Sport Hurling

Sunday 18 February 2018

Clare v Cork: Game at a Glance

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The turning points, magic moments and reaction from a memorable replay.

Man of the Match

Shane O'Donnell (Clare)

The fairytale of the season as the 19-year-old scored a memorable 3-3. Three goals came in the first 20 minutes as O'Donnell's clever positioning and crisp finishing enabled him to join the exclusive club populated by All-Ireland final hat-trick heroes.

Turning point

Conor McGrath's 62nd-minute goal swung the game Clare's way. The sides were level at the time so the next score was vital. McGrath's superb solo effort was a match-winner.

Talking point

Where did all the Clare goals come from? Prior to the replayed final and excluding extra-time against Wexford, the scored 10 goals in 13 league and championship games this year but they managed five on Saturday, three in the opening 20 minutes.

Magic moment

Smiling broadly, Shane O'Donnell walked off late on to a Clare ovation, having enjoyed the perfect day. It doesn't get much better than scoring 3-3 as a 19-year-old playing in his first All-Ireland senior final.

Ref watch

James McGrath did a good job. In fairness, it was a relatively easy game to handle but he was up with play in as much as it's possible for any referee in the searing pace of the modern game.

What they said

Davy Fitzgerald (Clare manager):

'We lost an eight point lead. Cork hit us with everything they had and we still came back for more. And then they finished in style. I couldn't be more proud of them.'

Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork manager):

'Our luck ran out. Both today and the last time, we were chasing the game. The lads invested so much in getting back into the game that we needed everything to be perfect from there on. We were beaten by a better team'.

Match statistics

Wides:

Clare 5 (2 first half)

Cork 9 (4)

Frees:

Clare 11 (5)

Cork 14 (6)

Yellow Cards:

Clare 2 (J Conlon 36, C Dillon 55)

Cork 1 (S White 59)

Red Cards:

Clare 0

Cork 0

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