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Powerful Cork finish sees off Clare in Thurles hurling qualifier showdown

Semple Stadium was the venue for tonight’s showdown.

Colin Ryan and Conor Ryan with Patrick Horgan Clare's Colin Ryan and Conor Ryan with Cork's Patrick Horgan. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Cork 0-20
Clare 0-17

Fintan O’Toole reports from Semple Stadium, Thurles

A SUPER FINISH by Cork eventually saw them past Clare in an exciting All-Ireland hurling qualifier clash in Thurles tonight.

Colm Galvin’s point put Clare in front 0-17 to 0-15 with ten minutes left but it was Cork who kicked for the finish line in greater style to strike the last five points of the game without reply.

Patrick Horgan hit four of those points and substitute Paudie O’Sullivan put the finishing touches to the success for Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s side with the last point of the game.

In a tight and tough contest, Cork pulled way heading down the stretch. On a difficult night for hurling, both sides were guilty of wretched shooting with Cork striking 20 wides and Clare amassing 17 wides.

Davy Fitzgerald and Jimmy Barry Murphy after the game Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Davy Fitzgerald after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

But Cork hit the target at a vital stage to claim a wonderfully restorative victory after the setback of two high-profile losses to Waterford.

Clare reached the end of the championship road for 2015 after a game where they at times looked like they could cut Cork open at the back.

Patrick Cronin and Conor Ryan Patrick Cronin and Conor Ryan Source: James Crombie/INPHO

By the 21st minute Clare were in front 0-6 to 0-4 with Tony Kelly, Shane O’Donnell and Conor McGrath all looking threatening.

However Cork rallied before the interval as they displayed a ferocious work ethic personified by Bill Cooper, Cormac Murphy and Aidan Walsh.

At the break Cork were in front 0-10 to 0-9 and they moved further clear 0-13 to 0-11 by the 41st minute.

Davy Fitzgerald celebrates after his side wins a free Davy Fitzgerald celebrates after Clare win a free. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The teams traded blows though Clare regained parity through Tony Kelly at 0-13 apiece by the 44th minute. Cork picked off points from Pa Cronin and Jamie Coughlan to go two clear but then Clare bounced back and looked to have made a decisive burst.

David McInerney, Shane O’Donnell, Darach Honan and the returning Colm Galvin all raised white flags to raise the hopes of the Banner faithful.

Anthony Nash  and Brian Lawton celebrate Anthony Nash and Brian Lawton celebrate Cork's victory. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Cork were staring a 0-17 to 0-15 deficit in the finale but the protection that Brian Murphy and Stephen McDonnell offered the Cork goal meant Clare could never set the net dancing to take them clear.

Horgan had a mixed day in front of goal but he correct his shooting in glorious fashion to weigh in with a quartet of points before O’Sullivan’s intervention left the Cork supporters celebrating at the final whistle.

Seamus Harnedy celebrates a second half point Seamus Harnedy celebrates a second-half point for Cork. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-8 (0-5f), Conor Lehane, Seamus Harnedy, Patrick Cronin 0-2 each, Aidan Walsh, Cormac Murphy, Bill Cooper, Alan Cadogan, Paudie O’Sullivan, Jamie Coughlan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Tony Kelly 0-5 (0-1f), Conor McGrath 0-3, Colin Ryan (0-2f), Shane O’Donnell 0-2 each, David McInerney, Conor Ryan, John Conlon, Colm Galvin, Darach Honan 0-1 each.

Cork

1.  Anthony Nash (Kanturk)

2.  Damien Cahalane (St. Finbarr’s)
3.  Stephen McDonnell (Glen Rovers)
4.  Brian Murphy (Bride Rovers)

7.  Cormac Murphy (Mallow)
6.  Mark Ellis (Millstreet)
5.  Aidan Walsh (Kanturk)

8.  Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields)
12. Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr)

13. Alan Cadogan (Douglas)
11. Patrick Cronin (Bishopstown)
9.  Bill Cooper (Youghal)

10. Conor Lehane (Midleton)
14. Seamus Harnedy (St. Ita’s)
15. Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers)

Brian Lawton and Jack Browne Cork's Brian Lawton and Clare's Jack Browne Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Clare

1. Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona)

2. David McInerney (Tulla)
3. Cian Dillon, Capt. (Crusheen)
4. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)

5. Brendan Bugler (Whitegate)
8. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber)
7. Jack Browne (Ballyea)

6. Conor Ryan (Cratloe)
9. Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus)

10. John Conlon (Clonlara)
11. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
12. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)

14. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
15. Conor McGrath (Cratloe)
13. Darach Honan (Clonlara)

Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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