Clare set up Mayo semi-final despite narrow loss to Cork
Rebels now facing a Division Two relegation playoff after they fail to win by four points
Cork’s Ian Maguire rises to try and take the ball ahead of Clare’s Cathal O’Connor. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Cork just fell short in their efforts to reach the Division Two promotion playoff as Clare booked a semi-final with Mayo following a terrific tie at Cusack Park, Ennis.
Instead Cork now face Westmeath in a relegation decider after finishing with 14 men, when substitute Brian Hurley was dismissed for two yellow cards near the end.
Cork needed to win by four and they were two in front in a hectic finish, but Clare rallied through an Eoin Cleary free and an equaliser from substitute Aaron Griffin.
It was the 10th time the rivals were level and while John O’Rourke popped up with a winner for Cork, Clare had done enough.
Cork led by 0-12 to 1-8 at the end of an exciting first-half after Clare pegged back their promising start with a David Tubridy goal from a penalty in the eighth minute.
A long ball into the danger zone was flicked on by Gavin Cooney in Tubridy’s direction before he was brought down by Daniel O’Mahony, who collected yellow for his trouble.
Tubridy picked himself up to beat ’keeper Micheal Aodh Martin with a well-struck low drive to the corner of the net.
Tubridy helped Clare jump 1-5 to 0-5 in front by the first water break, but Cork took over on the resumption with six unanswered points in as many minutes.
The enforced introduction of Cathail O’Mahony for the injured Ciaran Sheehan paid immediate dividends as he kicked three superb points with Luke Connolly and Sean White following up for a 0-11 to 1-5 lead on the half-hour.
The teams were also level at the second water-break, 0-16 to 1-13 and while Cork managed to edge in front on a number of occasions, Clare had the ability to respond every time.
Cork: MA Martin; S Powter, D O’Mahony, K Flahive; T Corkery (0-2), S Meehan, M Taylor (0-1); I Maguire (0-1), P Walsh (0-1); S White (0-1), R Deane, K O’Drisoll (0-1); J O’Rourke (0-4), C Sheehan, L Connolly (0-4, three frees). Subs: C Kiely for D O’Mahony (injured, 10min), C O’Mahony (0-5, one 45) for Sheehan (injured 21 min), M Collins and B Hurley (0-2) for Walsh and White (43), P Ring for Powter (48), K O’Donovan for Corkery (48), D Gore for Connolly (64).
Clare: S Ryan; C Russell, C Brennan, K Harnett; C O’Dea, S Collins, D Walsh; D O’Neill (0-1), C O’Connor (0-1); P Lillis (0-1), E Cleary (0-4, three frees), D Bohannon (0-1); G Cooney (0-1), D Tubridy (1-8, seven frees), J McGann. Subs: D Ryan for Hartnett (injured 21 min), C O hAinafin for Ryan (half-time), A Griffin (0-1) for McGann (62), K Sexton for Cooney (63), C Murray for O’Connor (66).
Referee: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).