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Clare Minor Football Manager Dermot Coughlan.

Late Rebel Rally Denies Brave Banner In Munster MFC Phase Two Clash

Munster Minor Football Championship Phase Two Round Two: Clare 0-14 Cork 3-9

A late Cork rally saw them overcome a spirited Clare in this Munster Minor Football Phase Two contest.

After an entertaining opening period, the sides headed for the dressing rooms deadlocked thanks to a brilliantly struck “45 from Jamie Stack. It was no more than Clare deserved in particular after they stormed into the contest to kick the opening two scores. As ever, Shane Meehan was prominent throughout as he caused problems for the Cork defence with every possession. A trend would develop in the first half which saw the Banner captain fouled on almost every occasion that he won the ball, and he punished the Rebels with 0-3 from placed balls in the first-half. The first of these came after just three minutes, and the Ennistymon duo of Brendan Rouine and Diarmuid Fahy combined for Fahy to notch Clare’s second from the resultant kick-out.

The visitors to Ennis had two excellent goal chances during the first-half, with Keith O’Driscoll unlucky to see his shot hit the post and roll across the line before being cleared by the Clare defence. Cork captain Connor Corbett was starting to grow into the game and he opened the scoring for his side before Ryan O’Donovan converted a free to level proceedings. The see-saw nature of the contest would see the teams level on three different occasions in the first 30 minutes. Cork took the lead when Hugh Murphy fisted over from close range, but parity was restored soon after when Meehan was fouled once more after a brilliant cross-field ball from fellow dual-star Cillain McGroary. Clare could have rattled the Rebel at the end of the opening quarter, but Eoin Talty saw his low drive brilliantly saved by the feet of Cork goalkeeper Aaron O’Brien.

Meehan turned provider for Dara Nagle to land a classy score to put the home side back into the lead, but a sweeping Cork move saw O’Donovan handed the simplest of tasks in palming the ball home from close range. It was a goal that was coming, but Clare responded in some style with Meehan converting another self-won free before Jamie Stack sent over a free after a foul on the returning Matthew Reidy.

The best score of the opening half was undoubtedly kicked by the Rebels as Patrick Campbell arrowed over a brilliant effort from the right wing, but Stack’s late “45 meant there was nothing between the sides at the break.

O’Donovan edged Cork in front after the restart but another foul resulted in Meehan levelling the contest once more. Cork then raided for a goal that was all of Clare’s own making, as a stray pass was punished when Keith O’Driscoll powered through the centre to crash home and send his side 2-5 to 0-8 clear.

Clare’s response was good as Conor Hassett angled over but O’Driscoll hit back to keep the gap at three. Clare almost got in for a goal but Shane Meehan’s rising shot just powered over the bar from close range. Jamie Stack made it a one point game with a piece of brilliance as he spun and slotted over off the right after a great ball in from the impressive Brendan Rouine. Another goal chance fell the Banners way soon after but Eoin Talty was denied once more by a brave piece of Rebel goalkeeping as the game hit the final quarter.

Cork hit 1-2 in a five minute spell to take control, but Clare refused to lie down and struck back through two frees from Meehan and Stack along with a brilliant effort from Nagle to cut the gap to three in injury time. It was not to be though as the Rebels had the last say with a free from their captain Corbett to seal the win.

It means Clare will travel to take on Kerry next week knowing nothing other than a win will keep their hopes of a third consecutive Munster minor final appearance alive.

Clare: Oisin O’Loughlin (St Breckan’s); Tadgh Lillis (Doonbeg), Micheal Garry (Cooraclare), Ciaran McMahon (Ennistymon); Cillian McGroary (Corofin), Alan Killeen (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), Matthew Reidy (Shannon Gaels); Eoin Rouine (Ennistymon), Brendan Rouine (Ennistymon); Conor Hassett (Kildysart), Diarmuid Fahy (Ennistymon), Dara Nagle (Ennistymon); Eoin Talty (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), Shane Meehan (Banner, c), Jamie Stack (St Breckan’s).

Subs: Thomas Meenaghan (Banner) for Talty, Paddy Doherty (St Breckan’s) for Rouine (black card),

Scorers: Shane Meehan (0-6, 5f), Jamie Stack (0-4, 2f, 1 “45), Dara Nagle (0-2), Conor Hassett and Diarmuid Fahy (0-1 each).

Wides: 5 Frees: 29

Cork: Aaron O’Brien (Mitchelstown); Sean Andrews (Shamrock), Daniel Linehan (Castlemagner), Daniel Peet (Clonakilty); Darragh Cashman (Millstreet), Neil Lordan (Ballinora), Joseph O’Shea (Urhan); Jack Lawton (Argideen Rangers), Eoghan Nash (Douglas); Adam Walsh-Murphy (Valley Rovers), Connor Corbett (Clyda Rovers, c). Hugh Murphy (Eire Óg); Ryan O’Donovan (Barryroe), Patrick Campbell (Nemo Rangers), Keith O’Driscoll (Gabriel Rangers).

Subs: Tadgh O’Donoghue (Carrignavar) for Peet, Shane Aherne (Douglas) for Nash (black card), Jack Cahalane (Castlehaven) for O’Donovan, Alan O’Hare (Douglas) for Walsh-Murphy, Nathan Gough (Bishopstown) for Linehan.

Scorers: Ryan O’Donovan (1-2, 1f), Connor Corbett (0-3, 2f), Keith O’Driscoll (1-1) Shane Aherne (1-0), Hugh Murphy, Patrick Campbell and Jack Cahalane (0-1 each).

Wides: 8 Frees: 13

Ref: Brendan Griffin (Kerry).

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