Cork power to Munster Minor Hurling Championship title 2017-07-09 23:00:00

Electric Ireland Munster Minor Hurling Final

CORK 4-21 CLARE 0-16

By Jackie Cahill at Semple Stadium

Cork are Electric Ireland Munster minor hurling champions for the first time since 2008.

Denis Ring’s young Rebels scored a 17-point victory over Clare in this afternoon’s provincial decider in Thurles, to collect a 33rd title in the grade.

Cork were irresistible and marked themselves out as very strong All-Ireland contenders with an impressive display.

Evan Sheehan finished as man-of-the-match, scoring 2-2, while sub Barry Murphy and Robert Downey also raised green flags.

Cork are through to an All-Ireland semi-final on August 13, while outclassed Clare will regroup for a quarter-final.

The writing was on the wall from a long way out for Clare, who fell further and further adrift as the game wore on.

Cork opened up with the first three points of the game but Clare worked their way back into contention and were just a point down, 0-4 to 0-5, by the 13th minute.

Sheehan netted in the 17th minute, finishing at the second attempt after Clare goalkeeper Eamon Foudy had kept out his initial effort, and Cork, inspired by Daire Connery in the opening half particularly, pushed on from there.

Four minutes later, Sheehan was at it again, this time working away across the 20m line with some deft work before hammering a low shot past Foudy.

Clare were struggling to keep in touch, as Tiarnán Agnew landed some placed balls, but Cork were ten points clear at the break, leading by 2-11 to 0-7.

The second half followed a similar pattern and the end result was put beyond any lingering doubt when Liam O’Shea’s crossfield ball picked out Barry Murphy, who collected at the second attempt before finishing well.

It was Cork’s third game in eleven days – after they’d come through two matches with Tipperary – but they looked fresh and hungry.

And they put the gloss on an emphatic win with a fourth goal in stoppage time – Downey finding the net from Murphy’s long ball.

Once again, Cork were led brilliantly by skipper Sean O’Leary Hayes, one of their stand-out players, but the attacking side of their play was a sight to behold.

Appearing in their first Munster minor decider since that last victory nine years ago, Cork made no mistake and were full value for the win.

Killian McDermott popped over three Clare points after coming in as sub – but Clare were no match for Cork.

Scorers for Cork: Evan Sheehan 2-2, Daire Connery 0-6 (5f), Robert Downey 1-2, Barry Murphy 1-1, Brian Turnbull 0-4 (2f), Liam O’Shea 0-2, Sean O’Leary Hayes, Craig Hanafin, Brian Roche & Brian Buckley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Tiarnán Agnew 0-7 (6f), Killian McDermott 0-3, Cian Minogue 0-2 (1f), Diarmuid Ryan, Aidan McCarthy (f), Keith White & Riain Considine 0-1 each.

CORK: Ger Collins; Conor O’Callaghan, Sean O’Leary Hayes, Eoin Roche; Aaron Walsh Barry, James Keating, Ger Millerick; Brian Roche, Daire Connery; Diarmuid Lenihan, Craig Hanafin, Evan Sheehan; Brian Turnbull, Robert Downey, Liam O’Shea.

Subs: Barry Murphy for Lenihan (h.t.), Declan Hanlon for Hanafin (48), Ross Howell for Walsh Barry (48), Brian Buckley for O’Shea (52), David Jones for B Roche (57).

CLARE: Eamon Foudy; Bradley Higgins, Ross Hayes, Cian McInerney; Cian Minogue, Diarmuid Ryan, Aidan McCarthy; Keith White, Lee Brack; Tiarnán Agnew, Riain Considine, Eoin Fitzgerald; Gary Cooney, Conor Tierney, Breffnie Horner.

Subs: Killian McDermott for Brack (h.t.), Colin Haugh for Considine (35), Gearóid Cahill for Fitzgerald (39), Paul Corry for Horner (46).

Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)

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