Cork 1-16 Clare 0-15

Cork advanced to the Munster Under-20 Football Championship final as they saw off Clare at Páirc Uí Rinn on Friday evening, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Rebels.

Having fallen 0-06 to 0-02 behind early on, the home side came back into the game thanks to Chris Óg Jones’s goal and were 1-07 to 0-09 in front at half-time.

When they scored five points without reply on the resumption – three from Jones and two by sub Colm Barrett – they were in firm control and though Joe McGann ended 16 Clare minutes without a score, Cork added on three more, from Liam O’Donovan, Colm O’Callaghan and Jones to hold a 1-15 to 0-10 lead with seven minutes of normal time remaining.

Jonah Culligan had his fourth for Clare before Tom Hannon’s shot cannoned off the crossbar and over and though Cork sub Blake Murphy replied, it was to be their last.

After another for Culligan, Colm O’Brien might have made things nervy for Cork when presented with a goal chance but Ian Giltinan parried his shot over the bar and while Jack Sheedy had another for Clare at the death, they couldn’t bridge the gap.

The visitors began very well, with Culligan and Dermot Coughlan on target, while Cork passed up goal chances, Cathal Maguire hitting the side-netting while Mark Keane was denied by Stephen Ryan.

Jones and Matthew Bradley were the primary scoring threats for Cork and when Jones netted following Tadhg Corkery’s pass, they were level at 1-03 to 0-06 before pushing on.

They will face Kerry in the final in Tralee next Friday night.

Cork: Ian Giltinan; Kevin O’Donovan, Brian Murphy, Nathan Walsh; Liam O’Donovan (0-01), Aidan Browne, Tadhg Corkery; Maurice Shanley, Colm O’Callaghan (0-01); Seán Walsh, Cathal Maguire, Chris Óg Jones (1-08, 0-03 frees); Matthew Bradley (0-03, 0-1 free), Mark Keane, Damien Gore.

Subs: Seán O’Sullivan for Corkery, Mark Buckley for Shanley, Colm Barrett (0-02) for Bradley (half-time), Blake Murphy (0-01) for Maguire (42), Alan McCarthy for Walsh (49), Cillian Myers Murray for Gore (52).

Clare: Stephen Ryan; Jack Sheedy (0-01), Jayme O’Sullivan, Peter Collins; Mark Meaney, Ikem Ugweuru, Tom Hannon (0-01); Darragh Bohannon (0-01), Jack Hannon; Jonah Culligan (0-05), Dermot Coughlan (0-04, 0-01 free), Seán Crowley (0-01); Ross Phelan, Joe McGann (0-01), Cian Shannon.

Subs: Ross O’Doherty for Shannon (half-time), Aaron Griffin for Crowley (48), Colin McNelis for Collins (49), Niall Ellis for Hannon (51), Colm O’Brien (0-01) for Phelan (52), Jamesie O’Connor for Coughlan (57).

Referee: Seán Joy (Kerry).