Eoin Brennan reports from Cusack Park
CLARE WILL ENTER the new year on a winning note after snatching what seemed an unlikely opening Co-Op SuperStores Munster Hurling League victory over Cork in front of 1,987 spectators in Cusack Park this afternoon.
Trailing by four points with just three minutes of normal time remaining, substitute Colin Guilfoyle’s goal initiated an unanswered 1-3 flourish to complete a remarkable turnaround.
Cork’s Jamie Coughlan under pressure from David Fitzgerald of Clare.
Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO
Cork had led from the throw-in to the 70th minute when Niall Deasy’s 10th point pulled Clare level for the first time, before additional scores from Ryan Taylor and Diarmuid Ryan got the home side over the line.
Until that late backlash, Cork — having led by six points at half-time — dealt admirably with Clare’s second-half resurgence. On five occasions when the margin was slashed to the minimum, the Rebels were able to produce a response.
Declan Dalton was Cork’s guiding light in the opening period with six placed balls, but the physically imposing full-forward was also denied a brace of goals by home goalkeeper Keith Hogan, who kept out two bullet efforts.
Michael O’Halloran also chipped in with four points from play for the visitors, who — despite the best efforts of Colm Galvin, Niall Deasy and Gary Cooney — took a 0-13 to 0-7 advantage into the dressing rooms.
Clare were decidedly improved on the restart though, hitting four points inside the opening three minutes. However, while Deasy constantly brought the deficit back to one, Cork — through Dalton, Jamie Coughlan and Robbie O’Flynn — appeared to weather the storm as they moved four clear heading into the final minutes.
Clare’s Rory Hayes tracking Declan Dalton of Cork.
Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO
Clare’s 15 wides over the hour looked to be costly but Guilfoyle’s goal effectively altered the narrative as a buoyant home side finished with aplomb to take the opening spoils in Group B, with both sides set to face Waterford over the next eight days to decide the group winner.
Scorers for Clare: Niall Deasy 0-10 (7f); Gary Cooney, Diarmuid Ryan 0-3 each; Colin Guilfoyle 1-0; Davy Conroy 0-2; Cathal Malone, Ryan Taylor 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Declan Dalton 0-10 (7f, 2’65, 1s/l); Michael O’Halloran, Jamie Coughlan (1f) 0-4 each; Robbie O’Flynn 0-2; Cormac Murphy 0-1.
1. Keith Hogan (Clooney-Quin)
4. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)
20. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)
2. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
7. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
18. Colm Galvin (Clonlara) (Captain)
10. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
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8. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
9. Davy Conroy (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
17. Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin)
11. Niall Deasy (Ballyea)
5. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
13. Gary Cooney (O’Callaghan’s Mills)
12. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
22. Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley)
14. Colin Guilfoyle (Newmarket-on-Fergus) for Conroy (51)
26. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown) for Galvin (54)
25. Jack Browne (Ballyea) for Fitzgerald (58)
15. Cathal McInerney (Cratloe) for Shanagher (65)
1. Pa Collins (Ballinhassig)
2. Sean O’Donoghue (Inniscarra)
18. David Griffin (Carrigaline)
4. David Lowney (Clonakilty)
9. Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh)
6. Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum)
19. Robert Downey (Glen Rovers)
8. Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr’s — captain)
20. William Kearney (Sarsfields)
10. Cormac Murphy (Mallow)
11. Michael O’Halloran (Blackrock)
12. Aidan Walsh (Kanturk)
14. Jamie Coughlan (Newtownshandrum)
21. Declan Dalton (Fr O’ Neill’s)
15. Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own)
22. Cormac Beausang (Midleton) for Kearney (63)
26. Paul Leopold (Sarsfields) for O’Halloran (71)
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)
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