Hurling & Camogie

Cork in trouble as they lose to Clare in Munster epic

The Rebels next face Limerick, who enjoyed an easy win over Tipperary

Aaron Gillane and Ronan Maher
Aaron Gillane of Limerick is tackled by Ronan Maher of Tipperary during Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile (Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)

Munster SHC round two

Cork 3-24 Clare 3-26

Limerick 2-27 Tipperary 0-18

CLARE rescued a vital victory on Leeside as they recovered from an opening-day defeat in Limerick with a 3-26 to 3-24 nail-biter against 14-man Cork.

The winless Rebels now welcome Limerick in a fortnight’s time with their hopes on the line.

Tipperary are also facing a crucial trip to Waterford next Saturday after they fell flat in a 2-27 to 0-18 hammering in Limerick; a game overshadowed by a horror leg injury to goal-scorer Peter Casey.

At SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork had edged into a strong position by half-time when they turned 0-14 to 0-12 ahead. It could’ve been more but for Eibhear Quilligan denying Darragh Fitzgibbon, while Alan Connolly batted over.

A 1-3 scoring burst pushed them seven clear, Patrick Horgan’s brilliant lob crossing the line for a 1-17 to 0-13 lead.

Mark Rodgers’ goal got Clare back in touch but they were still one point in arrears when Cork were reduced to 14 men. Captain Seán O’Donoghue had just brilliantly hooked Rodgers but bowled over Shane O’Donnell to pick up a second yellow.

The Éire Óg All-Star applied the hammer blow of Clare’s second goal to move the Banner three ahead and when David Fitzgerald added a quickfire 1-1, that lead was doubled.

A Horgan free to the top corner raised a green flag in response and it was game on when Rob Downey produced a goal in the sixth added minute.

There was still time for Damien Cahalane to launch a last-gasp shot at goal but Cork would fall short.

Horgan finished with 2-10 in defeat, while Clare were led by Aidan McCarthy’s 10 points and 1-6 from Rodgers

In Limerick, the All-Ireland champions strolled to a 15-point victory over a Tipperary team on their first outing of the year. A nip-and-tuck first half was level five times inside 25 minutes before the hosts began to push ahead in front of 33,475 fans.

Aaron Gillane had four points on the spin followed by a Diarmaid Byrnes free and a Peter Casey tap-over to go in 0-12 to 0-7 ahead.

Casey also had a goal chalked off after Kyle Hayes was wrongly adjudged to have picked the sliotar off the ground in the build-up, while debutant Seán Hayes was denied by Nickie Quaid at the other end.

Substitutes Patrick Maher and Noel McGrath brought the deficit back to four but Limerick stepped on the accelerator with a 2-7 to 0-2 streak in the subsequent 11 minutes.

From a low Byrnes free, the sliotar fell to Gillane (1-8) and his bullet billowed the roof of the net. Then Will O’Donoghue’s brilliant pick-out found Casey in behind and the Na Piarsaigh clubman blasted low under Barry Hogan.

In the process, he sustained a bad leg injury as Ronan Maher slid in to attempt a last-ditch block. He was stretched off to a standing ovation. Having ended with 1-2, the man of the match trophy was presented to captain Declan Hannon on Casey’s behalf.

Limerick went scoreless for eight minutes thereafter as Tipp clipped four points, three from Jason Forde, but Adam English was launched from the bench to land 0-4 in the space of seven minutes.

Quaid protected his clean sheet by saving a late free from Forde, who ended with 0-9 (eight frees).

Round three

Saturday, May 4 Waterford v Tipperary (Walsh Park, 6pm, live on GAAGO)

Saturday, May 11 Cork v Limerick (Supervalu Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 7pm, live on GAAGO)