Clare outhurled Cork and apart from a brief spell in the opening quarter, when they sides were level twice, they was never a hint of a home vict4ory.
Given that Clare were forced to play without five regulars who were out of the country for the summer, this was a particularly pleasing result for John Minogue and his selectors.
Clare had many stars. Eamon Glynn at corner back, Aidan Quilligan at centre back, Damien Browne at midfield, Ger Arthur at centre forward and Caimin Morey were outstanding all through.
This was a huge setback for Cork, who had high hopes for this particular team as they had won the corresponding minor final three years ago. However on a night when they were completely outhurled and outscored, only Patrick Horgan, Conor O’Driscoll and Paudie O’Sullivan can take any degree of satisfaction from this game.
Clare played with the wind in the opening half but Cork were first off the mark, with a Stephen Moylan point after two minutes. The Banner boys were level a minute later, with a Caimin Morey point, and then proceeded to stamp their authority.
Aidan Quilligan was a commanding figure at centre back, Damien Browne and Nicky O’Connell gave them a trip on midfield and with Ger Arthur doing well at centre forward, the visitors forged 0-3 to 0-1 in front after 10 minutes and Cork had a right battle on their hands.
The home side looked far too lethargic. Their first touch was appalling; they were second to the ball all over the field and only for Patrick Horgan’s accuracy from placed balls, could have found themselves much further behind.
Clare, on the other hand, looked far hungrier. They chased and harassed Cork at every opportunity and at times Cork forwards found themselves surrounded by at least three Clare defenders.
Patrick Horgan’s excellent free taking had the sides level at the end of the opening quarter before Leigh Desmond missed a goal chance.
It was a huge let off for Clare and they took full advantage. Hurling with far more authority in midfield and the half forward line, they struck for a goal after 20 minutes when Caimin Morey, who was giving Cork full back Eoin Dillon a torrid time, latched on to the breaking ball after Nicky O’Connell’s long delivery broke out to him, and shot low to the net.
Horgan kept Cork in touch with a point form a 65 but rampant Clare, who have never won this particular grade of championship, hit back strongly and three points in a row, saw them retire at the break 1-9 to 0-5 in front.
Clare made it harder for Cork on the changeover, with an early point by Caimin Morey before the home side were given a glimmer of hope when Eoghan Murphy won a penalty but the three man Clare wall was equal to Patrick Horgan’s effort.
The save was a massive psychological boost for Clare and they responded superbly. Ger Arthur, playing the proverbial blinder at centre forward, fired over two points, and at the three-quarter stage they led 1-14 to 0-9 and were not going to be caught.
The Cork selectors threw caution to the wind by making three substitutions in quick succession but it made no difference as Clare continued to hurl with confidence and John Conlon capped a great night for the Banner boys with two excellent points.
Cork did manage a late goal by Patrick Horgan but it only served to put a better look on the scoreboard. Clare will provide Tipperary with a serious test in next week’s final.
Scorers for Clare: C. Morey 1-8 (0-8 frees); G. Arthur 0-4; D. Browne (0-1 free), S. Collins, J. Conlon 0-2 each; C.Ryan, C. Tierney 0-1 each.
Cork: P. Horgan 1-5 (0-4 frees, 0-1 65); P. O’Sullivan 0-3 (0-1 free); S. Moylan, P. Cronin, C. Naughton 0-1.
CLARE: D. Tuohy; E. Glynn, C. Cooney, C. O’Doherty; G. O’Connell, A. Quilligan, J. McInerney; D. Browne, N. O’Connell; J. Conlon, G. Arthur, S. Collins; C. Madden, C. Morey, C. Ryan.
Subs: C. Tierney for Madden (23); D. Horan for Ryan (55).
CORK: R. O’Keeffe; J. O’Callaghan, E. Dillon, C. O’Driscoll; B. Moylan, R., Cashman, S. White; L. Desmond, P. Cronin; P. Horgan, B. Corry, E. Murphy; S. Moylan, P. O’Sullivan, C. Naughton.
Subs: J. Jordan for Desmond (45); P. O’Brien for S. Moylan (47); J. Halbert for Cashman (48).
Referee: N. Cosgrove (Tipperary).