Cork wreak vengeance for All-Ireland defeat
Champions Clare left standing by powerful display from Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s improving team
The writing would have been fairly graphically on the wall had John Conlon not scrambled an answering goal in injury-time to cut the deficit in half. It was remission rather than revival.
Clare started the second half in reasonable fettle but ended up conceding the first score of the half to another free. Referee James McGrath provoked unhappiness in Clare by awarding frees apparently more easily to Cork but that wasn’t the root of the All-Ireland champions’ problems.
Manager David Fitzgerald had acted to shore up the defence by replacing debutant Jack Browne at half-time after the Ballyea defender had picked up yellow for a foul on the quicksilver Alan Cadogan. With no respite on the horizon it was deemed more sensible to let Séadna Morey take up the task of subduing the Cork corner forward with a clean slate.
Kearney’s afternoon peaked with two glorious points in the 48th minute to open up a seven-point lead, 1-20 to 1-13. By this stage Clare were looking for further fixes and Nicky O’Connell was brought in for captain Patrick Donnellan at centrefield and chipped in with a point.
First touchAnother replacement Cathal McInerney also scored another and when Conor McGrath added a third, Clare had a bit of momentum but that evaporated when Horgan converted a penalty to reverse the inroads.
What remained was shapeless and loose. Paudie O’Sullivan came on for Cork and for a second successive week, shot a point with his first touch, courtesy of an assist from captain Patrick Cronin, whose recent improvement in form was maintained.
Nash and McDonnell got in each other’s way to create a chance for Honan, who finished to the net and with five points in it and two minutes of injury-time there was an outside prospect of a late surge. Cork however were relatively untroubled in the time that remained. They will have further chance of redress from the other county to beat them last year, Limerick, when the Munster final takes place next month by which stage the temperature of expectation will really be rising in Cork. CORK: 1. Anthony Nash; 3. Damien Cahalane (0-1), 4. Stephen McDonnell, 2. Shane O’Neill; 6. Mark Ellis, 5. Christopher Joyce, 7. Lorcán McLoughlin; 8. Daniel Kearney (0-3), 9. Aidan Walsh (0-1); 12. Séamus Harnedy, 11. Bill Cooper, 10. Conor Lehane (0-2); 13. Alan Cadogan (0-3), 14. Patrick Cronin (capt.), 15. Patrick Horgan (2-11, all frees). Subs: 23. Stephen Moylan for Cooper (59 mins), 19. William Egan (0-1) for Kearney (59 mins), 26. Paudie O’Sullivan (0-1) for Harnedy (60 mins), 20. Eoin Cadogan for Ellis (67 mins). CLARE: 1. Donal Tuohy; 2. David McInerney, 3. Cian Dillon, 4. Jack Browne; 5. Brendan Bugler, 6. Conor Ryan, 7. Patrick O’Connor; 8. Colm Galvin (0-2), 9. Patrick Donnellan (capt; 0-1); 10. John Conlon (1-2), 11. Tony Kelly (0-1), 12. Colin Ryan (0-6, five frees, one 65); 21. Peter Duggan, 15. Conor McGrath (0-2), 13. Pádraic Collins (0-1). Subs: 17. Séadna Morey for Browne (half-time). 20. Nicky O’Connell (0-2) for Donnellan (46 mins, 23. Cathal McInerney (0-1) for Galvin (51 mins), 14. Darach Honan (1-0) for Donnellan (63 mins). Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath) Attendance: 28,660