Deadly Dineen eases Cork past battling Banner

THERE is no substitute for experience and Cork had it in abundance for this Munster one-sided IHC semi-final against Clare in Thurles yesterday.

As defending champions, Cork were forced to field a complete new team, but many of those who lined out were previous All-Ireland medal winners at this level. It showed as the Rebels cruised into another decider against Tipperary. On the evidence of this display, will be very hard to beat.

Strong in defence were former senior panellists Will Twomey and Darragh McSweeney, and the Cork attack thrived on plentiful supply of ball. Darren Dineen showed accuracy from play and frees to amass nine points; Rory O’Dwyer and Rory O’Doherty hit four apiece while Muiris O’Sullivan added three.

Clare were disappointing and only James McInerney, Brendan Bugler and Bernard Gaffney were up to standard.

Cork were into their stride with two points inside two minutes by the two Rorys, O’Dwyer and O’Doherty. Their hurling was sharper than Clare’s and their forwards created a few goal chances before two further points had them four ahead after 10 minutes.

It was 0-6 to 0-0 before Clare finally raised a flag, as Bernard Gaffney, an All-Ireland and Harty Cup medal winner with St Flannan’s, pointed.

John Cusack, who troubled Cork corner back John Hughes, added two more and Gaffney another to threaten to make a match of it. However they flattered to deceive as Cork stepped up the gears and hit seven unanswered points, three by Dineen, to retire at the break, 0-14 to 0-4 in front.

Clare rung the changes for the second half but it made little difference as Cork rifled over four points in a row. In a bid to break the Cork midfield stranglehold, Clare brought Bernard Gaffney out but it left them without any real threat to the Cork defence, where Vincent Hurley, Brendan Lombard and Timmy Lordan gave nothing away.

A late period of Clare pressure did eventually yield a goal when Bernard Gaffney drilled a 30-metre free to the Cork net, but it was only a token score as the Leesiders finished comfortable winners and favourites to retain their title next month against Tipperary.

Scorers: Cork: D. Dineen 0-9 (0-5 frees, 0-1 65); R. O’Dwyer, R. O’Doherty 0-4 each; M. O’Sullivan 0-3; J. Russell 0-2; S. Hayes, M. O’Callaghan 0-1 each. Clare: B. Gaffney 1-5 (1-1 free, 0-1 65); J. Cusack 0-3; C. Lafferty, C. McKeogh 0-1 each.

CORK: A. Nash; J. Hughes, W. Twomey, T. Lordan; B. Lombard, D. McSweeney, V. Hurley; M. O’Callaghan, S. Dineen; R. O’Dwyer, D. Dineen, J. Russell; S. Hayes, R. Doherty, M. O’Sullivan.

CLARE: S. Hawes; A. Quilligan, A. Cahill, B. Bugler; P. Lynch, J. McInerney, K. Sheehan; M. Hawes, N. Killeen; J. Carmody, C. Lafferty, T. Kelly; B. Gaffney, C. McKeogh, J. Cusack.

Subs: T. O’Donovan for Lynch (25th min.); B. Duggan for Hawes (half time); S. Arthur for Carmody (ht); M. Óg Murphy for Kelly (32); H. Hayes for Killeen (51).

Referee: D. Richardson (Limerick).

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