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Munster Senior  Hurling Final

posted 10 Jul 2017, 07:57 by John O'Sullivan   [ updated 10 Jul 2017, 08:02 ]

CORK...................1-25             CLARE...........1-20
By Michael O Connor.
Championships are won by the teams that have the luck, the daring and the speed to score when opportunities arise. Cork had all three and Clare missed the luck and perhaps a little confidence to take points in this Munster final that might serve as a percursor to another game later in the year. Was there too much emphasis on Cork puck outs and speed in the forward line? Clare for their part retreated and at time appeared to have three sweepers and no one to hit the ball to when in possession. The crossfield ball attempted failed regularly going over the line and our most potent forwards appeared like extra defenders.
 The game was seconds old when Alan Cadogan had the ball whistling over the Clare bar as Clare were allowing the Cork full back line to win the puck outs drawing out players and filling the space in front of the Clare backs. The hope was that space would appear and run at Cork and for Cork they would be reduced to long ball into the Clare defence. Tony Kelly sent over the opening Clare score and showed a hunger for the scores throughout the day. Seamus Harnedy floated over the second Cork score before Cathal Malone who was busy in the first half set up Seadna Morey for the equaliser that was short lived as Patrick Horgan sent Cork ahead once more after  9 minutes.
Cork had a major let off and got a huge boost in the space of a minute. Firstly, Cathal Malone hit the crossbar with a kicked effort that was sent over on the rebound by Podge Collins. From the puck out Alan Cadogan goaled for Cork in the 11th minute. Two Tony Kelly scores by the 16th minute narrowed the Cork lead to the minimum. Clare had a second goal chance when Shane O Donnell won a penalty however Tony Kelly's effort spun weakly over the bar  seconds before Conor Lehane matched the Kelly score to maintain a Cork lead after 22 minutes of good fast tactical hurling. Clare appeared more vunerable in defence with more space in front of the backs as Cork squeezed out all available space. The clearances from Clare in setting up attacks were often going out over the line and appeared to be complicated in the movement.  Cork were more simplistic and found space in front of their target. Darragh Fitzgibbon, Horgan (2) and Cadogan hit the target as Clare stumbled all over the field between the 24th and 30th minute to allow Cork race (1-8) to (0-6) clear.  Jason McCarthy enterd the fray for Oisin O Brien who struggled with Alan Cadogan. John Conlon hauled back a point as did Tony Kelly but once again Patrick Horgan with a brace of points and the title of record scorer in hurling left Cork (1-10) to (0-8) ahead at the break.

David Reidy entered at midfield replacing the ineffective Podge Collins as Aron Shanagher was first on the scoring chart for the new half.  Patrick Horgan continued his rich vein of scoring form before a booming effort from half way by David McInerney narrowed the Cork lead to four points. Once Clare scored Cork did likewise and their ability to flick the ball off the Clare hurl was evident. Shane Kingston, Tony Kelly, Horgan and Colm Galvin hit the target  by the 44th minute. The intervening seven minutes was dominated on the field and the scoreboard by Cork as they added three points from Horgan (2) and Luke Meade to lead (1-16) to (0-12) with twenty minutes remaining. Tony Kelly pointed from play before John Conlon set up Conor McGrath for a well taken goal to breathe life into a faltering Clare challenge. When Kelly pointed in the 55th minute two points divided the sides but once again it was false as Cork never looked under pressure and they rebuilt a five point lead courtesy of  Horgan (2) and Harnedy. Recently introduced substitute Aaron Cunningham pointed with panache on his first touch as Martin Coleman drew a huge cheer with a successful sideline cut. Coleman from play a minute late and Jason McCarthy kept the scoreboard ticking over as the bannermen were now pounding ball on top of the Cork rearguard looking for goal number two.

Tony Kelly (2 frees) narrowed the gap to a goal and when Conor McGrath hit over a great score from play Cork did look for the first time a little threatened but in the true form of champions elect stormed back with the three final scores of the game from top scorer Horgan (2) and Alan Cadogan who alongwith Horgan ended the game with a combined tally of (1-17). Best for Cork included Damian Cahalane, Chris Joyce, Mark Coleman, Alan Cadogan, Seamus Harnedy, Patrick Horgan, Anthony Nash and Stephen McDonnell. Clare tried hard and must for the Tipperary game get ball into a regular formation forward line or else the seven points that was scored directly from the Cork puckouts will be repeated.

 CORK: Anthony Nash (Kanturk), Colm Spillane (Castlelyons), Damian Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Stephen McDonnell (Glen Rovers), Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh), Mark Ellis (Millstreet), Mark Coleman (Blarney)(0-2), Bill Cooper (Youghal), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville)(0-1), Luke Meade (Newcestown)(0-1), Conor Lehane (Midleton) (0-1), Shane Kingston (Douglas) (0-1), Alan Cadogan (Douglas) (1-4), Seamus Harnedy (St Ita’s)(0-1), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers) (0-13).

SUBS: Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields) for Kingston, Luke O’Farrell (Midleton) for Fitzgibbon, Michael Cahalane (Bandon) for Meade (65)
Clare forward Shane

CLARE: Andrew Fahy (Whitegate), Patrick O’Connor (Tubber),David McInerney (Tulla)(0-1), Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)(0-1), Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown), David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), Colm Galvin (Clonlara)(0-1), Tony Kelly (Ballyea)(0-10), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Podge Collins (Cratloe)(0-1), John Conlon (Clonlara)(0-2), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)(0-1), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Conor McGrath (Cratloe) (1-1).

SUBS: Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)(0-1) for O’Brien, David Reidy (Éire Óg) for Collins, Cian Dillon (Crusheen) for O’Connor, Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones)(0-1) for Shanagher, Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin) for Malone.

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)