Clare finish strongly to beat Cork in McGrath Cup final
Keelan Sexton comes off bench and scores four points to win pre-season competition
Clare’s Gary Brennan lifts the McGrath Cup. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Clare 1-9 Cork 0-9
Clare won the McGrath Cup at Miltown Malbay on Saturday, defeating Cork by three points in the final. This was a reverse of last year’s decider when Cork beat the Banner by a solitary point.
Clare lead by 1-3 to 0-3 at the break with Gordon Kelly providing the game’s only goal on eight minutes, lobbing the Cork ’keeper from distance.
Clare substitute Keelan Sexton proved to be the match winner though, scoring four points after the break.
The Banner county led at one stage by five but Cork kicked five points on the trot to level matters by the 51st minute. However a strong finish by the hosts saw them take the title for the first time since 2008.
Clare: E Tubridy, K Harnett, C Brennan, G Kelly (1-0), D Ryan (0-1), A Fitzgerald, E Collins, D Bohannon, C O’Connor (0-2f), C O’Dea, D O’Halloran, D Coughlan, G Cooney, G Brennan (0-2), K Malone.
Subs: S O Donoghue for O’Halloran (HT), K Sexton (0-4, 0-3 frees) for Cooney (HT), G O’Brien for Malone (46 mins), D Tubridy for Bohannon (56’), S Collins for Coughlan (56’).
Cork: C Kelly, S Ryan, P Murphy, A Browne, L O’Donovan, T Clancy, S Cronin, J Fitzpatrick, R O’Toole, J O’Rourke, E McSweeney (0-1), C Kiely (0-1), M Collins (0-2), P Kelleher (0-1), S Sherlock (0-2 frees).
Subs: D Gore (0-2, 0-1f) for Sherlock (41 mins), N Walsh for Ryan (51’), K O’Donovan for O’Rourke (51’), T Corkery for Kiely (59’), B Murphy for Cronin (66’).
Referee: P O’Sullivan (Kerry)