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Up and running - new Clare bosses off to winning start with Collins netting against Kerry

The Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney era got off to a great start today for the Banner.

Podge Collins hit the net for the Clare hurlers today.
Podge Collins hit the net for the Clare hurlers today.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Clare 2-24
Kerry 1-15

Eoin Brennan reports from Austin Stack Park, Tralee

A NEW CHAPTER for Clare hurling under three-in-a-row All-Ireland U21 winning duo Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney began on a winning note in Austin Stack Park, Tralee as they eventually pulled away from their hosts this afternoon in the Co-Op Superstores Munster SHL.

A goal in each half through Kevin Hehir and Podge Collins were enough to separate the sides as despite a consolation goal from Mikey Boyle, the Banner finished with eight of the last nine points to comfortably get off the mark for 2017.

After an even preamble, the visitors settled with five unanswered points, two from their most lively forward David Reidy, on their way to a 0-9 to 0-4 advantage by the 20th minute. Kerry also had goalkeeper Martin Stackpoole to thank for keeping them in touch, pulling off two superb saves to deny Reidy and Aron Shanagher.

Inspired by this along with the aid of a slight breeze, the hosts recovered fully by the 30th minute, mainly through Shane Nolan placed balls, with centre-back Pa Kelly providing the equalising score against his native county at 0-10 to 0-10. However, Clare quickly closed the door, with Kevin Hehir firing 1-1 to ensure a 1-12 to 0-11 interval lead.

Despite Kerry operating with a sweeper on the turnover, that goal would provide a comfortable cushion as Seadna Morey cut out any defensive threat.

Captain Podge Collins and home favourite Mikey Boyle swapped goals but with Clare expectedly finishing stronger, they fleshed out the final margin to provide a successful first defence of their Munster League title.

Scorers for Clare: David Reidy 0-10 (0-9f, 0-1’65); Podge Collins 1-3; Kevin Hehir 1-1; Cathal McInerney, Peter Duggan (0-1 pen) 0-2 each; Aaron Cunningham, Jason McCarthy, Cathal Malone, Seadna Morey, Aron Shanagher, Colm Galvin 0-1 each

Scorers for Kerry: Shane Nolan 0-7 (0-6f, 0-1 ’65); Mikey Boyle 1-0; Jordan Conway, John Egan 0-2 each; Padraig Boyle, Paudie O’Connor, Pa Kelly, Thomas Casey 0-1 each

Clare

1. Andrew Fahey (Whitegate)

4. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)
3. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)
2. Eoin Quirke (Whitegate)

5. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
6. Conor Cleary (Kilmaley)
7. Brendan Bugler (Whitegate)

8. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
9. Kevin Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona)

10. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
11. Podge Collins (Cratloe)
12. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones)

15. Cathal McInerney (Cratloe)
14. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
13. David Reidy (Éire Óg)

Subs

23. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin) for McInerney (42)
25. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge) for Hehir (57)
24. Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara) for Collins (62)
18. Shane McNamara (Clooney-Quin) for Quirke (65)
17. Cian Dillon (Crusheen) for Bugler (65)

Kerry

1. Martin Stackpoole (Lixnaw)

2. Sean Weir (Crotta O’Neills)
3. Rory Horgan (St Brendan’s)
4. Bryan Murphy (Causeway)

5. John Buckley (Lixnaw)
6. Pa Kelly (Clarecastle)
7. Darren Dineen (St Brendan’s)

8. Paudie O’Connor (Kilmoyley)
9. Thomas Casey (Causeway)

20. Padraig Boyle (Ballyduff)
11. Daniel Collins (Kilmoyley)
12. Mikey Boyle (Ballyduff)

13. John Egan (St Brendan’s)
14. Shane Nolan (Crotta O’Neills)
15. Jordan Conway (Crotta O’Neills)

Subs

18. James O’Connor (Abbeydorney) for Horgan (49, inj)
17. Billy Lyons (Causeway) for Buckley (49)
22. Fionán Horgan (St Brendan’s) for Casey (53, inj)
24. John Griffin (Lixnaw) for Egan (60)
23. Philip Lucid (Balyheigue) for P. Boyle (66)

Referee: Jason Mullins (Limerick)

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