Hurley sets tone for Cork to claim silverware
Cork 1-15 Clare 1-9
Cork won a third McGrath Cup in five years as they saw off Clare at Mallow last night.
While the first half was a tense and tight battle for long periods, Cork led by 1-10 to 1-4 at half-tine and that six-point lead still pertained at the end.
In the opening 15 minutes, Clare were in front three times before Brian Hurley's goal, from Dan Mac Eoin's handpass, put the Rebels into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead.
Instead of that kick-starting Peadar Healy's team and demoralising the visitors, though, Clare responded with a brilliantly-worked goal of their own, David Tubridy, Gary Brennan and early sub Seán Haugh all involved, the latter's handpass allowing Eoin Cleary to fist home.
Unfortunately for Clare, it would be their penultimate score of the first half as Cork seized control. Dan Mac Eoin and Mark Collins both had goal chances, the former hitting the post, while Joe Hayes pushed Collins' shot over the bar, and further points from Daniel Goulding, Mac Eoin and Colm O'Driscoll meant that Cork were 1-10 to 1-4 up at the break.
Scores were harder to come by in the opening stages of the second half, with Clare's Tubridy and Shane McGrath cutting the deficit to just two points, McGrath's point a goal effort which flew over.
Colm O'Driscoll, nominally playing corner-back but spending most of the game in Clare's half as part of his man-marking brief, opened Cork's second-period account with his third point and, while Seán Collins replied for Clare, they couldn't get closer than four points.
Had Cleary not been denied a second goal when Ken O'Halloran stood up well to his shot, an entertaining last 10 minutes might have been in store in front of the 804 people present, but instead Cork saw out the game well.
Scorers - Cork: B Hurley 1-4 (2f), C O'Driscoll 0-3, D Goulding (1f), D Mac Eoin 0-2 each; M Collins, I Maguire, P Kerrigan, S Hickey 0-1 each. Clare: E Cleary 1-2 (2f), D Tubridy (1f), S Collins, S McGrath 0-2 each, C O'Connor 0-1.
CORK - K O'Halloran; K Histon, E Cadogan, C O'Driscoll; B O'Driscoll, J Loughrey, Tomás Clancy; I Maguire, M Collins; K O'Driscoll, D Óg Hodnett, R Deane; D Mac Eoin, D Goulding, B Hurley. Subs: A O'Sullivan for Deane (9), L Connolly for K O'Driscoll (44), P Kelleher for Mac Eoin (49), K O'Hanlon for Maguire (60), S Hickey for Kerrigan (65), B Daly for Loughrey (67).
CLARE - J Hayes; K Hartnett, M McMahon, J O'Dea; C O'Dea, G Kelly, P Lillis; G Brennan, C O'Connor; S Collins, S Malone, S McGrath; M O'Leary, E Cleary, D Tubridy. Subs: S Haugh for O'Leary (7, inj), D Ryan for Hartnett, K Sexton for Haugh (both h-t), P De Loughrey (Cratloe) for Hayes (45, inj), G Kelly for Malone (47), P Burke for McGrath (56).
Ref - S Lonergan (Tipperary)