O'Neill shows class as Rebels prove too strong for Banner
Cork 2-14 Clare 0-7
Cork'S senior footballers cruised into the semi-finals yesterday after a comprehensive dismissal of Clare at Pairc Ui Rinn.
The Leesiders opened their 2012 season with an emphatic victory thanks mainly to the endeavours of the returning Colm O'Neill in the full-forward line. O'Neill showed he is on the way to full sharpness after almost a year out with a cruciate ligament injury, netting twice and adding four points in a man-of-the-match display.
He was ably assisted up front by Seanie Cahalane and Liam Shorten. The latter took his opportunity with both hands. Cork legend Graham Canty was dominant at the heart of the Cork rearguard, helping his side to a 1-5 to 0-3 lead at the turn.
Clare will be disappointed with their early showing as they never got to grips with their illustrious opponents before the interval.
Manager Micheal Mac Diarmada will, however, take some solace from his side's second-half display as they kept in touch with a Cork side showing real class.
Midfielder Gary Brennan led the charge for the Banner men with three terrific scores, but it was never going to be enough.
Scorers -- Cork: C O'Neill 2-4 (1f, 1 '45'), L Shorten 0-3, F Lynch 0-2, C O'Driscoll, S Cahalane, K O'Sullivan, P O'Neill, A O'Connor 0-1 each. Clare: G Brennan 0-3 (1f), M O'Shea 0-2f, G Quinlan, D Russell 0-1 each.
Cork -- K O'Halloran; E Cotter, R Carey, K Harrington; C O'Driscoll, G Canty, A O'Rielly; J Fitzpatrick, A O'Connor; F Lynch, F Goold, L Shorten; C O'Neill, S Cahalane, K O'Sullivan. Subs: P O'Neill for Fitzpatrick (38), S Kiely for Goold (45), P Kerrigan for O'Sullivan (55), M O'Leary for Lynch (55), M Shields for O'Connor (58).
Clare -- J Hayes; D Hickey, S McNelis, M McMahan; S Tierney, G Kelly, E Troy; G Quinlan, G Brennan; D Daly, R Donnelly, D Blake; M O'Shea, D Russell, A Clohessey. Subs: P Collins for Blake (18), D Murphy for Daly (28), T Ryan for Troy (h-t), S O'Driscoll for Russell (55), D O'Neill for Quinlan (56).
REF -- M Condon (Waterford).