Brian Hurley inspires Keith Ricken's Cork to a winning start away to Clare

Rebels overcame treacherous conditions to record McGrath Cup victory against the Banner
Brian Hurley inspires Keith Ricken's Cork to a winning start away to Clare

Daniel O’Connell of Cork scores his side's first goal past Clare goalkeeper Stephen Ryan in Miltown Malbay. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Cork 2-9 Clare 0-10 

BRIAN Hurley ensured Keith Ricken made a winning start as the new Cork manager with a decisive win over Clare in the McGrath Cup at a weather-battered Hennessy Memorial Park in Milltown Malbay on Saturday.

The Castlehaven forward defied horrendous conditions of a near gale-force wind and intermittent showers to top score with 1-6.

Clare played with the howling wind at their backs from the start, but still trailed by two points at the interval as Cork swept to a winning position, leading by 2-9 to 0-7 entering the closing quarter.

Hurley pounced for the crucial second goal after 43 minutes, finishing off a move involving Mark Cronin, Colm O'Callaghan and Paul Walsh.

Cork made a number of changes to their selected team, bringing in Kevin Crowley and Castlehaven's Rory Maguire to defence, Walsh to midfield and Fionn Herlihy in attack.

Clare led by 0-2 to 0-1 at the first water-break, opening the scoring after three minutes with an Aaron Griffin point before Hurley levelled from a free following a foul off-camera on Damien Gore.

Scoring improved on the resumption as players adapted to the difficult conditions with the home side edging 0-5 to 0-3, McMahon firing over, when a goal looked on in the 29th minute.

The next score was critical as Cork conjured up a goal almost immediately with Mark Cronin setting up Daniel O'Connell, who fisted home to give the visitors the lead for the first time.

Maguire venture forward to extend the advantage with a well-worked score after Cork showed plenty of patience to create the opening on the right.

It meant Cork led by 1-6 to 0-7 at the interval, which came at the right time due to worsening weather conditions.

Cork bossed the second-half with the Banner finally getting on the scoreboard after 66 minutes and while they added two more, Cork already had the points in the bag.

Cork manager Keith Ricken. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Cork manager Keith Ricken. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Scorers for Cork: B Hurley 1-6 (0-3 f), D O'Connell 1-0, M Cronin 0-2 (0-1 f), R Maguire 0-1.

Clare: M McInerney 0-3 (0-2 f), A Griffin 0-3, K Sexton 0-3 (0-2 f), E McMahon 0-1.

CORK: C Kelly (Éire Óg); K Crowley (Millstreet), S Meehan (Kiskeam), P Ring (Aghabullogue); R Maguire (Castlehaven), S Powter (Douglas), captain, C Kiely (Ballincollig); P Walsh (Kanturk), J Grimes (Clonakilty); D O'Connell (Kanturk), F Herlihy (Dohenys), C O'Callaghan (Éire Óg); M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), B Hurley (Castlehaven), (Cill na Martra), D Gore (Kilmacabea).

Subs: P Allen (Newmarket) for Ring D Buckley (Newcestown) for O'Connell half-time, B Murphy (St Vincent's) for Gore and T Corkery (Cill na Marta) for Crowley, 40, K O'Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Kiely and C O'Donovan (Macroom) for Walsh 50, L Fahy (Ballincollig) for Maguire 57, D Phelan (Aghada) Powter, K Cremin (Boherbue) for O'Callaghan 61.

CLARE: S Ryan; D Connelly, E Collins, C Morrissey; C O Dea, captain, A Sweeney, D Walsh; D Bohannon, D O'Neill; E McMahon, K Sexton, C Downes; M McInerney, J McGann, A Griffin.

Subs used: T O'Brien, R Lanigan, J Sheedy, M Byrne, D Keating, P Kelly, T McDonald, M Doherty, A Shannon, B McNamara, C O'Connor.

Referee: S Mulvihill (Kerry).

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