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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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Clare hit back with Munster victory over Cork but exit 2019 All-Ireland hurling race

Cusack Park in Ennis hosted today’s game.

Clare 2-23
Cork 2-18

Fintan O’Toole reports from Cusack Park, Ennis

CLARE ENDED THEIR championship losing streak at the hands of Cork and atoned in some shape for recent insipid displays in Munster but still saw their 2019 season grind to a halt.

Patrick Horgan and Seadna Morey Cork's Patrick Horgan and Seadna Morey of Clare. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

On an afternoon in Ennis that saw pre-match sunshine replaced by torrential rain in the second half, there was a curious reaction at the final whistle as both teams digested the result in their last effort of the provincial round-robin series.

Just like last night’s thrilling events in Leinster, the focus here was placed on the action on the pitch with one eye turned elsewhere to proceedings in Thurles. Clare needed a victory and a favour from Limerick, their conquerors last Sunday. Ultimately Clare got the win they craved but not the desired outcome at Semple Stadium.

Cork were left to wrap their heads around a loss on the day yet their championship hopes are not thwarted for this year. They will not be in the hunt for Munster silverware after carrying off that trophy for the last two years, instead they will plot a return to action but in the All-Ireland series on the weekend of 6-7 July.

Clare sought a response after a fairly miserable June to date that had seen them suffer severe hidings against Tipperary and Limerick. Their home fans got the stirring start they wanted, a favourable delivery finding Shane O’Donnell within seconds of the throw-in and he careered in from the left wing past the Cork cover before finishing to the net with aplomb.

If Cork were rattled they didn’t show it and simply moved downfield to raise a green flag of their own. Aidan Walsh surged clear but found Donal Tuohy equal to his effort. The alertness of Patrick Horgan saw him placed to knock home the rebound.

Peter Duggan and Mark Ellis of Cork at the final whistle Clare's Peter Duggan and Cork's Mark Ellis at the final whistle in Ennis. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The teams traded blows thereafter in the opening quarter, O’Donnell threatening the Cork defence when he was supplied and Alan Cadogan wreaking havoc at the other end. 1-5 apiece after 19 minutes, Clare then took command. Seadna Morey was to the fore in their launchpad around the middle, John Conlon an imposing focal point in attack and Peter Duggan unerring from frees.

They were 1-10 to 1-5 clear when Cadogan ending a Cork scoring drought in the 34th minute but Clare hit back as they conjured up a stunning goal from Tony Kelly, his screamer into the top corner assisted by Duggan’s fetch of a Tuohy puck-out. Horgan popped over a couple of frees yet they were left uneasy as they stared at a deficit of 2-10 to 1-8 at the midway mark.

Cork showed signs of life after the break in rattling off four points without reply to cut the gap to the minimum. That was the margin they trimmed Clare’s lead down to as well in the 65th minute, Horgan picking his spot for his second goal of the game after Cork had pieced together a fine move involving Conor Lehane, Seamus Harnedy and Bill Cooper.

But ultimately Clare repeatedly set the agenda here, pushing on to create scoreboard advantages whenever Cork came close. Duggan finished with 0-12 in a superb display of marksmanship. Youngster Diarmuid Ryan gave a towering display at wing-forward. Colm Galvin and substitute Cathal McInerney chipped in to supplement the scoring drive as well.

Seamus Harnedy and Patrick O’Connor Cork's Seamus Harnedy and Clare's Patrick O'Connor during the clash. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

However the chain of results did not fall kindly for Clare and by mid June last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists find themselves bowing out.

Cork will mull over this defeat but have three weeks to get themselves set for the start of a national assault.

Scorers for Clare: Peter Duggan 0-12 (0-9f), Tony Kelly 1-2, Colm Galvin 0-3, Shane O’Donnell 1-0, Diarmuid Ryan, Cathal McInerney 0-2 each, John Conlon, Aidan McCarthy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 2-9 (0-8f), Alan Cadogan 0-4, Darragh Fitzgibbon 0-2, Daniel Kearney, Seamus Harnedy, Shane Kingston 0-1 each.

Clare

1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)

2. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber – captain)
6. Jack Browne (Ballyea)
3. David McInerney (Tulla)

5. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
7. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
22. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)

17. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
9. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)

12. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
10. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quinn)
18. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) 

13. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
14. John Conlon (Clonlara)
11. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)

Subs

21. Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin) for Aidan McCarthy (half-time)
4. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) for O’Connor (54)
24. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Conlon (66)
20. Cathal McInerney (Cratloe) for Ryan (69)

Cork

1. Anthony Nash (Kanturk)

2. Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra)
3. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas)
4. Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons)

5. Robert Downey (Glen Rovers)
6. Mark Ellis (Millstreet)
7. Mark Coleman (Blarney)

8. Bill Cooper (Youghal)
9. Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville)

12. Luke Meade (Newcestown)
11. Séamus Harnedy (St Ita’s – captain)
10. Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields)

13. Alan Cadogan (Douglas)
14. Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers)
15. Aidan Walsh (Kanturk)

Subs

17. Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s) for Cadogan (half-time)
18. Stephen McDonnell (Glen Rovers) for Downey (half-time)
23. Shane Kingston (Douglas) for Kearney (46)
24. Conor Lehane (Midleton) for Walsh (52)
25. Declan Dalton (Fr O’Neill’s) for Meade (65)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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