Horgan sinks Banner to get Rebels off the mark
Cork 1-20 Clare 0-20
Cork got their first win of the league season as Patrick Horgan scored 16 points (15 from frees) to see off Clare. In a strange game, a pair of Horgan frees gave Cork a two-point lead for the first time in the 68th minute.
While Tony Kelly responded with his sixth of the game, Horgan cleverly set up Tim O'Mahony to restore the two-point advantage and then rounded things off himself. In all, the teams were level 13 times. One of those occasions was at half-time, but only thanks to a fortuitous Cork goal in the 22nd minute by Séamus Harnedy, as the Rebels were a clear second-best.
Kelly orchestrated a crisp display from Clare early on as the visitors eased to a 0-5 to 0-2 lead. But for a couple of wasted Peter Duggan frees, the Banner would have been in even more control.
In contrast to Clare's fluency, Cork were struggling to piece together passages of good play. The goal was their first score from play and it came wrapped in luck. Harnedy, playing his first game of the year, intended to launch a delivery towards the full-forward line, but Clare's debutant goalkeeper Keith Hogan lost sight of the dropping ball. Despite the valiant efforts of corner-back Jack Browne to clear, the umpires adjudged the ball to have crossed the line and matters were tied at 1-3 to 0-6.
Clare responded positively, but Cork dug in and the game was still level at the break.
Two minutes into the second half, Horgan's free put Cork ahead for the first time. Kelly levelled, benefiting after David Fitzgerald had blocked David Griffin's shooting attempt, and did so again after Horgan's eighth.
Jamie Coughlan finally provided Cork with a second point-scorer and Bill Cooper got in an important block on Diarmuid Ryan before Ian Galvin's second levelled the game for the sixth time.
Duggan put Clare back in front, moments after wasting another opportunity, but Daniel Kearney responded, profiting from a good Aidan Walsh hook on David McInerney. Another Duggan free provided the Clare riposte but Cork almost seized the lead with another goal as O'Mahony drove forward and fed Conor Lehane, whose effort looked to be net-bound but for a vital Rory Hayes intervention.
Harnedy pointed as the ball came loose from that, making it 1-11 to 0-14 with 20 minutes left, and while Ian Galvin and Kelly twice put Clare ahead again, Horgan frees kept tying the game.
Galvin's influence continued to grow as he landed his fourth score on 57 minutes, but Horgan got his 11th of the game to make it 1-14 to 0-17 as the game reached the hour-mark.
Duggan's fourth put Clare ahead again but, inevitably, a Cork free followed and was converted by Horgan. John Conlon, snaffling a loose ball from a scrum, brought his tally to four on 62 minutes, but it was the last time Clare led.
Horgan made it 1-16 to 0-19 and though Kelly looked to have restored Clare's advantage with a point from a tight angle, it was waved wide after initially being declared a point.
Two more from Horgan finally provided daylight, and Cork drove on to the finish.
Scorers - Cork: P Horgan 0-16 (15f); S Harnedy 1-1; T O'Mahony, D Kearney, J Coughlan 0-1 each. Clare: T Kelly 0-6; I Galvin, J Conlon, P Duggan (3f, 1 65) 0-4 each; D Ryan 0-2.
Cork: A Nash; S O'Donoghue, D Cahalane, S McDonnell; C Joyce, T O'Mahony, D Griffin; C Murphy, B Cooper; D Kearney, S Harnedy, C Lehane; J Coughlan, A Walsh, P Horgan. Subs: L Meade for Murphy (49), D Browne for Griffin (60), A Cadogan for Coughlan (both 60).
Clare: K Hogan; J Browne, D McInerney, R Hayes; D Fitzgerald, C Cleary, C Malone; S Golden, C Galvin; P Duggan, T Kelly, D Ryan; I Galvin, J Conlon, P Collins. Subs: R Taylor for Golden (53), C Guilfoyle for Duggan (61), M O'Neill for Collins (63), A McCarthy for Fitzgerald (65).
Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary)
Sunday Indo Sport