Monday 19 November 2018

Sherlock cracks final case to stun Banner

Cork 3-13 Clare 3-12

Cork's Michael Hurley in action against Clare's Sean O'Donoghue during the McGrath Cup Final. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Cork's Michael Hurley in action against Clare's Sean O'Donoghue during the McGrath Cup Final. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Cork won the McGrath Cup final in the most dramatic fashion yesterday, taking the spoils thanks to an injury-time goal from corner-forward Stephen Sherlock.

Clare fought back from 10 points down to put themselves in the driving seat late on in Mallow. However, Sherlock's last-minute intervention meant that the Banner's wait for this trophy will be extended past the decade mark.

A brace of early Cork goals looked to have put paid to Clare's chances against a Rebel side that fielded a host of unfamiliar names. However, Cork fell off the pace in the second half and were almost pipped. They had the first and second major interventions in the fifth and sixth minutes when first Mark Collins got on the end of a Kevin Crowley surging run to goal before Cork raised another green flag moments later when Sherlock rounded his man to finish past a helpless Killian Roche.

Clare had a chance to reduce the gap when Jamie Malone got through but the wing-forward dragged his effort past Mark White's upright. A brace of points from Eimhin Courtney brought it back to a five-point game on 20 minutes but a Cathal Vaughan free kept the Rebels six points clear and he added a classy score from play.

Cork's Ruairi Deane celebrates after team-mate Stephen Sherlock scored the match-winning goal. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Cork's Ruairi Deane celebrates after team-mate Stephen Sherlock scored the match-winning goal. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Cork could have put this final to bed when Sherlock picked up a long-range pass from Vaughan but he blasted the ball straight at a relieved Clare 'keeper. Clare made them pay on the stroke of the break when Keelan Sexton finished well to cut the gap to seven points, 2-8 to 1-4, at the turn.

Clare started the second half stronger and had the margin down to just two points thanks to points from Finucane and a goal from Alan Sweeney. Clare goaled again in the 52nd minute through Courtney to seize the lead but a goal and a point from Sherlock sent the spoils Cork's way.

Scorers - Cork: S Sherlock 2-3 (3f); M Collins 1-1; M Hurley 0-4; C Vaughan 0-3 (1f); D O'Callaghan, J O'Rourke 0-1 each. Clare: E Courtney 1-3; C Finucane 0-6; K Sexton 1-0, A Sweeney 1-0, D Bohannon, C O'Connor (45), G O'Brien 0-1.

Cork: M White; S Ryan, C Dorman, M McSweeney; P Clancy, K Flahive, C Kiely; J O'Sullivan, D O'Callaghan; S White, K Crowley, M Hurley; C Vaughan, M Collins, S Sherlock. Subs: C Dorgan for C Vaughan (inj, 35), I Maguire for C Dorman (52), J O'Rourke for K Crowley (52), R Deane for M Collins (53), S Powter for D O'Callaghan (54), D Quinn for S White (56).

Clare: K Roche; E O'Connor, C Brennan, G Kelly; T Hannon, A Fitzgerald, J Malone; S O'Donoghue, C O'Connor; P Lillis, A Sweeney, K Malone; E Courtney, K Sexton, C Finucane. Subs: E Collins for J Malone (inj, 9), G O'Brien for T Hannon (h-t), D Egan for K Malone (h-t), D Bohannon for S O'Donoghue (h-t), M O'Leary for A Sweeney (61), J Culligan for E Collins (61).

Referee: S Mulvihill (Kerry).

Mark Collins of Cork in action against Cillian Brennan, Eoghan Collins, and Clare goalkeeper Killian Roche during the McGrath Cup Final. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Mark Collins of Cork in action against Cillian Brennan, Eoghan Collins, and Clare goalkeeper Killian Roche during the McGrath Cup Final. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

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