A draw was a fair result in this final group game which had Clare and Cork level on seven occasions in a tie which produced some great excitement in the second half in particular.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
There were plenty of talking points also, not least the sending off on a straight red card of David Fitzgerald ten minutes from time following an altercation with Cork. centre back Robert Downey.
This has led to worry that unless the red card is overturned, the All-Star will miss the opening round of the championship against Tipperary.
Scores came hot and fast in the opening half, most of which was played in heavy rain. The visitors had raced into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead when Padraig Power gained possession from a Brian Roche delivery and shot low to the net in the ninth minute to put his side five clear, 1-3 to 0-1.
Clare responded immediately and after Cork goalkeeper Ger Collins parried a piledriver from Tony Kelly, Éire Óg’s David Reidy was on hand to fire home Clare’s opening goal.
By the mid point of the half the teams were level for the first time at 1-6 each before Fitzgerald gave the home side the lead for the first time.
Points were then exchanged twice before Cork hit another purple patch which yielded 1-2 in two minutes, the goal coming from Seamus Harnady after good work by Alan Cadogan.
Again, Clare’s response was impressive and Aidan McCarthy struck for the side’s second goal after Ger Collins in the Cork goal had saved from Seadna Morey.
The half ended with Cork two points ahead, 2-12 to 2-10.
Seven minutes into the second half the sides were level at 1-13 each and from here on a draw looked the likely outcome.
It was 2-15 each at the three quarter stage. To the delight of the home side’s following in the attendance of 3,446, Clare opened a two point gap with ten minutes to play.
Cork replied to within a point when Fitzgerald saw red. Lehane missed an easy free for the visitors before Robin Mounsey put Clre two clear as three minutes of additional time were signalled.
Substitutes Lehane and Conor Cahalane struck for points in the additional time to keep Cork’s unbeaten record in this season’s competition intact and they now turn their attention to next week’s semi-final.
For Clare the focus now switches to the championship and their first round clash with Tipperary on April 23.
1: Eibhear Quilligan, Feakle;
21: Aaron Fitzgerald Eire Og
3: Conor Cleary, Miltown St. Josephs
4: Paul Flanagan, Ballyea;
5: Diarmuid Ryan, Cratloe 0-1
6: John Conlon, Clonlara
26: David McInerney, Tulla
8: Seadna Morey, Sixmilebridge
9: Tony Kelly, Ballyea
10: David Fitzgerald, Inagh-Kilnamona 0-3
11: Cathal Malone, Sixmilebridge
12: Ryan Taylor, Clooney-Quin; 0-1
13: David Reidy, Eire Og 1-0
14: Aidan McCarthy, Inagh-Kilnamona 1-11, 0-9f
15:” Ian Galvin, Clonlara 0-1
25: Darragh Lohan (Wolfe Tones) for A. Fitzgerald (half time)
20: Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin) for Galvin (58)
19: Robin Mounsey (Ruan) 0-1 for Reidy (58)
24: David Conroy (St. Josephs) for Morey (61)
23: Jack Kirwan (Parteen-Meelick) for Taylor (68)
1: Ger Collins, Ballinhassig
2: Niall O’Leary, Castlelyons
3: Dara O’Leary, Watergrasshill
4: Eoin Roche, Bride Rovers;
5: Cathal Cormack, Blackrock
6: Robert Downey, Glen Rovers
7: Cormac O’Brien, Newtownshandrum
8: Brian Roche, Bride Rovers,
9: Ethan Twomey, St. Finbarrs;
10: Declan Dalton, Fr. O’Neills, 0-4, 3f
11: Seamus Harnady, St. Itas, 1-3
12: Brian Hayes, St. Finbarrs; 0-2;
13: Alan Cadogan, Douglas, 0-1
14: Padraig Power, Blarney, 1-1
15: Jack O’Connor Sarsfields 0-2
25: Conor Lehane (Midleton) 0-4, 3f for Harnady (inj. 29)
22: Conor Cahalane (St. Finbarrs) 0-1 for Dalton (inj. 34)
24: Shane Kingston (Douglas) for Cadogan (44)
18: Ger Mellerick (Fr. O’Neills) for B. Roche(56)\
17: Damian Cahalane(St.Finbarrs) for O’Leary
Referee: Thomas Walsh, Waterford