The Clare senior hurlers bowed out of the Waterford Crystal Cup semi-final after a nine point defeat to Cork after a sluggish performance.
A lacklustre first half from the Banner played a big part in their downfall today as their Cork counterparts hit two goals in the opening thirty five minutes whereas Clare came close but not close enough with captain Patrick Donnellan being denied by Patrick Collins on the eighteenth minute.
Ultimately the difference between the sides was that the Rebels took their chances while Clare did not, hitting a total of eighteen wides over the course of the tie. Cork are the only side out of the top five teams in Munster not to win the Waterford Crystal Cup and they will be hoping to build on this strong performance and have their names scribed on the piece of crystal.
Both sides were level with twelve minutes played at 0-03 apiece, a good run from Cork midfielder Andy Walsh through the Clare defence left Luke O’Farrell in the ideal position and the Midleton man slotted past Pa Kelly from close range. Shortly before half-time O’Farrell raised his second green flag to totally take the wind from Clare’s sails.
Although Clare hit eighteen wides, they hit the same amount of points which is a positive in the difficult conditions of January. On paper they were the superior team but games are not won on paper. For a disappointing Clare side, Bobby Duggan, Brendan Bugler and Cathal O’Connell tried hard.
Jimmy Barry-Murphy will be pleased with the form of his side to date. As it stands it is three wins from three in 2015 for JBM. The more experienced players like Luke O’Farrell, Cian McCarthy and Stephen Moylan did well while the likes of Andy Walsh and Glen O’Connor impressed. Cork will take on Limerick in the final which is expected to take place next Saturday evening in Mallow.
Teams: Cork: Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig), Conor O’Sullivan (Sarsfields), Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Sean O’Donoghue (Inniscarra), Brian O’Sullivan (Fermoy), Lorcán McLoughlin (Kanturk), Glen O’Connor (St Finbarr’s), Brian Murray (Bishopstown) (0-01), Andy Walsh (Killeagh) (0-02), Peter Kelleher (Kimichael) (0-01), Cian McCarthy (Sarsfields) (0-07 3f 265’s), Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr) (0-01), Stephen Moylan (Douglas) (0-02), Luke O’Farrell (Midleton) (2-03), Darren McCarthy (Ballymartle) (0-01). Subs: Paul Haughney (Midleton) (0-01) for Murray (43:00), Dayne Lee (Na Piarsaigh) (0-01) for Kelleher (48:00), Alan Frahill-O’Connor (Youghal) (0-01) for Lawton (58:00), William Kearney (Sarsfields) for O’Donoghue (62:00), Mark Ellis (Millstreet) for O’Connor (64:00).
Clare: Pa Kelly (Inagh/Kilnamona), Domhnall O’Donovan (Clonlara), Cillian Duggan (Clooney/Quin), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge), Gearóid O’Connell (Ballyea), Conor Ryan (Cratloe), Conor Cleary (Kilmaley), Brendan Bugler (Whitegate) (0-03), Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus) (0-03 1f), Patrick Donnellan (O’Callaghans Mills) (0-02), Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle) (0-04), Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge) (0-01), Davy O’Halloran (Éire Óg), Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones na Sionna), Cathal ‘Tots’ O’Connell (Clonlara) (0-04 3f). Subs: Cian Dillon (Crusheen) for Conor Ryan (47:00), Paul Flanagan (Ballyea) for G O’Connell (49:00), John Conlon (Clonlara) for O’Halloran (50:00), Daire Keane (Kilmaley) (0-01) for Donnellan (52:00).
Referee: Paul Foley (Waterford)