*Pearse Lillis. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Clare’s senior footballers suffered their first league defeat of 2021 but it was not enough to dent them progressing to the semi-finals of Division 2.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Despite it being a game that Clare could have won, there was still delight radiating from the Banner camp as they sealed their place in the semi-finals of the Allianz National Football League Division 2.
A clash with Mayo is the reward for Clare who ended up in second spot of Division 2 South, a share of the spoils may have been enough to secure a semi-final meeting with Meath, the main thing for Colm Collins and his side being that they are in the last four.
In what was their first defeat of this year’s league, Clare struggled more in this encounter than any other when it came to winning their own kickouts. Stephen Ryan went longer with his distribution while the Kilrush netminder also had less options to kick to.
Ronan McCarthy’s Cork started the stronger but saw their three point advantage wiped out when David Tubridy converted a penalty on eight minutes. The veteran Doonbeg attacker would finish the contest with 1-08 to his name as he continued his strong League form.
Clare built on from this and took the lead for the first time on fourteen minutes via Tubridy. Futher scores from the publican and Éire Óg’s Gavin Cooney saw their advantage grow to three points.
However the arrival of the water break undid this work and Cork fired six scores without reply. Substitute Cathail O’Mahony proved too hot to handle as he kicked three points in a six minute window. Colm Collins and his management were forced to redeploy Cian O’Dea to the full-back line at half-time in a bid to curb the influence of the Mitchelstown marksman.
Unable to regain the lead as a result of this spell, Clare were always chasing the game as Cork continued to keep their account ticking over. Ten different scorers registered for the Rebels in the encounter.
Both sides kicked ten points each in the second half, crucially it was Cork that led by a single score at the interval and this remained the gap at the sounding of the final whistle.
For Clare, Tubridy, Ciaran Russell and Gavin Cooney impressed while the freshness from the sideline also added a new dimension to their challenge. Tadhg Corkery, John O’Rourke, Cathail O’Mahony and Sean Powter did best for the Rebels.
Scorers Cork: C O’Mahony (0-05 1f), L Connolly (0-04 3f), J O’Rourke (0-04), B Hurley (0-02), T Corkery (0-02), P Walsh (0-01), K O’Driscoll (0-01), S White (0-01), I Maguire (0-01), M Taylor (0-01).
Scorers Clare: D Tubridy (1-08 6f), E Cleary (0-04 3f), G Cooney (0-01), C O’Connor (0-01), D O’Neill (0-01), P Lillis (0-01), D Bohannon (0-01), A Griffin (0-01).
1: Mícheál Martin (Nemo Rangers)
2: Sean Powter (Douglas)
3: Daniel O’Mahony (Knocknagree)
4: Kevin Flahive (Douglas)
5: Tadhg Corkery (Cill na Martra)
6: Sean Meehan (Kiskeam)
7: Mattie Taylor (Mallow)
8: Ian Maguire (St. Finbarrs)
9: Paul Walsh (Kanturk)
10: Sean White (Clonakilty)
11: Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues)
12: Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
13: John O’ Rourke (Carbery Rangers)
14: Cíaran Sheehan (Éire Óg)
15: Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers)
20: Cian Kiely (Ballincollig) for O’Mahony (11) (Inj)
25: Cathail O’ Mahony (Mitchelstown) for Sheehan (21) (iNJ)
26: Brian Hurley (Castlehaven) for White (42)
23: Mark Collins (Castlehaven) for Walsh (42)
17: Paul Ring (Aghabullogue) for Powter (50) (Inj)
18: Kevin O’ Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Corkery (50)
24: Damien Gore (Kilmacabea) for Connolly (64)
1: Stephen Ryan (Kilrush Shamrocks)
2: Ciarán Russell (Éire Óg)
3: Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)
19: Kevin Harnett (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
5: Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)
6: Sean Collins (Cratloe)
7: Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
8: Darren O’Neill (Éire Óg)
9: Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)
10: Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare)
11: Eoin Cleary (St Josephs Miltown)
12: Darragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels)
13: Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg)
14: David Tubridy (Doonbeg)
21: Joe McGann (St Breckans)
26: Dean Ryan (Na Fianna) for Harnett (21)
25: Conall Ó hÁiniféin (Éire Óg) for Ryan (HT)
22: Emmet McMahon (Kildysart) for Walsh (53)
15: Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Cooney (60)
18: Aaron Griffin (Lissycasey) for McGann (60)
23: Cormac Murray (St Josephs Miltown) for O’Neill (65).
Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary)