Clare through to Waterford Crystal Cup Final01/02/2013 - 22:15:14
Clare's quest to claim a first Waterford Crystal Cup title since 2009 continued tonight as they advanced to the decider following a 0-20 to 2-11 win over Cork at Sixmilebridge.
The first ever meeting between the sides in this competition was delayed by 45 minutes after a major oil-spill on the N18 caused traffic chaos, with just 15 players available to Cork manager Jimmy Barry Murphy at the new throw-in time of 8.30pm.
When the game eventually got underway, both sides served up an entertaining encounter with Clare leading by 0-10 to 0-7 at the interval.
Four Nicky O'Connell points proved to be the difference approaching injury-time, until an Adrian Mannix point for Cork cut the deficit to three points at the break.
Shane O'Donnell, Jonathan Clancy, Podge Collins and Conal Ryan were also among the Clare scorers in the opening half, with Pat Horgan helping to keep Cork in touch with three first-half points.
Clare moved six points clear inside eight minutes of the restart, before Cork launched a stern comeback.
Adrian Mannix bagged two goals in last weeks win over WIT and again showed his goal-scoring flair, with three-pointers in the 44th and 52nd minutes to tie the contest at 2-9 to 0-15.
The sides were well balanced in the final quarter, but Clare held that extra edge to book a final spot thanks to a three-point victory.
Davy Fitzgerald will have a unique chance to manage both finalists next week should the students of Limerick IT advance to the decider, when they meet Tipperary on Sunday in the second semi-final.
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