*Patrick Crotty on the charge for Clare. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
CLARE’S UNBEATEN RUN in the U20 championship was ended by Cork in Ennis on Wednesday evening.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Final round fixtures where Clare have a bye will now determine if Terence Fahy’s charges have done enough to seal their place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Their last outing in the round robin series proved to be their most lethargic to date. They were without captain Adam Hogan due to the seven day ruling which prevents U20 players from lining out at their own grade and senior level within the space of seven days and whether this could have contributed to the lack of life among his teammates is hard to quantify.
What is clear is Clare’s inaccuracy from placed balls was detrimental to their showing. They had seven wides from scoreable frees and had these efforts been converted, the complexion of the game would have been vastly different.
Instead, the coughed up chances ensured there would be no significant parity between the sides despite a strong second quarter where Clare hit nine of the last thirteen scores of the opening half to lead 0-12 0-11 at the break.
Ben Cunningham on his return to Cusack Park since forming part of the St Finbarr’s side defeated by Ballyea in the Munster club last winter proved to be the main man for Cork, scoring 1-05 and leading their charge in the final ten minutes where they outscored Clare 1-05 0-03.
Cork’s win sets them up for a Munster semi-final at least with the side manged by Ben O’Connor firmly poised to make the provincial final.
Basic errors and poor decision making hindered Clare, they over-carried the ball when a score was at hand and didn’t demonstrate the fire which had lit up their early showings, their ability to pull back draws against Tipperary and Limerick showed a spirit which was somehow lacking on this occasion.
John Conneally and Jack O’Neill were best for the Banner while too many players were guilty of fading in and out of proceedings. Hopefully, they will have a chance to rectify this and produce a performance fitting of their calibre.
Scorers Cork: B Cunningham (1-5 5f), T Wilk (0-5), D Healy (0-4), T O’Connell (0-2), D Cremin (0-2), W Buckley (0-2), R O’Sullivan (0-1), S Kingston (0-1), C Walsh (0-1)
Scorers Clare: K Smyth (0-6 4f), O O’Donnell (0-3), D Kennedy (0-2), P Crotty (0-2), J O’Neill (0-2), N O’Farrell (0-2), S Dunford (0-1), S Rynne (0-1), J Collins (0-1), C Cleary (0-1), C Whelan (0-1 1f).
1: Brion Saunderson (Midleton)
2: Seán Daly (Randal Óg)
3: Shane Kingston (Ballinora)
4: Darragh O’Sullivan (Ballinhassig)
5: James Dwyer (Ballincollig)
6: Eoin Downey (Glen Rovers)
9: Timmy Wilk (Cobh)
8: Tadhg O’Connell (Ballincollig)
7: Micheál Mullins (Whitechurch)
12: Diarmuid Healy (Lisgoold)
11: Ben Cunningham (St Finbarrs)
14: Colin Walsh (Kanturk)
10: William Buckley (St Finbarrs)
23: David Cremin (Midleton)
15: Ross O’Sullivan (Na Piarsaigh)
18. Mark Howell (Douglas) for Daly (27),
21. Mikey Finn (Midleton) for O’Sullivan (43)
19. Cillian Tobin (Bride Rovers) for Dwyer (51)
24. Brian Keating (Ballincollig) for Walsh (56)
20. Cillian Tobin (St Finbarrs) for O’Connell (59)
1: Aaron Shanahan (Tulla)
5: Jarlath Collins (Éire Óg)
3: John Conneally (Clooney/Quin)
4: Ian MacNamara (Killanena)
6: Daithí Lohan (Wolfe Tones)
2: Oisin Clune (Feakle)
7: Oran Cahill (Éire Óg)
10: Oisin O’Donnell (Crusheen)
8: Sean Rynne (Inagh/Kilnamona)
9: Jack O’Neill (Clooney/Quin)
11: Patrick Crotty (Scariff)
12: Keith Smyth (Killanena)
13: David Kennedy (Sixmilebridge)
14: Senan Dunford (Tubber)
15: Gearoid Sheedy (Ogonnelloe)
21. Niall O’Farrell (Broadford) for Smyth (42)
18. Colm Cleary (O’Callaghans Mills) for Kennedy (44)
24. Killian O’Connor (Corofin) for Sheedy (56)
22. Keelan Hartigan (Scariff) for O’Donnell (56)
20. Conor Whelan (Whitegate) for Rynne (59)
Referee: Conor Doyle (Tipperary)