By Michael O Connor.
Cork qualified for yet another Provincial final at this level thanks to the easiest of wins over a Clare side that possessed players who were unable to cope with the power and pace of a Cork side that were content to take the points and just defend against concession of goals.
A promising start by Clare ended with three wides, all which should have been scored with Mark McCarthy sending two close frees wide.
Andrew O Brien who led the scoring threat for Cork hit three in the opening twenty minutes as Fiachra Lynch and Eoghan Buckley added one apiece. Clare’s only score in this period was a well taken effort by Mark McCarthy as Darren O Neill’s half chance for a goal was blocked out. Little chance for a real goal effort was created in the first half as both sides were intent on shooting from a distance, which worked well for Cork and did not exist for Clare as the best the Junior side could manage were half hit under pressure efforts. A huge let off for the Peter O Connell managed side in the ten minutes before the interval was the five wides created by Cork and indeed the visitors could say that on three occasions the Clare defence were fouling when Cork were shooting but no frees were awarded.
The rain began to invade Cusack Park with consistency and strength. The last ten minutes of the opening half resulted in no futher Clare score and little scope for creating same as Cork hit five more points with Cathal Vaughan leading the way with a hat trick as Eoghan Buckley and Fiachra Lynch also on the mark. No cheer greeted even the Cork men as they held a deserved (0-10) to (0-1) interval lead as their supporters were thinking ahead to the provincial junior decider. Clare could argue that they were worth five points by half time but Cork appeared to take points when goals were available with a little extra effort so nine points was a fair reflection on the scoreboard.
Cork thanks to the efforts of a dominant midfield and half back line poured on the pressure in the second half with Cathal Vaughan scoring at will from frees and play hitting five before being replaced with ten minutes remaining. Clare finished the half with some merit as they scored four of the last five scores with Mark McCarthy on the mark. Andrew O Brien, Kevin O Driscoll, Fiachra Lynch and Vaughan(5) were the second half Cork targetmen as Michael Meade ended the curtain raiser and Clare ended their short Junior campaign for 2013.
CORK: David Hanrahan, A J O Connor, Eoin O Mahony, Kevin Harrington, Richard O Sullivan, Rory O Sullivan, Sean Kiely, Rory Deane, Michael O Leary, Cathal Vaughan (0-8). Andrew O Brien (0-4), Colm O Driscoll, Eoghan Buckley (0-2), Fiachra Lynch (0-3), David Harrington. Subs: Kevin O Driscoll (0-1) for Deane, Michael Vaughan for Harrington, Mark Sugrue for C Vaughan, Peter Daly for R O Sullivan, John Cronin for A J O Connor,
CLARE: Tony Burke, Eugene Flanagan, Stephen Collins, Stan Lineen, Cathal Doohan, Matthew Moloney, Declan McMahon, Darren O Neill (0-1), Keith O Connor, Craig O Brien (0-1), Enda Finucane, Eoin Brew, Rory O Connor, John Looney, Mark McCarthy (0-7). Subs: Matt O Shea for Doohan, Eoin Cleary for Rory O Connor, Graham Glynn for O Looney, Darragh Bolton for Brew, Liam Corry for O Brien,
REFEREE: Michael Meade (Limerick).