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Anthony Nash. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Anthony Nash. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

How the Rebels rated against Clare

ANTHONY NASH: While he might have been disappointed with the goal, he made a vital interception in the 68th minute to stop a goal when it was a one-point game. Usual top-class array of puck-outs. 7

SEÁN O’DONOGHUE: The debutant was tasked with marking Conor McGrath at the throw-in and he only finished with a point. That sums up a hugely promising outing for the youngster. 8

DAMIEN CAHALANE: It seemed a risk to opt for Cahalane over Eoin Cadogan, who was full-back in the league, but the All-Star nominee was immense. Particularly in the opening period, Cahalane was a real leader. 9

COLM SPILLANE: While he was kept busy throughout by Shane O’Donnell, his aerial prowess and driving runs were key factors in Cork’s victory. 7

MARK ELLIS: The towering Millstreet might have taken a while to get going but he was a powerhouse in the second half. Chipped in with two booming scores and could have had another. 8

CHRIS JOYCE: Deployed on John Conlon to match his physicality, the Clare number was a real handful. Still, Joyce tackled like a demon and set up two points. 6

MARK COLEMAN: Took up where he left off last year. He nailed a monster point, set up three scores, hoovered up possession and just hurled with a natural freedom that’s a joy to watch. 8

Bill Cooper before the game. Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry
Bill Cooper before the game. Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

BILL COOPER: The unsung hero of this team. Marking Tony Kelly he got on more ball than the Clare tyro until Kelly was moved to half-forward. Says it all. 7

DARRAGH FITZGIBBON: He was on the fringes in the opening stages but once he got motoring the 21-year-old was at the heart of much of Cork’s best play. Three points from midfield and three assists attest to that. 9

SEAMUS HARNEDY: Buried the late goal to finish with 1-2 and fouled for two frees. Did his bit without shooting the lights out. 7

CONOR LEHANE: Peripheral at times yet his three scores were jaw-dropping. His skill level is off the charts but has more in the tank. 7

DANIEL KEARNEY: Named at number 10 but acted as a deep-lying left-wing forward and sweeper and was perfect for that job. 8

Robbie O'Flynn gets away from Cian Dillon for his goal chance. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Robbie O'Flynn gets away from Cian Dillon for his goal chance. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

ROBBIE O’FLYNN: Thankfully recovering from a tough hit in the second, the Erin’s Own flier had a promising debut. Nabbed a point and could have had a goal. 6

LUKE MEADE: Not suited to playing full-forward. Granted he dropped out at times, but the game bypassed him. 6

PATRICK HORGAN: Unsurprisingly, Cork’s best forward converting six of his seven frees, while adding four sweet, sweet scores from play and setting up 1-1 for Lehane. 9

Patrick Horgan was on fire. Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry
Patrick Horgan was on fire. Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

SUBS: Brian Lawton 6, Shane Kingston 7, Tim O’Mahony 7, Dean Brosnan 7.