By Seamus Hayes
Cork 1-24 Clare 0-17
When Clare raced into a three point lead after just six minutes, a margin they still held after twenty minutes, a first win in this season’s league looked likely at Pairc Ui Rinn on Saturday evening.
However, from here on Cork dictated matters and they held a one goal advantage when the half time whistle sounded. A storming third quarter in which they outscored Clare, 0-7 to 0-2, killed off any hopes of a Clare win and the Banner men now find themselves at the bottom of the division 1 A table with relegation worries on their minds.
With Conor Cleary at centre back flanked by Patrick O’Connor and Conor Ryan, the visitors started well and after Cork had opened the scoring through Patrick Horgan, Clare hit four in a row through Colin Ryan (2) Bobby Duggan and John Conlon.
Cork fought back to level at 0-5 each after eleven minutes but Clare went through clear again when Colin Ryan (free) Brendan Bugler and Colm Galvin were on target. Straight from the puckout after Galvin’s point, Cork attacked and a great break by Seamus Harnady ended with a Luke O’Farrell goal. From here on Cork grew in confidence and they were full value for their half time lead of a goal, 1-12 to 0-12.
Shortly before half time Clare brought in Seadna Morey for Domhnaill O’Donovan who was under a lot of pressure from Patrick Horgan and the visitors returned with Conor McGrath in attack in place of David Reidy. Cork quickly took a grip on proceedings and by the mid point of the half they had pulled seven points clear.
Clare needed to do something and they introduced both Shane Golden and Aaron Cunningham but Cork continued to dominate and from here to the finish they limited Clare to just three points, all from placed balls.
In the end, there were no arguments as Cork were much the better side on the evening and deserved their win. Christopher Joyce, Mark Ellis, Lorcan McLoughlin dominated in the winners defence, Daniel Kearney ruled the midfield exchanges while up front, Alan Cadogan, Luke O’Farrell and Patrick Horgan caused all sorts of problems for Clare.
Patrick Kelly could not be faulted for the shot which beat him on an evening when he made a number of good saves. Conor Cleary got through a lot of good work in the first half as did Colm Galvin while Bobby Duggan also had a good first half but Cork were sharper, and physically stronger and dominated the game overall.
Cork—Anthony Nash; Damian Cahalane, Christopher Joyce, Conor O’Sullivan; Lorcan McLoughlin, Mark Ellis, Cormac Murphy; Daniel Kearney Aidan Walsh; Conor Lehane, Seamus Harnady, Rob O’Shea; Alan Cadogan, Luke O’Farrell, Patrick Horgan;
Subs—Stephen Moyhlan for O’Shea; Patrick Cronin for Walsh; Anthony Spillane for Horgan;
Clare—Patrick Kelly; Domhnaill O’Donovan, Cian Dillon, Jack Browne; Patrick O’Connor, Conor Cleary, Conor Ryan; Brendan Bugler, Colm Galvin; Patrick Donnellan, Colin Ryan, Bobby Duggan; John Conlon, Shane O’Donnell, David Reidy;
Subs—Seadna Morey for O’Donovan; Conor McGrath for Reidy; Shane Golden for Cleary; Aaron Cunningham for Donnellan; Cathal O’Connell for Duggan;
Referee—Johnnie Ryan, Tipperary