David Fitzgerald, Clare, and Bill Cooper, Cork, in Allianz Hurling League action at Pairc Ui Rinn.
David Fitzgerald, Clare, and Bill Cooper, Cork, in Allianz Hurling League action at Pairc Ui Rinn.

Allianz HL D1A: Cork edge out Clare

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A

CORK 1-20 CLARE 0-20

By Denis Hurley at Pairc Ui Rinn

Patrick Horgan scored 16 points as Cork achieved their first Allianz HL Division 1A victory of 2019, finishing strongly to see off Clare at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday night.

In a strange game, 15 of Horgan’s scores came from frees as Clare committed fouls at an alarming rate, especially in the second half. Cork didn’t lead at all in the first half and it wasn’t until the 68th minute of the game that they amassed an advantage of greater than a point. However, four of the last five points went their way, meaning that they join four other counties in a tie for second place in the table, behind leaders Limerick.

For much of the game, it looked like Clare would edge it as they played with a greater fluency in attack, typified by the wonderful performance of Tony Kelly, who finished with six points. In addition, Ian Galvin and John Conlon both scored four points, all from play.

The Banner will wonder about a Kelly effort from a tight angle on 64 minutes when the sides were level for the 13th and final time. Initially, the white flag was waved but, on reflection, a wide was signalled. In the wake of that, Horgan’s 14th and 15th points gave Cork some leeway and though Kelly did get his sixth in response, Tim O’Mahony and Horgan ensured the win for John Meyler’s side.

Clare began well as Conlon pointed after claiming a good Kelly sideline cut before Diarmuid Ryan launched a fine score from his own 65.

Though two Horgan frees had Cork level, Clare were enjoying far more of the play and soon moved 0-5 to 0-2 ahead. While Horgan replied with another free, this time from the left sideline, Kelly combined beautifully with Colm Galvin to restore the three-point advantage.

However, Cork managed to draw level on 22 minutes. Séamus Harnedy’s intention was to find the full-forward line when he sent the ball in from the 65 but goalkeeper Keith Hogan misjudged and the ball crossed the line, despite the best efforts of corner-back Jack Browne.

Peter Duggan (free) and Ryan put Clare ahead again, but Horgan ensured that Cork were level by half-time, 1-6 to 0-9, with the hosts not having a point from open play until the 33rd minute.

Horgan was on hand again early in the second half to put Cork ahead on three occasions, but Clare replied each time and hit the front again thanks to another Duggan free on 47.

Each time they forged ahead, though, Cork would win a free and Horgan would do the needful. Ultimately, the home side were able to get the upper hand and they pushed clear in the closing stages.

Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-16 (15fs), Séamus Harnedy 1-1, Tim O’Mahony, Daniel Kearney, Jamie Coughlan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Tony Kelly 0-6, Ian Galvin, John Conlon, Peter Duggan (3fs, 165) 0-4 each, Diarmuid Ryan 0-2.

CORK: Anthony Nash; Seán O’Donoghue, Damien Cahalane, Stephen McDonnell; Christopher Joyce, Tim O’Mahony, David Griffin; Cormac Murphy, Bill Cooper; Daniel Kearney, Séamus Harnedy, Conor Lehane; Jamie Coughlan, Aidan Walsh, Patrick Horgan.

Subs: Luke Meade for Murphy (49), Darren Browne for Griffin (60), Alan Cadogan for Coughlan (both 60).

CLARE: Keith Hogan; Jack Browne, David McInerney, Rory Hayes; David Fitzgerald, Conor Cleary, Cathal Malone; Shane Golden, Colm Galvin; Peter Duggan, Tony Kelly, Diarmuid Ryan; Ian Galvin, John Conlon, Podge Collins.

Subs: Ryan Taylor for Golden (53), Colin Guilfoyle for Duggan (61), Mikey O’Neill for Collins (63), Aidan McCarthy for FitzGerald (65).

REFEREE: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary).