Cork kick-start their season with impressive win over Clare

Tally of 0-14 from Patrick Horgan and goal from Luke O’Farrell were crucial in home win

Cork vs Clare - Cork’s Conor O’Sullivan takes a sideline cut in their home victory. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Cork vs Clare - Cork’s Conor O’Sullivan takes a sideline cut in their home victory. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

Cork 1-24 Clare 0-17

Two games, two defeats, and so Clare are still chasing their first points as the Allianz League already approaches the halfway mark.

After a neatly entertaining night of hurling at Páirc Uí Rinn there was no denying Cork this time - they didn’t exactly show up here at full throttle against Kilkenny last week - but clearly raised their game and their spirit on this occasion, winning comfortably by 10 points in the end.

An excellent 0-14 from Patrick Horgan, plus a first half goal from Luke O’Farrell, helped make sure of it for the home team as they first surged in front towards the end of the first half. Horgan, Conor Lehane and the superb Alan Cadogan all racked up points to contribute to the scoring tally, but it was in truth a complete team effort - not forgetting some typically inspired goalkeeping from Anthony Nash.

There was plenty of bite and quality scoring from both teams early in the game, on what was actually an ideal night for hurling. Aidan Walsh was restored to midfield with great effect for Cork, and with eight different scorers in total they were worthy winners.

Neither team lacked motivation: Cork were outplayed by Kilkenny here last Saturday night, beaten by two points on the board, and in almost every position on the field. It was a game Cork never once looked like winning.

Clare endured a slightly less shaky start against Galway, surrendering the late match-winning goal, having put themselves in a winning position on several occasions.

The sides were level five times in the first half, although with Clare getting their noses in front first, thanks to the placed-ball accuracy of Colin Ryan, and fine points from Bobby Duggan and John Conlon.

Cork’s levelled up regularly thanks to their own accuracy of Patrick Horgan, and equally deft points from play from Alan Cadogan and Conor Lehane. Against that backdrop they were level footing on 0-6 apiece, before Clare opened up again with three points without reply - the best coming from midfielder Brendan Buglar.

Still Cork were more threatening when running at goal, and indeed the goal came on 22 minutes when Seamus Harnedy set up Luke O’Farrell, and while his initial shot was well saved by Patrick Kelly, O’Farrell duly buried the rebound - and with that it was all square again.

Only this time Cork kicked on, firing over five points without reply, the best of those coming from Daniel Kearney and wing back Cormac Murphy - and Horgan could have added their second goal, only for his scintillating shot to speed past the face of the goal and spin just wide.

Ryan got one back for Clare, and Patrick O’Connor too, but Cork were still the goal to the good at the break 1-12 to 0-12 - building on that in the second half to duly earn their first points of the Allianz League.

CORK: A Nash (0-1, a free); D Cahalane, C Joyce, C O’Sullivan; L McLoughlin, M Ellis, C Murphy (0-1); D Kearney (0-1), A Walsh; C Lehane (0-4), S Harnedy (0-1), R O’Shea; A Cadogan (0-2), L O’Farrell (1-1), P Horgan (0-14, one 65, nine frees).

Subs: S Moylan for O’Shea, P Cronin for Walsh (both 58 mins), A Spillane for Horgan (65 mins).

CLARE: P Kelly; D O’Donovan, C Dillon, J Browne; C Cleary, C Ryan, P O’Connor (0-1); B Bugler (0-1), C Ryan (0-8, two 65s, three frees); P Donnellan, B Duggan (0-1), C Galvin (0-2); J Conlon (0-4), S O’Donnell, D Reidy.

Subs: S Morey for O’Donovan (34 mins), C McGrath for Reidy (half time), A Cunningham for Donnellan, S Golden for Clearly (both 51 mins), C O’Connell for Duggan (59 mins).

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary)

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