Cork 0-26 Clare 3-13
By Therese O’Callaghan
Cork came out on top in this keenly contested first round of the Munster MHC (U17) at Páirc Uí Chaoimh today.
Clare were down to 14 players five minutes into the second half and it eventually told as the home team worked their way back.
The Rebels were in front after three minutes but didn’t regain the lead again until near full time.
Goals in the third, seventh and 21st minute helped the visitors into a 3-7 to 0-14 interval lead.
Mark Rodgers was the target man inside, and the Scariff forward had two on the board early on.
His second major yielding a 2-0 to 0-3 advantage.
Cork stayed in touch, captain Shane Barrett hitting the equalising score after 17 minutes (2-3 to 0-9) while Evan Murphy supplied five – one from play.
But, they were knocked back once more when Gearoid O’Grady whipped the sliotar to the net nine minutes from the break, stretching the lead to three points.
Clare held on to the advantage all the way to the half, but an injury time free from Murphy made it a two-point game.
The Banner, too, were grateful to some outstanding work by their goalkeeper Cillian O’Brien.
Clare suffered a blow when wing-back Tony Butler got a second yellow card soon after the restart, and while they managed to go toe-to-toe with Cork for the majority of the second-half, they were overtaken in the closing stages.
The sides were level, 3-13 to 0-22, with three minutes remaining.
But unanswered points from Alan Connolly, Cathal Hickey, Paddy O’Flynn and Daniel Hogan got them over the line.
The new round-robin format sees Cork secure the first two points on offer.
There will be a quick turnaround for both teams with Cork away to Tipperary in six days, while Clare will entertain Waterford.
Scorers for Cork: E Murphy (0-8, 0-6 frees, 0-1 65), A Connolly (0-2 frees) and S Barrett (0-4 each), P O’Flynn (0-3), C O’Brien (free), C O’Donovan, O Broderick, P Cooney, D Hogan, P Power and C Hickey
Scorers for Clare: M Rodgers (2-2), G O’Grady (1-1), K Guyler (0-3, 0-2 frees), A Moriarty and W Halpin (0-2 each), D Healy, F Slattery and S Meehan (0-1 each).
Cork: C Long; C Murphy, P Cullinane, Cian O’Donovan; C O’Brien, L Horgan, Cillian O’Donovan; O Broderick, P Cooney; K Moynihan, S Barrett (Capt), D Hogan; P Power, P O’Flynn, E Murphy.
Subs: A Connolly for K Moynihan (25), C Hickey for E Murphy (47), D Flynn for O Broderick (52).
Clare: C O’Brien; J Enright, A Mungovan, M Gough; T Butler, D McMahon, D Healy (Capt); J Griffin, F Slattery; A Moriarty, G O’Grady, W Halpin; M Rodgers, K Guyler, S Meehan.
Subs: C Hegarty for J Griffin (38), C Carrig for Slattery (43), J Brack for W Halpin (53), j Minogue for G O’Grady (59), T Dean for J Enright (59).
Referee: Kevin Jordan (Tipperary).