TWO goals from supersub Cathal McInerney have sent Clare through to the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland senior hurling championship this evening, at Wexford’s expense.
McInerney, introduced in the 65th minute, netted twice in the first period of extra-time as the Banner County eventually advanced..
Clare should have had this game out of sight in normal time, as they registered 16 wides, but Jack Guiney’s dramatic late goal tied the game at 1-17 apiece. Clare led by seven points early in the second half and were six clear with 15 minutes remaining.
But in those closing exchanges, Wexford outscored Clare by 1-5 to 0-2 and Guiney’s brilliant goal at the Town End in Semple Stadium levelled matters.
Wexford’s day would end on a sour note, however, when corner back Bobby Kenny was sent off for a second bookable offence. But even when the game had gone away from them, Wexford kept battling away and Guiney rattled the crossbar in extra-time with a fierce drive.
At half-time in normal time, Clare led by 1-10 to 0-7, with Shane O’Donnell, a late replacement for Darach Honan, cracking home the 14th minute goal after collecting Patrick Donnellan’s brilliant pass.
That followed a run of three Wexford points without reply, after Clare had registered the opening two points of the game. Wexford’s best sight of goal in the opening half came when Podge Doran lashed a shot at Patrick Kelly in the 18th minute, but the Clare goalkeeper dealt with it comfortably.
Clare could have had a second goal four minutes before half-time after Wexford full-back Tomás Waters body checked O’Donnell to concede a penalty. Tony Kelly stepped up but saw his penalty saved, and the same player opted to tap the ball over the crossbar with time almost up at the end of extra-time.
Scorers for Clare: C Ryan 0-10 (6f, 2 65s), C McInerney 2-1, T Kelly 0-5 (0-1 pen), S O’Donnell 1-1, J Conlon 0-3, B Bugler, P Collins, S Morey & A Cunningham 0-1 each.
Scorers for Wexford: J Guiney 1-8 (0-6f), D Redmond, P Morris, P Doran & G Moore 0-2 each, C Kenny, G Sinnott, C McDonald & M O’Regan 0-1 each.
CLARE: Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona); Domhnall O’Donovan (Clonlara), David McInerney (Tulla), Cian Dillon (Crusheen); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Patrick Donnellan (O’Callaghan Mills), Patrick O’Connor (Tubber); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus); John Conlon (Clonlara), Tony Kelly (Ballyea), Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin); Padraic Collins (Cratloe), Shane O’Donnell (Eire Og), Conor McGrath (Cratloe).
Subs: Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge) for Galvin (54), Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for Duggan (59), Cathal McInerney (Cratloe) for O’Donnell (65), Fergal Lynch (Clooney-Quin) for Conlon (70+1), Nicky O’Connell (Clonlara) for Ryan (70+1), Ryan for Morey (75), Conlon for McGrath (80), Morey for O’Connor (86).
WEXFORD: Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barntown); Eoin Moore (Oulart-the-Ballagh), Tomas Waters (St Martin’s), Bobby Kenny (Buffers Alley); Richie Kehoe (Faythe Harriers), Keith Rossiter (Oulart-The-Ballagh), Ciaran Kenny (Buffers Alley); Andrew Shore (Parnells), David Redmond (Oulart-The-Ballagh); Paul Morris (Ferns), Eoin Quigley (Sarsfields – Cork), Gareth Sinnott (Oulart-the-Ballagh, captain; Rory Jacob (Oulart-the-Ballagh), Jack Guiney (Rathnure), Podge Doran (Oylegate-Glenbrien)
Subs: Gary Moore (Glynn-Barntown) for Quigley (34), Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) for R Kehoe (h.t.), Eoin Doyle (Shelmaliers) for Waters (64), PJ Nolan (Askamore) for H Kehoe (69), Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna) for Doran (69), Michael O’Regan (Glynn Barntown) for Sinnott (76), Ciarán O’Shaughnessy (Shelmaliers) for Rossiter (79).
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork)