Allianz HL D1A: Clare continue to impress
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
CLARE 0-23 CORK 0-19
By Eoin Brennan at Cusack Park, Ennis
2016 champions Clare continue to set the pace in Division 1A of the Allianz Hurling League after deservedly powering to a third consecutive victory in Cusack Park, Ennis this afternoon.
In front of an attendance of 4,905, the home side were full value for their 11 point interval margin before having to deep much deeper in a more competitive latter half as the wind-assisted Rebels went in search of a lifeline.
Outscoring their hosts by 0-6 to 0-1 in the final 10 minutes, five from Patrick Horgan placed balls, a grandstand finish was avoided by Clare goalkeeper Donal Tuohy, who twice repelled Horgan frees in the concluding stages.
The damage was clearly done in the opening period, however, when the Banner County build upon a 0-5 to 0-4 first quarter advantage to fire seven unanswered points in a 15 minute purple patch through Peter Duggan (3), Tony Kelly, Mikey O'Malley, Colm Galvin and John Conlon
An out-of-sorts Cork did half that charge momentarily with a Horgan point in the 31st minute, but even that was answered by late scores from Podge Collins, Colm Galvin, Niall Deasy and Peter Duggan as Clare went in 0-16 to 0-05 in front thanks to nine different scorers.
Colm Galvin, starting debutant Mikey O'Malley, and the roaming David Reidy were all influential in matching Cork's inevitable fightback on the restart.
Cork received inspirational timely boosts from Tim O'Mahony, Darren Browne, Mark Ellis and Bill Cooper but weren't consistent enough to sufficiently eat into the large deficit that still stood at nine by the 60th minute.
Horgan did his best to unearth an unlikely turnaround but the home side weren't about to let slip an opportunity to win their opening three league matches for the first time since 2003 and held out to effectively ensure a quarter-final place with two matches to spare.
Scorers for Clare: Peter Duggan 0-8 (6fs, 2'65), David Reidy 0-3, John Conlon 0-2, Seadna Morey 0-2, Mikey O'Malley 0-2, Tony Kelly 0-2, Colm Galvin 0-2, Podge Collins 0-1, Niall Deasy 0-1.
Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-12 (9fs, 2'65), Luke Meade 0-1, Tim O'Mahony 0-1, Robbie O'Flynn 0-1, Mark Ellis 0-1, Darren Browne 0-1, Bill Cooper 0-1, Seamus Harnedy 0-1.
CLARE: Donal Tuohy; Patrick O'Connor, Conor Cleary, Jack Browne; Seadna Morey, David McInerney, Mikey O'Malley; Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly; Niall Deasy, John Conlon, David Reidy; Shane O'Donnell, Peter Duggan, Podge Collins.
Subs: Cathal Malone for Conlon (50), Conor McGrath for Collins (56), Daragh Corry for Deasy (59), David Fitzgerald for O'Malley (65), Jason McCarthy for Galvin (65).
CORK: Anthony Nash; Sean O'Donoghue, Eoin Cadogan, Colm Spillane; Christopher Joyce, Tim O'Mahony, Darren Browne; Mark Ellis, Daniel Kearney; Robbie O'Flynn, Seamus Harnedy, Bill Cooper; Luke Meade, Patrick Horgan, Shane Kingston.
Subs: Lorcán McLoughlin for Kearney (HT), Rob O'Shea for Kingston (45), Jack O'Connor for Meade (51), Brian Lawton for O'Flynn (60).
REFEREE: Paud O'Dwyer (Carlow)