Two goals by attacker Colm Casey propelled Cork to success against Clare in Sunday's Munster intermediate hurling semi-final clash at the Gaelic Grounds.
Casey found the net in both halves as the Rebels saw off a Banner side who had entered the game on the back of a quarter-final victory over Waterford.
Cork enjoyed a commanding 1-10 to 1-3 lead at the interval with Casey rattling the net in the opening stages to see them move ahead by 1-2 to 0-0.
Clare fought back courtesy of centre-back Alan O’Neill’s accuracy from placed balls and then full-forward Aidan Lynch bundled the ball to the net past former Cork senior goalkeeper Martin Coleman, the captain of the current intermediate side, midway through the half.
That cut the gap to 1-6 to 1-2 but Cork, helped by the accuracy of Peter O’Brien from placed balls, powered clear before the interval with Mark Kennefick also impressing up front in the opening period.
Clare opened brightly in the second-half with Niall Arthur, a member of last year’s All-Ireland U21 winning setup, on the mark while Cathal O’Connell, another 2012 U21 star, also caught the eye in attack.
But Casey fired home his second goal of the game to see Cork go in front by 2-10 to 1-5 and they held on for victory by six points at the finish.
Scorers for Cork: Colm Casey 2-0, Peter O’Brien 0-6 (0-5f), Mark Kennefick 0-3, Martin Coleman (0-1f), Brian Lawton, Anthony Watson 0-1 each.
CORK: Martin Coleman (Ballinhassig); John O’Callaghan
(Inniscarra), Eoin Dillon (Milford), Ed Finn (Ballinhassig); Tadhg Healy (Buttevant), Ross Cashman (Kilbrittain), Michael Walsh (Kildorrery); John Cronin (Lisgoold), Shane McCarthy (Ballinhassig); Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr), Peter
O’Brien (Kildorrery), Stephen Dineen (Ballinhassig); Colm Casey (Inniscarra), Kevin Canty (Valley Rovers), Mark Kennefick (Ballygarvan).
Subs: Barry Lawton (Castlemartyr) for Canty (25), Anthony Watson (Milford) for Dineen (43), Brian O’Sullivan (Fermoy)
for O’Callaghan (47), Nicky Kelly (Mayfield) for McCarthy(59).