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Cork to face Limerick in the Munster senior league final following victory over Clare

Cork eventually pulled away from Clare this evening.

Clare v Cork in Round 5 of the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League.
Clare v Cork in Round 5 of the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League.
Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Cork 0-19

Clare 0-15

Cork ensured a Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League final meeting with Limerick this Sunday, after finally pulling away from hosts Clare to maintain their perfect start to 2017 in Sixmilebridge this evening.

In a rather lacklustre contest played in blustery conditions, the sides were level on eight occasions by the turn of the final quarter before gale-assisted Cork fired seven of the last ten points to ease up to their fourth successive victory.

Clare, already without a third of their 40 man panel due to injury and Ballyea’s All-Ireland Club involvement, were initially reluctant to play this game as 13 of their remaining 27 players were involved in Fitzgibbon Cup action over the previous 24 hours.

And they showed all the signs of fatigue, playing second fiddle to the visitors for the majority as Conor Lehane in particular was instrumental up front with eight points for the Rebels.

Despite playing into a strong gale, Cork’s touch and movement was far superior to the Banner in the opening period led by scores from Lehane (4) and Kearney (2), offset mainly by Cathal O’Connell’s frees.

Cathal O'Connell and Mark Ellis Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Indeed, the sides were on parity five times before Bobby Duggan finally edged Clare 0-9 to 0-8 in front by the break.

That seesaw pattern would be maintained on the restart until Cork used their wind advantage to hit five successive points in seven minutes to move 0-17 to 0-12 clear by the 62nd minute.

Clare substitute David Reidy did his best to stem the tide while Bobby Duggan arrowed over three late frees.

However, they were merely consolation scores as goalkeeper Declan Dalton and substitute Tim O’Mahoney matched Clare’s late rally to deservedly take first blood ahead of their National League first round rematch on Saturday, February 11.

Scorers for Cork: Conor Lehane 0-8 (4f); Daniel Kearney 0-3; Shane O’Keeffe, Declan Dalton (2f) 0-2 each; Dean Brosnan, Michael O’Halloran, Cormac Murphy, Tim O’Mahoney 0-1 each

Scorers for Clare: Cathal O’Connell 0-6 (5f); Bobby Duggan 0-4 (3f); Aaron Cunningham, Shane Golden 0-2 each; Seadna Morey 0-1

Cork

1. Declan Dalton (Fr O’Neill’s)
18. Jack Sheehan (Erin’s Own)
3. David Griffin (Carrigaline)
4. Conor O’Sullivan (Sarsfields)
2. Killian Burke (Midleton)
6. Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh)
7. Cormac Murphy (Mallow)
5. Mark Ellis (Millstreet)
9. Paul Haughney (Midleton)
14. Shane O’Keeffe (Blackrock)
11. Conor Lehane (Midleton)
12. Dean Brosnan (Glen Rovers)
13. Luke Meade (Newcestown)
15. Michael O’Halloran (Blackrock)
20. Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields)

Subs:
17. Stephen McDonnell (Glen Rovers) for Meade (33, inj)
21. Tim O’Mahoney (Newtownshandrum) for Haughney (53)
22. Darren O’Driscoll (Carrigtwohill) for O’Halloran (55)

Clare

16. Andrew Fahey (Whitegate)
5. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
3. Cian Dillon (Crusheen)
20. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)
17. Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge)
25. Conor Ryan (Cratloe)
7. Brendan Bugler (Whitegate)
8. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
18. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
15. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones)
9. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
12. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
14. Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle)
21. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
22. Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara)

Subs:
23. Eoin Quirke (Whitegate) for Galvin (HT)
27. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Ryan (HT)
24. David Reidy (Éire Óg) for P. Duggan (HT)
13. Conor O’Donnell (Crusheen) for O’Connell (46)
19. Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones) for Shanahan (52)

Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)

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Eoin Brennan

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