Sport Hurling

Sunday 21 January 2018

Player ratings: Clare

Pa Kelly

There were no heroics from Kelly but he did the basics very well and was quick to close out Pat Horgan in the first half. It was a steady, assured performance that capped a very fine season for the 'keeper.

Domhnall O'Donovan The hero in the last game was quieter this time and under a little pressure in the first half, but got a block on Conor Lehane's second-half shot that led to Seamus Harnedy's goal and another on Cathal Naughton.

David McInerney

When leadership in defence was needed in the third quarter, McInerney provided it. Wayward with possession in the first half, his ability to clear trouble really helped to steer his team through a rocky period.

Cian Dillon

Will look at his duel with Pa Cronin and feel unfortunate to have conceded four frees that Cork scored from. It was his surge and take of a Nash puck-out, however, that led to Conor McGrath's crucial fourth goal.

Brendan Bugler

Will surely find his way on to any hurler-of-the-year short list thanks to the consistency of effort he has produced. Once again stood firm in the eye of the storm. Clare's most combative warrior.Pat Donnellan

His scintillating run to create Shane O'Donnell's opening goal was the captain at his best. Started at midfield, where he provided important direction, finished the game sweeping and got a great hook on Tom Kenny.

Pat O'Connor

Centre-back for much of the game once again, O'Connor read the play so well, sweeping across his line to hoover up loose possession and generally offload it well. Set up O'Donnell's last score with one such play.

Colm Galvin

So often the focal point, with the Clare defender usually emerging with the ball, but Galvin's use of possession wasn't always as economic as usual as Cork pressed him hard and put him under pressure.

Conor Ryan

Never the dominant force that he was in the drawn game as Seamus Harnedy kept him busier, but brought off one magnificent catch just after the break to remind all just how prolific he is in the air.

John Conlon

Conlon was a very strong early influence, and not just for the clinically taken opening point. He was underneath a Galvin ball for O'Donnell's third and picked off a very timely second-half point.

Tony Kelly

For huge periods he wasn't involved, but when he was he made it count. Scored three points and set up O'Donnell with the most perfect pass to recapture the lead after Cork drew level. Another for hurler of the year shortlist.

Colin Ryan

Started the game well under Pa Kelly's puck-out, and he delivered some telling cross-field ball, but drifted to the margins thereafter and saw off another hesitant spell standing over frees.

Podge Collins

Forced Cork into a reshuffle with his quality in the drawn game but got no room from Brian Murphy to manoeuvre. Worked hard to pressure Lorcan McLoughlin into conceding a free and thread one great pass to O'Donnell.

Shane O'Donnell

Is there any reason not to give top marks to a 19-year-old who bagged 3-3 in his first All-Ireland senior final after only hearing he was starting two hours before throw-in? Thought not. A truly sublime attacking performance.

Conor McGrath

Clare's next best. McGrath set the tone with a first-minute block, he scored 1-1, set up another 1-1 and generally tormented Cork with his running from deep. Picked up from where Collins left off last time.


The temperature was already too high for Cathal McInerney (5) when he came in. Nicky O'Connell (5) didn't have much time to settle either.

Darach Honan (7) gave a welcome reminder of his talent with a superb solo goal to put the seal on the Banner victory. Seadna Morey's magnificent surge from defence set up Honan's title-clincher.

Irish Independent

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