All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final Replay – Clare 5-16 Cork 3-16

Clare claim a game borrowed from the gods

By Diarmuid O’Flynn, Croke Park for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Click to view photos from the game – courtesy of George Hatchell

Clare 5-16 Cork 3-16

LET there be no doubt about the best team in hurling in 2013 after this magnificent All-Ireland final replay in sold-out Croke Park (82,276) on Saturday. Yes, Cork could have tied it up in the final minute, the ball just bouncing away from sub Cathal Naughton in a possible goal-scoring position, cleared by Seadna Morey and goaled at the other end by Darach Honan, but as in the drawn game three weeks ago, had Clare been denied it would have been an injustice.

Jimmy’s young Rebels are good, an awful lot better than many of us gave them credit for earlier this year; Davy’s even younger Banner-boys are better, late teenage sub Shane O’Donnell (19) the headline kid after this epic with his 3-3 from play. “We’ve had unreal games this year so far,” said Clare captain Patrick Donnellan, accepting the Liam MacCarthy Cup on behalf of his team, “Not least three weeks ago – today capped it off. We are a team that pride ourselves on being honest, a team that prides itself on its commitment, a team that prides itself on everything we have – it’s brilliant then to meet a team today with all those same qualities.” It was generous tribute by Patrick but no more than Cork deserved.

The drawn game was a heart-stopping see-saw event, Clare looking the better side for almost the entire game only to be overtaken in injury-time by goal-scoring Cork. It had been the first time in that match that the Rebels were ahead and they were within 30 seconds of being crowned champions. Then came a dramatic last-gasp point from corner-back Domhnall O’Donovan, a point that will certainly go down in Clare hurling history, a point that salvaged a draw, gave them another day out, and ultimately, this All-Ireland title.

This replay, and as pointed out by Donnellan, did indeed cap it off, in fact capped off a fantastic hurling season. Forty scores, eight goals, magnificent scoring from both sets of forwards yet, in apparent contradiction, heroes galore in defence also. Score for score the pattern followed almost directly the pattern of the drawn game, Clare hitting the front early, Cork playing catch-up; there was one glaring exception however. Three weeks ago Clare couldn’t buy a goal (it ended 0-25 to 3-16), on this occasion they just came raining down, live wire full-forward Shane O’Donnell with a first half hat-trick.

His first came in the 6th minute, Donnellan carving open the Cork defence with a superb solo from well inside his own half before drawing Shane O’Neill and parting to O’Donnell; that score put Clare 1-3 to 0-2 ahead. His second goal came just seven minutes later, this time Conor McGrath (hardest working player on the pitch) doing the set-up work, O’Neill again forced to leave O’Donnell unattended, in point-blank range – 2-5 to 0-4, Clare rampant. Cork keeper Anthony Nash stopped the rot for Cork, a bullet 20m free from the right side of the D past 13 defenders on the Clare goal-line, reducing Clare’s lead to a goal (2-6 to 1-6, 19m). Less than a minute later Shane was in again, snapping up a ball that broke oh-so-perfectly for him off a Cork defender’s stick, goal number three and Clare back in command – 3-6 to 1-6.

As they had done in the drawn game, however, Cork held their nerve, didn’t panic, and points from Seamus Harnedy (superb), Patrick Horgan and Pa Cronin had them back well in contention at the break, trailing by four (3-9 to 1-11). Surely, we were thinking, this can’t go on, these teams simply won’t be able to maintain this pace, this intensity? We were wrong. Clare got the first score of the new half, a sublime Tony Kelly point (does he score any other kind?) but it was Cork who began to build the momentum and by the 53rd minute, Horgan with four points, they had tied it up, 3-10 to 1-16.

Clare were struggling, needed a lifeline. As in the first half it was that youngster Shane O’Donnell doing the necessary; not a goal this time but his point, arguably, was as important as any of those first half goals. That score settled Clare again and two more points (John Conlon and Colin Ryan) had them a goal clear again by the 59th minute. Again the ground was rocked by a goal, again the teams were tied, Conor Lehane’s fierce first-time drive saved by Clare defender Domhnall O’Donovan but Harnedy on hand to shoot home the rebound.

This was Cork heart, Cork courage, the gauntlet thrown down again to Clare. Crucially, however, the Rebels just couldn’t get their noses in front. Again it was Clare with the next score and fittingly, it was that man Conor McGrath, and a goal worthy of winning any game. Capitalising on a cruel break from between two Cork defenders, he pounced on the loose ball, took off, had a glance, then placed a powerful shot to a spot even Anthony Nash couldn’t reach. Now a goal up, Clare added three points, seemed to be coasting home, but still Cork weren’t done. Another goal, another beauty, Pa Cronin with a huge catch and perfect pass, Stephen Moylan doing the finishing. There was time for one more Cork attack, Naughton had that half-chance, missed, Morey picked up the break, set up Honan at the other end – game over, season over.

But God, what a game, surely the game of the Gods.

Scorers for Clare: S O’Donnell (3-3); Colin Ryan (0-7, six frees, one 65); C McGrath (1-1); D Honan (1-0); T Kelly (0-3); J Conlon (0-2).

Scorers for Cork: P Horgan (0-9, seven frees); S Harnedy (1-2); S Moylan (1-1); A Nash (1-0, free); C Lehane (0-2); P Cronin, L McLoughlin (0-1).

CLARE: P Kelly; D O’Donovan, C Dillon, D McInerney; B Bugler, Conor Ryan, P O’Connor; P Donnellan (c), C Galvin; J Conlon, T Kelly, Colin Ryan; P Collins, S O’Donnell, C McGrath. Subs: C McInerney for Galvin (52); N O’Connell for Collins (59); D Honan for O’Donnell (66); S Morey for Kelly (71). Blood sub: F Lynch for O’Donnell (50/51);

CORK: A Nash; C O’Sullivan, S O’Neill, B Murphy; C Joyce, S McDonnell, W Egan; D Kearney, L McLoughlin; S Harnedy, C McCarthy, P Cronin (c); L O’Farrell, P Horgan, C Lehane. Subs: S White for Egan (23); S Moylan for O’Farrell (35); T Kenny for Kearney (38); C Naughton for McCarthy (55); K Murphy for McDonnell (inj. 67).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

 

Joyful Clare win it under the lights

Report from the GAA.ie web site

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final: Clare 5-16 Cork 3-16

Clare are the All-Ireland hurling champions after coming out on top in an incredible final against Cork on Saturday evening. Under the lights at a rapturous Croke Park, Davy Fitzgerald’s team kept finding a way against a Cork side that simply refused to give in. Yet Clare were relentless, and hit a remarkable tally of 5-16, with 19-year-old Shane O’Donnell contributing 3-3 of their tally.

O’Donnell was the only change from the last game, replacing Darach Honan in the Clare attack, and he made an amazing impression with three first-half goals in a display out of a fairytale. But in a fitting conclusion to a game which defies description, Honan came on in injury time and scored a superb individual goal to cap Clare’s victory, their fourth ever in the history of the All-Ireland hurling championship and their first since 1997. Clare lead 3-9 to 1-11 at the end of a brilliant first half, but only registered one point in the third quarter, as Cork found their way back into the game to draw level.

Clare regained the initiative and led by three entering the final 10 minutes, but Seamus Harnedy’s goal on the hour mark brought Cork back into it again, and set up a thrilling finale. But just two minutes later, Conor McGrath cracked in a wonderful goal to cap a superb individual display, and there was no way back for Cork thereafter. McGrath’s goal was followed by a great score from Tony Kelly, and Clare lead by six with time running out.

Cork’s courage, never in question, shone through right until the very end. Stephen Moylan’s goal gave them hope for the two minutes of injury-time, but as they piled bodies forward in search of an equalising goal, Clare broke away. The ball ended up with Honan on the left wing, and the rangy Clonlara man weaved his way in on top of the goal, and somehow managed to bundle the ball past Nash, the fifth time Clare had done that. That was the final act of what surely rank as one of the greatest hurling finals – and seasons – of all time.

Such was the exhilaration and drama of the drawn game on September 8, it felt unrealistic to expect a similar show on Saturday. But all expectations were met and more in a game of astonishing quality. The game began at a blistering pace, with the two sides firing over five points from play in the first five minutes, with Conor McGrath’s point edging Clare into a 0-3 to 0-2 lead. However, Clare took control of proceedings in the sixth minute when teenage sensation O’Donnell cracked in the first of his three first-half goals.

Clare centre-half-back Patrick Donnellan made a Ciarán Carey-esque run right through the centre of the pitch, eventually finding himself bearing down on the Cork goal. He laid off intelligently to O’Donnell, who fired in low to Anthony Nash’s right. That goal was followed by the first of five first-half frees from the nerveless Colin Ryan, and Clare lead 1-4 to 0-2. Four remained the gap when O’Donnell grabbed his second goal on 13 minutes. Conor McGrath did brilliantly in the build-up, showing great courage to make a run at goal before again laying off to O’Donnell, who was lurking with intent to the right of the goal.

Again, O’Donnell’s finish was clinical, and Clare lead by seven. However, just as they did in the drawn game, Cork found a way back through the blistering puck-power of Anthony Nash. Cork won a 21 yard free from an angle on the right after 17 minutes, and despite the incredible sight of 13 Clare players huddled on the line, the Kanturk man burned an astonishing shot straight into the top right hand corner of the net. Horgan and Ryan continued to trade frees for both sides, and Clare lead 2-6 to 1-6 entering the second quarter. However, Clare were quite dominant from general play, and there was little surprise when they pounced for a third goal on 20 minutes, with O’Donnell securing his place in history with a final hat-trick. McGrath was again involved in the build-up, winning a puck-out and feeding a ball into Podge Collins. Collins broke the ball into the path of O’Donnell, and the Éire Óg man showed great composure to find the net for a third time. Points from Tony Kelly and two Ryan frees followed, and Clare lead 3-9 to 1-7 with half an hour played.

But once again, Cork somehow defied the tide and found a way to stay in the game. Four points without reply before the break – from Séamus Harnedy, Pa Cronin and Patrick Horgan (2) – left them just four behind at half-time and right in the game. A brilliant Kelly point after the break put Clare five ahead again, but that was their only score of the third quarter, as Cork managed to pull back level. Patrick Horgan clipped over four frees alongside an effort from Stephen Moylan, and it was 3-10 to 1-16 after 53 minutes.

The final quarter was fast and furious, but Clare came out on top in the end. Points from O’Donnell, Conlon and a free from Ryan had Clare three ahead again on 60 minutes, but Séamus Harnedy was quickest to pounce after Pa Kelly saved Conor Lehane’s shot, firing low along the ground to the net to leave the sides level again, 3-13 to 2-16. But then, McGrath scored a goal worthy of any final. He showed brilliant skill to flick the ball up and emerge from a ruck, he raced in on goal and showed wonderful composure to sear the sliotar into the top left hand corner of the net. The Kelly point which followed it was a real killer blow to Cork, and more points from O’Donnell and Ryan left the gap at six with time almost up.

Moylan’s goal briefly threatened another Cork comeback, but Honan had the final say, doing great work to force his way in on goal before eventually bundling the ball into the net to send the Clare fans into delirium, as they knew victory was theirs by then. And so in the words of the late Séamus Heaney, Liam MacCarthy will “drive out west, Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore.”

***

Scorers for Clare: S O’Donnell 3-3, C Ryan 0-7 (6f, 1 ’65), C McGrath 1-1, T Kelly 0-3, D Honan 1-0, J Conlon 0-2,

Scorers for Cork: P Horgan 0-9 (7f), S Harnedy 1-2, S Moylan 1-1, A Nash 1-0 (1-0f), C Lehane 0-2, L McLoughlin 0-1, P Cronin 0-1

Clare: P Kelly; D O’Donovan, D McInerney, C Dillon; B Bugler, P Donnellan (c), P O’Connor; C Ryan, C Galvin; J Conlon, T Kelly C Ryan; P Collins, S O’Donnell, C McGrath. Subs: F Lynch for S O’Donnell (Temporary, 50-51), C McInerney for C Galvin (52), N O’Connell for P Collins (59), D Honan for S O’Donnell (66), S Morey for T Kelly (71).

Cork: A Nash; S McDonnell, S O’Neill, C O’Sullivan; B Murphy, C Joyce, W Egan; L Mc Loughlin, D Kearney; S Harnedy, C McCarthy, P Cronin; L O’Farrell, P Horgan, C Lehane. Subs: S White for W Egan (23), S Moylan for L O’Farrell (HT), T Kenny for D Kearney (39), C Naughton for C McCarthy (55), K Murphy for S McDonnell (67).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

Attendance: 82,276

Fixture Details

28.09.2013 (Sat)

GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Final – Replay

Páirc an Chrócaigh 17:00

An Clár v Corcaigh

Referee: James McGrath (An Iarmhí)

(E.T. if Necessary)

Team News

Cork team to play Clare: Anthony Nash, Stephen McDonnell, Shane O’Neill, Conor O’Sullivan, Brian Murphy, Christopher Joyce, William Egan, Cian McCarthy, Daniel Kearney, Seamus Harnedy, Pa Cronin, Conor Lehane, Luke O’Farrell, Patrick Horgan, Jamie Coughlan

Clare team to face Cork: Patrick Kelly; Domhnaill O’Donovan, David McInerney, Cian Dillon; Brendan Bugler, Pat Donnellan (c) Patrick O’Connor; Conor Ryan, Colm Galvin; John Conlon, Tony Kelly Colin Ryan; Padraig Collins, Darach Honan, Conor McGrath.

2013 Meetings to date

September 8th – All Ireland Senior Hurling Final – Cork 3-16 Clare 0-25
Match Report

June 23rd – Munster Senior Hurling Semi Final – Cork 0-23 Clare 0-15
Match Report

April 14th – Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Relegation Final – Clare 0-31 Cork 2-23
Match Report

March 16th – Allianz Hurling League Division 1A – Clare 1-22 Cork 1-16
Match Report

February 1st – Waterford Crystal Cup Semi Final – Clare 0-20 Cork 2-11
Match Report

SATURDAY SETTING FOR CLARE v CORK: THE ALL-IRELAND FINAL RE-MATCH

It’s back to Croke Park on Saturday evening for the replay of the GAA All-Ireland senior hurling final when Clare take on Cork in what will be the sixth game between the counties this year.

It’s their third championship clash, having previously met in the Munster semi-final, which Cork won by eight points, and in the All-Ireland final on September which ended level (Clare 0-25 Cork 3-16).

It’s the second successive year that the final has gone to a replay (Kilkenny beat Galway last year). Prior to that, there had been no replay since 1959 (Waterford beat Kilkenny).

The throw-in on Saturday will be at 5.0, with James McGrath (Westmeath) as referee.

Paths to the final replay

CLARE

Clare 2-20 Waterford 1-15 (Munster quarter-final), Thurles

Cork 0-23 Clare 0-15 (Munster semi-final), Gaelic Grounds

Clare 1-32 Laois 0-15 (All-Ireland qualifiers), Ennis.

Clare 3-24 Wexford 1-20 (All-Ireland qualifiers – after extra-time) Thurles

Clare 1-23 Galway 2-13 (All-Ireland quarter-final), Thurles

Clare1-22 Limerick 0-18 (All-Ireland semi-final), Croke Park

Clare 0-25 Cork 3-16 (All-Ireland final, Croke Park)

Clare scorers

Colin Ryan……………………….0-63

Tony Kelly……………………….0-19

Padraic Collins………………..0-18

Conor McGrath………………..2-9

John Conlon……………………..1-10

Shane O’Donnell……………..3-2

Darach Honan…………………..0-10

Cathal McInerney………… 2-2

Colm Galvin…………………..0-6

Peter Duggan………………….0-4

Brendan Bugler………………0-3

Patrick O’Connor……………0-3

Fergal Lynch…………………..0-2

Patrick Donnellan……………0-2

Liam Markham………………0-1

David McInerney………….0-1

Cian Dillon………………….0-1

Seadna Morey……………..0-1

Aaron Cunningham………0-1

Nicky O’Connell…………0-1

Conor Ryan……………….0-1

Domhnall O’Donovan..0-1

CORK

Cork 0-23 Clare 0-15 (Munster semi-final), Gaelic Grounds

Limerick 0-24 Cork 0-15 (Munster final), Gaelic Grounds

Cork 0-19 Kilkenny 0-14 (All-Ireland quarter-final), Thurles

Cork 1-24 Dublin 1-19 (All-Ireland semi-final), Croke Park

Cork 3-16 Clare 0-25 (All-Ireland final, Croke Park)

Cork scorers: Cork scorers

Patrick Horgan……….1-40

Seamus Harnedy………0-11

Jamie Coughlan………..0-6

Pa Cronin………………..0-7

Conor Lehane………….1-8

Luke O’Farrell…………0-6

Anthony Nash………….1-5

Daniel Kearney…………0-5

Stephen Moylan………0-2

Cathal Naughton……..0-1

Cian McCarthy…………0-1

William Egan…………..0-1

Lorcan McLoughlin…0-3

Brian Murphy…………0-1

Last Five Championship Clashes

2013: Clare 0-25 Cork 3-16 (All-Ireland final)

2013: Cork 0-23 Clare 0-15 (Munster semi-final)

2008: Cork 2-19 Clare 2-17 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

2007: Cork 1-18 Clare 1-11 (Munster quarter-final)

2006: Cork 0-20 Clare 0-14 (Munster semi-final)

Last Five All-Ireland finals

CORK

2013: Clare 0-25 Cork 3-16

2006: Kilkenny 1-16 Cork 1-13

2005: Cork 1-21 Galway 1-16

2004: Cork 0-17 Kilkenny 0-9

2003: Kilkenny 1-14 Cork 1-11

CLARE

2013: Clare 0-25 Cork 3-16

2002: Kilkenny 2-20 Clare 0-19

1997: Clare 0-20 Tipperary 2-13

1995: Clare 1-13 Offaly 2-8

1932: Kilkenny 3-3 Clare 2-3

ALL-IRELAND HONOURS TABLE

Will Cork cut Kilkenny’s lead to three or will Clare join Galway and Offaly the four mark? Cork are currently four behind Kilkenny and four ahead of Tipperary. Clare will move up to joint 7th with Galway and Offaly if they win.

34: Kilkenny (1904-1905-1907-1909-1911-1912-1913-1922-1932-1933-1935-1939-1947-1957-1963-1967-1969-1972-1974-1975-1979-1982-1983-1992-1993-2000-2002-2003-2006-2007-2008-2009-2011-2012).

30: CORK (1890-1892-1893-1894-1902-1903-1919-1926-1928-1929-1931-1941-1942-1943-1944-1946-1952-1953-1954-1966-1970-1976-1977-1978-1984-1986-1990-1999-2004-2005).

26: Tipperary (1887-1895-1896-1898-1899-1900-1906-1908-1916-1925-1930-1937-1945-1949-1950-1951-1958-1961-962-1964-1965-1971-1989-1991-2001-2010)

7: Limerick (1897-1918-21-34-36-40-73).

6: Dublin (1889-1917-1920-1924-1927-1938).

6: Wexford (1910-1955-1956-1960-1968-1996)

4: Galway (1923-1980-1987-1988)

4: Offaly (1981-1985-1994-1998)

3: CLARE (1914-1995-1997)

2: Waterford (1948-1959)

1: Kerry (1891)

1: Laois (1915)

1: London (1901)

PREVIOUS ALL-IRELAND SH FINAL REPLAYS

2012: Kilkenny 3-22 Galway 3-11

1959: Waterford 3-12 Kilkenny 1-10

1934: Limerick 5-2 Dublin 2-6

1931: Cork 5-8 Kilkenny 3-4

1908: Tipperary 3-15 Dublin 1-5

1905*Kilkenny 7-7 Cork 2-9

*Cork won the first game but a re-match was ordered due to an objection.

2013 Championship Top Scorers

Colin Ryan (Clare)……………………….0-63 (63pts)

Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny)………………..0-50 (50pts)

Jack Guiney (Wexford)…………….. 2-40 (46pts)

Patrick Horgan (Cork)……….. ……..1-40 (43pts)

Paul Ryan (Dublin)……………………..3-32 (41 pts)

Maurice Shanahan (Waterford)….1-29 (32pts)

Joe Canning (Galway)………………1-25 (28pts)

Derek McNicholas (Westmeath)…..0-21 (21pts)

Joey Boland (Dublin)…………………0-21 (21pts)

Neil McManus (Antrim)…………….2-15 (21pts)