Cork 0-23 Clare 0-15
Cork are through to a first Munster SHC final since 2010 after a stunning semi-final victory over Clare at the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon.
The Rebels produced a devastating second half display to win by eight points in front of 19,049 spectators in Limerick.
Cork were 0-7 to 0-11 behind approaching half-time but hit nine points on the spin to turn a four-point deficit into a five-point lead.
Jimmy Barry-Muprhy’s Leesiders played against the breeze in the first half but were just three points down at the break – 0-8 to 0-11.
And they opened up with a run of eight points on the bounce after half-time to gain a firm stranglehold on proceedings.
Cork were rampant and Clare, who had no answers, were simply blown away.
Cork’s victory sends them through to a provincial final meeting with Limerick on July 14 and in three weeks’ time, the counties will clash in the Munster senior final for the first time since 1992.
That game will take place at the Gaelic Grounds as an existing home and away arrangement is in place.
Cork’s second half display was devastating outscoring Clare by 0-15 to 0-4 after half-time.
They finished with ten different scorers and All-Star goalkeeper Anthony Nash, who pulled off some vital saves, lashed over two long-range frees for good measure.
Clare finally managed their opening point of the second half with 17 minutes remaining but they would manage just three more, as Cork clipped over another seven.
When the dust settled, Cork had scored a first victory of the year over Clare – at the fourth attempt.
Davy Fitzgerald’s Banner County had won an early season Waterford Crystal Cup tie before adding two victories in the National Hurling League, including a relegation playoff.
Cork started without injured duo Paudie O’Sullivan and Lorcán McLoughlin, with Pa Cronin fit enough to come off the bench in the second half.
During the course of an impressive display, five of Cork’s six starting forwards were on target from play, while the returning Jamie Coughlan hit two points after coming on for Stephen Moylan.
Clare must now try to revive their season through the back door, having been heavily tipped to win this afternoon.
But it was a day when they failed to make good use of some decent goalscoring opportunities in the first half.
And their cause wasn’t helped either when combative forward John Conlon was forced off with concussion in the 20th minute.
Scorers for Clare: P Collins 0-5, D Honan, C Ryan (1f, 1 65), C Galvin & C McGrath 0-2 each, T Kelly & S O’Donnell 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: P Horgan 0-8 (5f), S Harnedy 0-3, A Nash (2f), C Lehane, L O’Farrell & J Coughlan 0-2 each, W Egan, D Kearney, C McCarthy & P Cronin 0-1 each.
CLARE: P Kelly; D O’Donovan, D McInerney, C Dillon; P O’Connor, P Donnellan, N O’Connell, C Galvin; J Conlon, T Kelly, C Ryan; C McGrath, D Honan, P Collins.
Subs: A Cunningham for Conlon (20), F Lynch for Ryan (44), S Morey for O’Connell (55), S O’Donnell for McGrath (61).
CORK: A Nash; C O’Sullivan, S McDonnell, B Murphy; S O’Neill, C Joyce, W Egan; T Kenny, D Kearney; S Harnedy, C McCarthy, C Lehane; L O’Farrell, P Horgan, S Moylan.
Subs: J Coughlan for Moylan (32), P Cronin for McCarthy (62).
Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).