clondegad) for Graham Kelly (68).
Scorers: David Tubridy (0-4, 2f); Gary Brennan (1-0), Rory Donnelly (0-2), Shane McGrath, John Hayes, Ian McInerney (f), Chris Dunning, John Keane (0-1 each).
Frees: 17   wides: 4.
Yellow cards: Gordon Kelly, Declan Callinan, Alan Clohessy, John Hayes.
Cork: Ken O’Halloran; Eoghan Cadogan, Michael Shields, Damien Cahalane; James Loughrey, Paudie Kissane, Tomás Clancy; Graham Canty (captain), Pearse O’Neill; John O’Rourke, Paddy Kelly, Fintan Goold; Daniel Goulding, Brian Hurley, Paul Kerrigan.
Subs: Aidan Walsh for Pearse O’Neill (44), Ciarán Sheehan for Paul Kerrigan (49), Donncha O’Connor for John O’Rourke (58), Alan O’Connor for Paddy Kelly (64), Thomas Clancy for Paudie Kissane (66).
Scorers: Daniel Goulding (1-5, 2f), Brian Hurley (0-5, 2f), Fintan Goold (0-4), John O’Rourke, Paul Kerrigan (0-2 each), Donncha O’Connor, Ciarán Sheehan (0-1 each). 
Frees: 16   wides: 11.
Yellow card: Daniel Goulding.
Attendance: 3,774
Referee: Derek Fahy. (Longford).


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