THE Cork minor footballers are likely to reach this year’s Munster final, assuming Clare are beaten by Kerry next week, after a victory in Ennis on Wednesday night in the first match between the counties since 2011.
Nothing separated the sides at the conclusion of an entertaining first half with a converted 45 from Jamie Stack ensuring it remained level. It was in this 30-minute spell that both forward lines impressed most.
Cork’s movement off the ball particularly the four-man attack of Keith O’Driscoll, Patrick Campbell, Ryan O’Donovan and Connor Corbett crafting together well-worked attacks on several occasions. Elsewhere Daniel Linehan and the introduced subs stood out.
At the other end, Clare captain Shane Meehan was proving to be a handful for the Rebels. Five scoreable frees were conceded on the electric full-forward.
Points from Meehan and Diarmuid Fahy put the hosts in front before three scores on the bounce via Corbett, O’Donovan and Hugh Murphy.
An example of Cork’s cohesion saw Corbett and O’Driscoll combining to set up O’Donovan to palm to the net. Patrick Campbell, with a superb shot off his right boot, had the Rebels one clear until Stack equalised. Gabriel Rangers’ O’Driscoll fired to the top left of the Clare net on 40 minutes after tearing through. The introduction of the lively dual-player Jack Cahalane helped Cork push the lead to two points and it was put beyond doubt when fellow substitute Shane Ahearne struck home from an O’Driscoll pass.
Discipline is the big concern for Cork, they conceded 31 frees over the hour and picked up five yellow and one black cards.
Scorers for Cork: R O’Donovan 1-2 (0-1 f), K O’Driscoll 1-1, S Ahearne 1-0, C Corbett 0-3 (0-1 f), P Campbell, H Murphy, J Cahalane 0-1 each.
Clare: S Meehan 0-6 (0-5 f), J Stack 0-4 (0-2 f, 0-1 45), D Nagle 0-2, D Fahy, C Hassett 0-1 each.
CORK: Aaron O’Brien (Mitchelstown); Daniel Peet (Clonakilty), Neil Lordan (Ballinora), Joseph O’ Shea (Urhan); Darragh Cashman (Millstreet), Sean Andrews (Shamrocks), Daniel Linehan (Castlemagner); Eoghan Nash (Douglas), Jack Lawton (Argideen Rangers); Adam Walsh-Murphy (Valley Rovers), Patrick Campbell (Nemo Rangers), Hugh Murphy (Éire Óg); Ryan O’Donovan (Barryroe), Keith O’Driscoll (Gabriel Rangers), Connor Corbett (Clyda Rovers).
Subs: Tadhg O’Donoghue (Carrignavar) for Peet (24), Shane Aherne (Douglas) for Nash (34, bc), Jack Cahalane (Castlehaven) for O’Donovan (Barryroe) (36), Alan O’Hare (Douglas) for Walsh-Murphy (42) (Inj), Michael Browne (Newmarket) for Linehan (55), Denis Collins (Glengarriff) for O’Driscoll (65).
CLARE: O O’Loughlin, T Lillis, M Garry, C McMahon; C McGroary, A Killeen, M Reidy, B Rouine, E Rouine; C Hassett, D Fahy, D Nagle; J Stack, S Meehan, E Talty.
Subs: T Meenaghan for Talty (50), P Doherty for E Rouine (62, bc).