Patrick Horgan hammered over 16 points as Cork picked up their first league victory, beating Clare by 1-20 to 0-20 at Pairc Ui Rinn.
With 4,737 in attendance, Tony Kelly (0-6), Ian Galvin and John Conlon registered fourteen points between them from play for the visitors, who played some decent stuff and will be very disappointed to have been beaten. They will feel that they left this game behind them. Horgan, meanwhile, only registered once from play but his striking from all angles and ranges was immaculate.
The Banner County bossed most of the opening period but a fortuitous Harnedy goal from distance allied to six Harnedy points – five from frees – had the Rebels level at half time, 1-6 to 0-9. The scores would be deadlocked ten more times in the second half...
The hosts had yet to register from play when Harnedy’s delivery-cum-shot bounced inches over the line in the 22nd minute to tie the scores up at 1-3 to 0-6. Earlier, Conlon and Diarmuid Ryan had fired Clare ahead before Horgan floated over a brace of frees. Kelly and Galvin made it double scores and there were further points from Conlon and Kelly in response to Horgan’s third free.
Peter Duggan (free) restored the away team’s lead after Harnedy’s goal and Ryan added his second. Conlon cancelled out Horgan’s fourth but the Leesiders finished the half with two more Horgan scores – their first point from play arriving in the 33rd minute before a last-minute free sailed over from distance.
Cork led for the first time when Horgan converted his own free in the third minute of the second half but Kelly replied with a stunning strike from way out the field.
Jamie Coughlan made it 1-9 to 0-11 after Kelly had again cancelled out a Horgan free but Galvin equalised in the 44th minute. Having missed a few straightforward ones, Duggan stroked over a couple of frees either side of a Daniel Kearney point; Galvin then cancelled out Harnedy’s point after Rory Hayes’ diving block had denied Conor Lehane a Cork goal.
At the three-quarters stage, Horgan tied the scores up again with his ninth point (free) but Kelly instantly restored Clare’s lead with his fifth. Ian Galvin’s fourth – a beauty from play – cancelled out Horgan’s tenth (a free).
A Duggan ‘65’ nudged the Banner back in front with twelve minutes remaining following a Horgan free and Conlon was on hand in the 62nd minute to reply to another Horgan free. Three successive Horgan frees pushed the winners into a two-point lead with three minutes remaining and Man of the Match Kelly’s sixth point had it back to a one-point game but the Rebels sealed the win with injury-time scores from Tim O’Mahony and Horgan (free).
The sides deadlocked with six minutes left, Kelly seemed to have restored Clare’s lead but his point from an acute angle was eventually ruled wide by an uncertain umpire following the advice of none other than Anthony Nash – certainly not the most impartial man at the venue!
Cork - A Nash; S O'Donoghue, D Cahalane, S McDonnell; C Joyce, T O'Mahony (0-1), D Griffin; C Murphy, B Cooper; D Kearney (0-1), S Harnedy (1-1), C Lehane; J Coughlan (0-1), A Walsh, P Horgan (0-16, 15f). Subs: L Meade for C Murphy, A Cadogan for J Coughlan, D Browne for D Griffin.
Clare - K Hogan; R Hayes, D McInerney, J Browne; C Malone, C Cleary, D Fitzgerald; S Golden, C Galvin; P Duggan (0-4, 3f, 1'65), T Kelly (0-6), D Ryan (0-2); I Galvin (0-4), J Conlon (0-4), P Collins. Subs: R Taylor for S Golden, C Guilfoyle for P Duggan, M O'Neill for P Collins, A McCarthy for D Fitzgerald.
Referee - J Ryan.Tweet