National Hurling League Division 1A: Clare 2-18 – Cork 2-18
Clare & Cork have shared the spoils in Cusack Park following a dramatic encounter in the final round of the National Hurling League.
It was the visitors who started the better in the county grounds outscoring Clare by 1-03 to 0-01 inside the opening eight minutes with Pádraig Power rattling the back of Eibhear Quilligan’s net solidifying the Rebel’s electric start.
Clare soon kicked into gear however and a fiery first half encounter commenced, with David Reidy raising the Banner’s first green flag of the day on the next attack , while Aidan McCarthy, Ian Galvin and David Fitzgerald all split the posts to leave the minimum between the sides after 23 minutes.
Seámus Harnedy then raided for his sides second goal of the day before Jack O’Connor followed up with a point to put some relative daylight between the sides once again as Cork now led by 2-10 to 1-08 just seven minutes from half-time.
However, sharpshooter Aidan McCarthy was on hand to break the Rebel momentum , finishing a ground shot to the back of the net following a break in the square to put the contest firmly back in the melting pot once again.
The sides traded scores to the half time whistle with Clooney-Quin’s Ryan Taylor adding his name to the scoresheet before quickfire scores from Alan Cadogan & Brian Hayes saw Cork in the ascendancy at half time leading by 2-12 to 2-10.
The tit for tat shootout resumed with vigour on the restart much to the satisfaction of the Cusack park crowd with Diarmuid Ryan and Aidan McCarthy striking twice without reply to level matters on the scoreboard.
Cork began to ring the changes in preparation for their upcoming league semi-final and Clare gradually gained a stronger foothold with on the on field concerns and with just ten minutes remaining in the tie it looked as if scores from Robin Mounsey and Aidan McCarthy who would finish the day with a personal tally of 1-10 to his name yet again had set Clare well on their way to victory.
However the dismissal of David Fitzgerald by way of a straight red card just five minutes from the final whistle provided the Rebels with the numerical advantage heading down the home stretch.
Conor Cahalane & Conor Lehane took full advantage of the extra playing space in the park to level matters deep into additional time as full time arrived with the sides deadlocked in Cusack Park on a full time score of Clare 2-18 to Cork 2-18.
Brian Lohan’s charges will now turn their attentions to the opening round of the Munster Hurling Championship on April 23rd when they welcome Tipperary to Cusack Park.