By Michael Moynihan, Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Cork 2-23 Clare 1-21
Cork won this Munster SHC round-robin first round game in Pairc Ui Chaoimh with Seamus Harnedy’s late late goal clinching it.
The 24,490 in attendance saw Clare begin with three points on the spin but Cork reeled them in and the side were level on four points each after 10 minutes, neither dominating.
At the end of the first quarter Robbie O’Flynn of Cork and Clare’s Peter Duggan both missed goal chances and Cork had a 0-6 to 0-5 lead.
The home side kept their noses in front until the 28th minute, when Peter Duggan tied the game up, 0-8 each, but by half-time Cork had nudged one ahead thanks to a Seamus Harnedy point, 0-11 to 0-10.
The game continued in nip-and-tuck fashion in the second half, with Cork one ahead on 45 minutes, when there was a substantial stoppage for medical attention to Robbie O’Flynn of Cork, who had to be stretchered off after colliding with teammate Conor Lehane.
After that break Cork improvised a Lehane goal, but Clare replied within minutes with a fine Kelly goal, and the game came alive with the score 1-15 each at the three-quarter stage.
Cork edged three ahead going into the last seven minutes but Clare’s Conlon cut the gap to two. Harnedy’s fine solo strike made the game safe for the home side, however.
Scorers for Cork: P. Horgan (6 frees)(0-10); S. Harnedy, C. Lehane (1-2 each); D. Fitzgibbon (0-3); M. Ellis (0-2); M. Coleman, R. O’Flynn, B. Cooper, D. Brosnan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Clare: T. Kelly (1-3)(1 free); J. Conlon (0-5); P. Duggan (0-4, frees); C. Galvin, D. Reidy (2 frees)(0-3 each); S. O’Donnell (0-2); C. McGrath (0-1).
CORK: A. Nash, S. O’Donoghue, D. Cahalane, C. Spillane, C. Joyce, M. Ellis, M. Coleman, D. Fitzgibbon, B. Cooper, D. Kearney, C. Lehane, R. O’Flynn, L. Meade, S. Harnedy (c), P. Horgan.
Subs: B. Lawton for Kearney (blood, 33-HT); S. Kingston for Meade (42); T. O’Mahony for O’Flynn (inj, 45); D. Brosnan for Kearney (inj, 59).
CLARE: D. Tuohy, P. O’Connor, C. Cleary, J. Browne, D. Fitzgerald, D. McInerney, S. Morey, C. Galvin, T. Kelly, C. Malone, J. Conlon, D. Reidy, C. McGrath, P. Duggan, S. O’Donnell.
Subs: C. Dillon for Browne (blood, 17-20); D. Corry for Duggan (56); M. O’Malley for O’Connor (60); I. Galvin for Reidy (64); J. Shanahan for C. Galvin (66).
Referee: S. Cleere (Kilkenny).