A composed second-half display from Cork saw them retain their Munster SHC title as they put Clare to the sword for the second year in a row and the second time this summer.
The Banner were brilliant for a lot of the first half but folded after the break where John Conlon’s influence was drowned out by a more effective Cork defensive display.
Watched by a 45,364 crowd in Semple Stadium, Cork were on level terms in the 45th minute and by the time Clare scored again in the 52nd they had gone two ahead. Their second goal came in the 59th minute when the dynamic Darragh Fitzgibbon and Bill Cooper linked up to give Seamus Harnedy the platform to strike past Donal Tuohy.
Clare’s shooting into the Town End left a lot to be desire and they hit seven wides in the second half, Peter Duggan contributing four of them. He also had a free blocked as Shane O’Donnell struck poorly when Anthony Nash hit the ball directly to him.
A late goal by Ian Galvin gave Clare a flicker of hope but Cork were able to see out the remaining seconds and deservedly so following some beautiful hurling from Fitzgibbon, Patrick Horgan and Harnedy.
The first half was literally spilling over with a multitude of sidelines in the opening exchanges. Conlon’s blistering form was evident early on as he sent over his third point in the 13th minute to give Clare a 0-5 to 0-3 lead.
Cork were unlucky not to pick up a couple of frees but there was little doubt Clare were the better team and while Horgan brought the sides level in the 16th minute Anthony Nash was picking the ball out of his net seconds later when David Reidy finished off an attack produced by Tony Kelly’s lengthy solo run.
Another Conlon point followed, Damien Cahalane was relieved of marking duties on him, and Clare’s advantage grew to five points when Duggan fired over a brace of frees.
Clare’s second goal also came from a free, a launcher from Tuohy which was coming down at the edge of the square when Duggan touched it to the net. Again, Conlon followed it up with a point.
Luke Meade’s goal on the cusp of the break after Seamus Harnedy had fielded strongly and Mark Coleman’s sideline cut gave Cork some solace going into the break despite being 2-11 to 1-10 down.
Scorers for Cork: P. Horgan (0-11, 6 frees, 1 65); S. Harnedy (1-4); L. Meade (1-1); D. Fitzgibbon, D. Kearney, M. Coleman (1 sideline) (0-2 each); C. Lehane , B. Cooper (0-1 each).
Scorers for Clare: P. Duggan (1-7, 0-6 frees); J. Conlon (0-5); D. Reidy (1-2); I. Galvin (1-0); P. Collins (0-2); C. Galvin, C. McGrath, T. Kelly (0-1 each).
CORK: A. Nash; C. Spillane, D. Cahalane, C. Spillane; C. Joyce, E. Cadogan, M. Coleman; D. Fitzgibbon, B. Cooper; L. Meade, P. Horgan, D. Kearney; S. Kingston, C. Lehane, S. Harnedy (c).
Subs for Cork: R. O’Flynn for S. Kingston (59); M. Cahalane for L. Meade (64); L. McLoughlin for D. Kearney (66); D. Brosnan for B. Cooper (blood 70+2 to f-t).
CLARE: D. Tuohy; P. O’Connor (c), D. McInerney, J. Browne; S. Morey, C. Cleary, J. Shanahan; C. Galvin, C. Malone; P. Duggan, T. Kelly, D. Reidy; P. Collins, J. Conlon, S. O’Donnell.
Subs for Clare: J. McCarthy for C. Malone (50); C. McGrath for S. O’Donnell (55); D. Corry for D. Reidy (63); I. Galvin for C. Cleary (68).
Referee: J. McGrath (Westmeath).