Clare dump Cork into the wilderness
Clare 0-31 Cork 2-23 (AET)
Clare shot 0-31 to retain their Allianz National League Division 1A status at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick this afternoon.
Davy Fitzgerald’s Banner County came through after a dramatic shootout with Cork went to extra-time.
Colin Ryan shot 0-10 for the winners and the Newmarket-on-Fergus clubman also registered eight of his side’s massive tally of 24 wides.
But Clare, who converted 31 points from 59 scoring opportunities, were not made to pay for their profligacy by Cork, who will play in Division 1B next season.
This is a desperately disappointing setback for the Rebels – who have lost three times against Clare this season, twice in the National League and in a Waterford Crystal Cup tie.
And Clare showed remarkable character to force extra-time as they trailed by two points with time running out.
Pa Cronin scored Cork’s second goal in the 68th minute and the Rebels led by 2-17 to 0-21.
But late scores from Tony Kelly, who bagged six points in total and Colin Ryan, scorer of ten , took the game into extra-time.
Cork had led by 0-11 to 0-7 at the end of a lacklustre first half and Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s side played with the aid of a strong wind from the start.
After Paudie O’Sullivan was foiled by Patrick Kelly’s fine save in the 51st minute, Cork bagged the game’s opening goal two minutes later, when Luke O’Farrell netted at the second attempt.
That score took the wind out of Clare’s sails after Fitzgerald’s charges had fought back to within two points, 0-14 to 0-16.
But they stuck at it and a run of five unanswered points from the 61st to 66th minutes pushed them a point clear, 0-21 to 1-17.
The final quarter of the game provided rich entertainment for 5204 spectators but the Clare fans who made the short journey were fearing the worst when Cronin caught Conor Lehane’s delivery and booted home a second goal.
But Clare had another kick in them and after drawing level again, they played the first half of extra-time with the breeze, going on to establish a 0-27 to 2-19 advantage at the turn. In the second period of extra-time, Clare managed to keep the Rebels at arm’s length to secure a priceless win.
Cathal Naughton had a late chance to restore parity again but his rasping drive deflected over the crossbar off Brendan Bugler, one third of a rock-solid Clare half-back line. Patrick Horgan finished with a personal haul of 0-11 but still finished on the losing side.
CLARE: P Kelly (0-1f); D O’Donovan, D McInerney, S Morey; B Bugler, P Donnellan, P O’Connor; C Galvin (0-3), Conor Ryan; J Conlon (0-4), T Kelly (0-6), Colin Ryan (0-10, 6f); S O’Donnell, D Honan (0-2), P Collins (0-1).
Subs: C McGrath (0-2) for Conor Ryan (26), P Duggan for Collins (60), A O’Neill (0-1) for O’Donnell (70+1), J Clancy for Honan (80), F Lynch (0-1) for Duggan (85), S O’Donnell for Clancy (90).
CORK: A Nash; K Murphy, B Murphy, C O’Sullivan (0-1); S White, C Joyce, W Egan; L McLoughlin, D Kearney (0-1); C Lehane (0-1), P Cronin (1-3), P O’Sullivan; S Moylan (0-1), L O’Farrell (1-2), P Horgan (0-11, 6f, 1 65).
Subs: T Kenny for Kearney (53), C McCarthy (0-1) for Moylan (60), C Spillane for K Murphy (62), C Naughton (0-2) for White (67), M Walsh for McLoughlin (blood, 78), B Hartnett for P O’Sullivan (86), P O’Brien for Lehane (86).
Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).