Tuesday 12 December 2017

Gilligan leads veterans' charge to stun Cork

Clare 2-19 Cork 0-15

Clare stunned Cork in Limerick thanks mainly to the heroics of some of their senior stars of the past in what was an interesting, rather than spectacular, affair.

Clare started the better and moved into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead but Cork came back and when they drew level at 0-7 each it looked as if they would justify their pre-match favouritism.

The scoring was close for most of the way but two goals inside four minutes at a crucial stage gave Clare the victory that they thoroughly deserved.

And it was one of the former senior heroes, Niall Gilligan, who struck the crucial first goal midway in the second half, by which stage his side were two points, 0-14 to 0-12, in front.

Gilligan pounced on a loose ball 15 yards from goal and cracked a low shot to the net. The game was wrapped up four minutes later when Daire Keane spotted a gap and swept in for another goal.

Tony Carmody was another of the previous senior stars to impress and he put over three points in a true captain's performance.

Cork were a massive disappointment and while they came back from three points in arrears to level matters after 17 minutes, they never led in a game they were expected to win following their comprehensive triumph against Tipperary in the previous round.

Clare dominated midfield thanks to Ronan Keane and Shane Golden, who created such space that they both managed to score a brace of points, while Kevin Moynihan shone at half-back. Up front, Carmody and Daire Keane sparkled.

Cork full-back Eoin Dillon had a fine outing on the wily Gilligan and David Drake at corner-forward was their best player and finished with four points.

At the half-time interval Clare led 0-10 to 0-9 and it was point for point until Gilligan's opening goal.

Scorers -- Clare: N Gilligan 1-5 (0-5f), D Keane 1-2, T Carmody 0-3, R Keane, P Hickey, S Golden 0-2 each, K Moynihan, A Lynch, D O'Rourke 0-1 each. Cork: D Drake 0-4, M Sexton (3f), B Corry 0-3 each, E Conway 0-2, M O'Sullivan, K Hartnett, E Brosnan 0-1 each.

Clare -- A Fahy; M O'Regan, P Kelly, A Brigdale; M Hawes, C Earley, K Moynihan; R Keane, S Golden; D Keane, T Carmody, K Dilleen; M Duggan, N Gilligan, P Hickey. Subs: A Lynch for Dilleen (h-t), J O'Connor for Hickey (48), D O'Rourke for Duggan (56).

Cork -- D McCarthy; J Carey, E Dillon, S Corry; T Healy, M Ellis, K Hartnett; R Cashman, M Sexton; B Corry, E Brosnan, C Casey; D Drake, E Conway, Ml O'Sullivan. Subs: Maurice O'Sullivan for Casey (48), S Harnedy for Conway, (55).

Ref -- S Hourigan (Limerick).

Irish Independent

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