Clare minor hurlers were overwhelmed by a Cork side containing some exceptional hurlers who will be lining out at senior level before 2020.
Munster Minor Hurling Championship Final. Cork 4-21 Clare 0-16
This game was the curtain-raiser for the main event in Semple Stadium. Clare made two changes to their semi final side with Cian McInerney replacing Sean Crowley and Paul Corry making way for Conor Tierney, a regular last season.
Craig Hanifin opened the scoring for Cork with a point inside the first minute while Liam O’Shea added a second in the third minute. Midfielder Daire Connery sent over a free from inside his own 65 before Tiernan Agnew got Clare on the scoreboard with a free.
Daire Connery added a fourth from a free and was emerging as Cork’s key player. Agnew added a second for Clare before Riain Considine narrowed the deficit to the minimum after ten minutes. Clare were holding their own without threatening their opponent’s goal.
The breakthrough for Cork came when Evan Sheehan finished a rebound to the net and this was quickly added to by Daire Connery from play to send the title favourites 1-6 to 0-4 clear. Unfortunately the game was put beyond reach when Evan Sheehan pounced for his second goal and Cork were eight clear.
Diarmuid Ryan hit back with an excellent score from play before Robert Downey and Connery pointed either side of an Agnew free as the game entered the final five minutes of the half. Cork led by 2-11 to 0-7 at the interval leaving Clare facing a damage limitation issue in the second half.
Killian McDermott replaced club mate Lee Brack for the second half as Agnew opened the scoring with a converted free before Brian Turnbull hit back for the rebels. McDermott was on target with his first touch before Barry Murphy hit back once more as Cork held an 11 point advantage.
This lead increased when Evan Sheehan was on target in the 38th minute and the contest was effectively ended seconds later when Cork sub Barry Murphy blasted to the net leaving a 15 point gap with almost one third of the game to play.
Evan Sheehan, Aidan McCarthy, Robert Downey, Keith White and Killian McDermott added scores as the game entered the final five minutes. By this stage Cork were double scores ahead before Agnew cut the deficit to 13 with another pointed free. Cian Minogue who sent over a monstrous free from inside his own half in the 57th minute.
Brian Buckley struck for a point before Robert Downey blasted home the fourth goal of the hour. Referee John Murphy’s final whistle signalling Cork’s coronation was heard soon after. Following the game the Munster minor hurling cup was presented to Cork captain Sean O’Leary Hayes.