Cork VS Clare All Ireland Hurling Final

In front of a crowd of 81,651 people, Clare started brightly with early scores from Darach Honan and Colin Ryan. Cork’s first score came 6 minutes into the game with a long range puck from Seamus Harnedy, followed by three Patrick Horgan frees meant the sides were level at 0-04 each by the 12th minute.

Hard work from Clare’s corner forward Conor McGrath edged the banner in front by but Patrick Horgan’s accurate free taking meant Cork never fell too far behind. Goalkeeper Pa Kelly showed his skills when he made two superb saves, one of which was a 20 metre  free from opposite number Anthony Nash. Davy Fitzgerald’s side eased into a double scores lead at 0-08 to 0-04 after some excellent scores from Padraig Collins, Conor McGrath and Colin Ryan Nash later proved to be as good as Kelly when he kept out Honan’s shot as the Rebels started to struggle, Horgan scored his first from play for Cork with a massive 90 metres shot on goal. Before the break Clare showed to be the better team on the day as they led 0-12 to 0-10 at half time. Clare seemed to get off to the better start in the second half as they obtained the opening two scores.

In the 40th minute the game suddenly changed when ConoR  Lehane showed great pace to sprint through Clare’s defence and fire a shot to the bottom corner of the net. Clare continued to push ahead after the Rebels’ goal with scores from Collins and Ryan. Ryan also had a shot on goal superbly blocked by Conor O’Sullivan.

But it was beginning to look like Clare’s day. C. McCarthy was brought into the game for Cork and proved to Jimmie Barry Murphy to be a vital switch when he won a free the minute he was on the pitch but later had to be taken off again with an injury. All six forward for Clare scored from play something Cork never came near to matching. Moments later Cork won a penalty in which Nash hit the crossbar. It just did not seem like Cork’s day but they showed they were far from finished when Pa Cronin slotted the ball into the back of the net, with 5 minutes left the sides were level.

The Rebels were sure they had it in the bag when Horgan gained his tenth score in stoppage time but O’Donovan found time to score his first championship score from corner back to level the game for Clare. Referee B. Gavin blew the whistle sending the game into a rematch for the second year in a row. A match that surely all Hurling fans are looking forward to.

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