Cork opened their Munster senior hurling championship campaign with an impressive 5-point win over Clare at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday. It was a game of real Munster hurling championship in terms that it was full belt, ebbed and flowed and players gave their all.
Cork 2-23 Clare 1-21
Clare made a bright start and got into an early three-point lead with Duggan, Galvin and Conlon all pointing. Cork weathered the storm though and Glen Rovers club man Horgan notched up two points on the scoreboard, before wing back Coleman split the posts from distance. They were beginning to get into the game, but their defence had to remain solid as Damian Cahalane and Sean O’Donoghue had to make good blocks to ensure no goals were going be scored in the opening few minutes. Cork were ahead 0-11 to 0-10 at the break, they were a point ahead then again when Robbie O’Flynn got his first ever championship score. O’Flynn though was involved in a collision in the game with Lehane and Clare defender David McInerney and he required medical attention and play was held up for around 9 minutes while doctors and physios were attending to him.
The long break in play didn’t appear to affect Cork. Instead it drove them on further. Shane Kingston, O’Flynns replacement seen his point attempt drop in around the square area and it looked like the ball was going wide but Horgan kept it in tapped it back to Lehane who diverted it to the net. The gap was out to five with Horgan coming to the fore yet again, but in the blink of an eye the game turned in Clare’s favour. Tony Kelly raced through to get a superb goal and David Reidy and John Conlon pointed to, all square with 62 minutes, however there was going to be 11 minutes of additional time due to the injury of O’Flynn.
The sides began to trade scores as injury time was approaching, Cork finally put daylight between the sides in the 11 minutes of injury time with Horgan and Lehane pointing, before Seamus Harnedy added gloss to the scoreboard with a well taken goal before the final whistle. Next weekend will see Cork travel to Thurles, while Clare will look for a win in Ennis over Derek McGrath’s Waterford.
Player of the Match: Conor Lehane
CORK: Anthony Nash (Kanturk); Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra), Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Colm Spillane (Castlelyons); Mark Ellis (Millstreet) (0-02), Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh), Mark Coleman (Blarney) (0-01); Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville) (0-03), Bill Cooper (Youghal) (0-01); Séamus Harnedy (St Ita’s) (1-02), Conor Lehane (Midleton) (1-02), Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields); Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own) (0-01), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers) (0-10, 6f), Luke Meade (Newcestown).
Subs: Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr) for Kearney (34-half-time, blood), Shane Kingston (Douglas) for Meade (43), Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum) for O’Flynn (54), Dean Brosnan (Glen Rovers) (0-01) for Kearney (68).
CLARE: Donal Tuohy (Crusheen); David McInerney (Tulla), Jack Browne (Ballyea), Séadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Patrick O’Connor (Tubber), Conor Cleary (St Patrick’s Miltown Malbay), David FitzGerald (Inagh/Kilnamona); Colm Galvin (Clonlara) (0-03), Tony Kelly (Ballyea) (1-03, 1f); Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin) (0-04f), David Reidy (Éire Óg) (0-03, 2f); Conor McGrath (Cratloe) (0-01), John Conlon (Clonlara) (0-05), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg) (0-02).
Subs: Cian Dillon (Crusheen) for Brown