Cork cruise past Clare to book place in Munster Final
An unfortunate error by Laura Solon in the Clare goal three minutes into the second half put Cork on the front foot and left it difficult for Clare to put any further authority on the game. An innocuous ball from Gemma O’Connor dipped under the bar and as Solon put up her hand to collect it spilled from her grasp into the back of the net. From there on it was one way traffic with Cork notching up a further goal and ten points in the remaining 27 minutes of the second half to see the scoreboard reflect double scores at the final whistle Cork 2-20, Clare 1-10.
Orla Cotter registered the first score inside the opening minute before adding a tight angled 20 metre free on four. Niamh O’Dea responded for Clare when she pointed from close range. Katrina Mackey picked off a fine point before Chloe Morey on free taking duty for Clare pointed a 30 metre free to bring Clare to within a point of Cork after eight minutes. Cotter pointed from play before Morey cancelled it out with a pointed 25 metre free. On 12 minutes O’Connor was brought down 35 metres out from goal after making a surging run from midfield and Cotter pointed the resultant free. On 14 minutes Hannah Looney rounded the Clare defence and bore down on goal only for her handpass to shade the crossbar. She was on target again six minutes later when she tapped over from close range before Mackey added to the scoreboard when she split the posts with a fine effort. Aoife Murray between the posts pulled off a point blank save and with it set up an attack that saw Orla Cronin point to put Cork seven clear with two minutes to the half way mark. Cork moved the ball very well and looked very comfortable in possession with Ashling Thompson playing a dominant role at centre back, O’Connor holding centre field and Mackey and Cotter on form up front. A long range effort from Clares Andrea O’Keeffe pulled one back for Clare, before Murray was penalised for a fast puck out and the resultant 45 metre free was converted by the unerring Morey. Vera Loughnane took a well worked point in injury time to see Clare trail by four at the break 0-6 to Corks 0-10.
In the opening minute of the second half Solon pulled off a great save from an Amy O’Connor effort, however, two minutes later she was to gift Cork a goal when the sliotar slid from her palm to the back of the net. Morey pointed from play on 34 minutes before Cotter put over a free 45 metres from goal. Mackey showed great control when she took a pass on her stick from O’Connor to point just before Looney struck for goal from an initial save of a Maeve McCarthy shot. Morey pointed a dead ball from 20 metres for the Banner before three unanswered points from Cork through Gemma O’Connor, Thompson and a Cotter free saw Cork 2-15 to Clare’s tally of eight points. Morey put over another placed ball before a further three unanswered Cork points, two from Amy O’Connor and a Cotter 20 metre free. Morey stepped up to drill a 20 metre to the back of the net to score a consolation goal for Clare on 59 minutes. Orla Cotter closed out the scoring with a 40 metre free on 60 minutes to see Cork convincingly taking the spoils on a score line of 2-20 to 1-10.
Cork: A. Murray, L. O’Sullivan, R. Buckley (capt.), L. Treacy, E. O’Sullivan, A. Thompson, C. Sigerson, G. O’Connor, J. Barry, O. Cotter, O. Cronin, A. O’Connor, K. Mackey, H. Looney, N. McCarthy.
Subs: R. Kileen for R. Buckley (22, inj), M. McCarthy for J. Barry (HT), L. Homan for N. McCarthy (45), F. Neville for C. Sigerson (52), R. O’Shea for A. O’Connor (54).
Clare: L. Solon, C. Grogan, C. O’Leary, E. O’Connell, L. McMahon, R. McMahon, C. Doyle, M. McGrath, A. O’Keeffe, V. Loughnane, A. Keane (c), A. Malone, O. Devitt, N. O’Dea, C. Morey.
Subs: Z. McInerney for A. Malone, C. Hehir for E. O’Connell, A. Keating for V. Loughnane, A. O’Loughlin
for A. O’Keeffe.
Cork: H. Looney 1-02, G. O’Connor 1-01, O. Cotter 0-09 (0-07f), K. Mackey 0-04, A. O’Connor 0-02, O. Cronin & A. Thompson 0-01 each.
Clare: C. Morey 1-06 (1-04f, 0-0145), V. Loughnane, A. O’Keeffe, N. O’Dea & A. Keating 0-01 each.
Referee: Kevin O’Brien, Limerick