Rebels’ handy opening battle
Cork 1-23 Clare 0-11
By Michael Moynihan for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Monday, May 23, 2011
THE usual cliché after a game like yesterday’s Munster SFC tie in Páirc Uí Chaoimh is tougher tests ahead, so we’ll take it off the leash here for a run around. Cork were far too strong for Clare in this game, pulling away in the second-half to win by 15 and never looking troubled by their opponents. The game ended on a sour note, when Clare’s Graham Kelly got involved with Cork’s John Miskella. Both were yellow-carded and as it was Kelly’s second, he saw red — literally, as it turned out, because once referee Eddie Kinsella pointed to the sideline Kelly felled Miskella in front of the official. Kelly endeared himself to the home support even more with a farewell wave as he went down the tunnel, but Miskella had the last laugh with a late point which was cheered to the echo by the Cork followers.
It wasn’t in keeping with the rest of the game, which saw Clare start well in front of 4,186 spectators before Cork eventually found their feet. The game was over as a contest well before half-time when Donncha O’Connor got the only goal of the game, and though Clare rallied briefly early in the second-half, Cork pulled further away as the game wore on. Cork got into their formidable stride around the middle of the field early on and kept the Clare defence under pressure. It was one-way traffic as the Leesiders’ much-vaunted middle eight players exerted control. Aidan Walsh and Alan O’Connor dominated midfield proper whileGraham Canty and Noel O’Leary drove forward.
The key man was Ciarán Sheehan however — named at corner-forward but lining out at right-half forward, he caused havoc in the Clare half,carrying the ball well. Ahead of him Donncha O’Connor was a focal point for attack and the full-forward involved his colleagues with some clever lay-offs. The sides swapped points early on, but Cork took over with the score 0-2 to 0-2 on eight minutes: Sheehan (two), Daniel Goulding (free) and Donncha O’Connor gave the home side some breathing space. At 0-6 to 0-2 Cork were comfortable and then came the goal on 22 minutes which meant they were cruising. Patrick Kelly made the incision, gliding through the middle of the Clare defence, and he placed O’Connor unselfishly to flick home from near the small square. It might have been worse for Clare – Cork could have had five goals in the first-half: a Sheehan run ended with Donncha O’Connor punching just over, rather than under, the bar, Donncha Goulding put a shot six inches past the upright, O’Connor hit the bar with another punch and Sheehan put the ball down Clare ‘keeper Joe Hayes’ throat when clean through on goal.
As it was, by the break Cork were ahead 1-9 to 0-4, thanks to further points from Goulding (two) and Aidan Walsh. After the break Clare threw the kitchen sink at Cork, aided by the wind, and rattled off three points from Alan Clohessy, Rory Donnelly – their best forward all through – and David Tubridy but Donncha O’Connor steadied the ship for Cork. The full-forward had two points (one free) and it deflated the Clare challenge entirely. From there until the end it was a procession of scores for the home side, with several players chipping in. Fittingly man of the match Ciarán Sheehan popped over the final score, giving Cork a final tally of 1-23.
There were plenty of positives for Cork to take from the game – Graham Canty, out injured for so long, came through the 70 minutes unharmed, and moved from half-back to full-back at the break. Michael Shields showed up well when he swapped with Canty andexcelled at centre-back, scoring a point. Debutant Denis O’Sullivan was a calm presence on the wing, while 24 scores over 70 minutes was a fine return for manager Conor Counihan. However, as the Cork boss acknowledged after the game, his side had those first-half goal chances that they didn’t put away. “We’re doing that with a while,” said Counihan. He’s right — a conversion rate of one in five or six chances will have to be improved as Cork progress deeper into the summer. Then again, the accompanying cliche to ‘tougher tests ahead’ is‘plenty there to work on’. Counihan didn’t really need to say that out loud yesterday, but he obliged. Cliché or not, he’ll know it was true all the same.
Subs for Cork: P Kerrigan for Goold (47), P Kissane for Shields (63), F Lynch for Kelly (63), N Murphy for A Walsh (65), J Miskella for D O’Sullivan (66).
Subs for Clare: Ger Quinlan for Browne (28), S Brennan for C O’Connor (ht), S McNeiles for John Hayes (ht).
Scorers for Cork: D Goulding 0-8 (6f), D O’Connor 1-4 (2f), C Sheehan 0-4, P O’Neill 0-2, M Shields, A O’Connor, P Kerrigan, D Goold and J Miskella 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: R Donnelly 0-5, D Tubridy 0-3 (1f), G Brennan 0-2, A. Clohessy 0-1.
Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Laois)
Cork 1-23 Clare 0-11
Sunday, 22 May 2011 20:43
From the RTE web site
All-Ireland and Allianz Football League champions Cork proved too strong for Clare in today’s Munster SFC opener at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Conor Counihan’s men moved 1-09 to 0-04 ahead before half-time, aided by Donncha O’Connor’s punched goal in the 22nd minute. Paddy Kelly burst through the Clare defence and laid the ball off for O’Connor to finish it to the net. Gary Brennan had a late goal-scoring chance for Clare which he blasted over the crossbar. Clare’s excellent corner forward Rory Donnelly kicked two points from play in the first half and finished with five in all.
Into the second half, an in-form Daniel Goulding (0-08) kept the hosts on track. David Tubridy and Alan Clohessy also got on the scoresheet for the Banner men, who had Graham Kelly sent-off in the closing minutes. Centre-back Kelly earned his second yellow card for an incident involving Cork substitute John Miskella. Worse followed when a clearly frustrated Kelly launched a headbutt at Miskella, ensuring the game ended on a sour note. The result will see Cork take on Waterford at the semi-final stage of the provincial Championship on Sunday, 5 June.
David Goold was added to the Cork attack as a replacement for late withdrawal Paul Kerrigan, but they still lined out with 11 players from last September’s All-Ireland final win over Down. Clare did not take long to settle. They leaked two early points to Goulding, but a fisted effort from Brennan and Donnelly’s first of the afternoon got them off the mark. But gradually the difference between the sides started to show. Cork’s physicality and greater ability to create and finish scores helped them move ahead on the scoreboard. With the wind advantage, Goulding (0-03) and Ciaran Sheehan (0-02) had some neatly-struck points and O’Connor’s goal put them in command at 1-06 to 0-03.
Clare struggled at times and midfielder Brennan and Donnelly were their only scorers over the opening 35 minutes. The strong work ethic of Michael McDermott’s side could not be questioned though and they were unfortunate when Brennan’s failed to press goalkeeper Alan Quirke into action. Cork might also have been further ahead at the interval. O’Connor hit the woodwork with a shot and Goulding did have the odd miss, and Clare were still very much in the hunt when they blasted out of the blocks in the second half. They had successive points from Clohessy, Donnelly and Tubridy, before O’Connor pointed from play and added a successful free to Cork’s total.
Cork extended their lead as the half wore on with substitute Kerrigan getting in on the scoring act and full-back Michael Shields racing up from the back to land the point of the day. But it was Messrs. Goulding, O’Connor (1-04) and Sheehan (0-04) who had the biggest say as the recently-crowned Allianz Football League champions made a satisfying start to their summer campaign. Of course, the sight of captain Graham Canty returning in red will offer the Rebels further encouragement.
CORK: A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields (0-01), J O’Sullivan; G Canty, N O’Leary, D O’Sullivan; A O’Connor (0-01), A Walsh (0-01); C Sheehan (0-04), P Kelly, P O’Neill (0-01); D Goulding (0-08, 0-06f), D O’Connor (1-04, 0-02f), D Goold.
Subs used: P Kerrigan (0-01) for Goold (47 mins), P Kissane for Shields, F Lynch for Kelly (both 62), N Murphy for Walsh (65), J Miskella (0-01) for O’Sullivan (66).
CLARE: Joe Hayes; K Hartnett, B Duggan, L Healy; John Hayes, G Kelly, M McMahon; N Browne, G Brennan (0-02); G Kelly, D Tubridy (0-03, 0-01f), C O’Connor; A Clohessy (0-01), D O’Neill, R Donnelly (0-05).
Subs used: S Brennan for O’Connor, S McNeiles for John Hayes (both half-time), J Dowling for O’Neill (70 mins).
Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Laois)
Clare Senior Football team to play Cork
Gordon Kelly from St Josephs Miltown will once again Caption the side from centre back, as Clare take on the All -Ireland Champions.
Michael McDermot : “When you go into the Championship football its all about winning. We are going down to Cork with the intention of winning the game, we are not going down for moral a moral victory, we are not going down to keep within a few points of Cork, this Clare Team is not like that”
1. Joe Hayes S. Ó hAodha Lissycasey
2. Kevin Hartnett C. Ó hAirtnéada Meelick
3. Barry Duggan B. Ó Dúgáin Cratloe
4. Laurence Healy L. Ó hÉalaithe Ennistymon
5. John Hayes S. Ó hAodha Kilrush Shamrocks
6. Gordon Kelly (Capt) G. Ó Ceallaigh St Josephs Miltown
7. Martin McMahon M. Mac Mathúna Kilmurry Ibrickane
8. Niall Browne N. De Brún Two Mile House Kildare
9. Gary Brennan G. Ó Braonán Clondegad
10. Graham Kelly G. Ó Ceallaigh St Josephs Miltown
11. David Tubridy D. Tiobraide Doonbeg
12. Cathal O’Connor C. Ó Conchúir Coolmeen
13. Rory Donnelly R. Ó Donghaile Cooraclare
14. Darren O’Neill D. Ó Néill Eire Og Ennis
15. Alan Clohessy A. Ó Clothasaigh Liscannor
Keith Ryan C. Ó Riain Shannon Gaels
Mark Tubridy M. Ó Tiobraide Cooraclare
Ger Quinlan G. Ó Caoinnealáin O Currys
Shane Brennan S. Ó Braonán Clondegad
Joe Dowling S. Ó Dúllaing Ennistymon
Shane McNeiles S. Mac Niallais Kildysert
Barry Harnett B.Ó hAirtnéada Meelick
Michael Foran M. Ó Fuaráin O Currys
David O’Connor D. Ó Conchúir St Bridgets Dublin
Dara Blake D. De Bláca Liscannor
Conor Ryan C. Ó Riain Cratloe
Manager : Michael McDermot Selectors : James Foran Liam McHale
CORK (SFC v Clare): A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, J O’Sullivan; D O’Sullivan, N O’Leary, G Canty; A O’Connor, A Walsh; P Kerrigan, P Kelly, P O’Neill; D Goulding, D O’Connor, C Sheehan.