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McCarthy's point saves Clare to force draw with Galway in All-Ireland semi-final thriller

An epic clash in Croke Park went to extra-time.

Galway 1-30
Clare 1-30

(After extra-time)

Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park

AFTER OVER A hundred minutes of action, it ended as it had started with Galway and Clare inseparable.

Jonathan Glynn and Patrick O’Connor Galway's Johnny Glynn in action against Clare's Patrick O'Connor. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Substitute Jason McCarthy was the hero, snapping over a point after Clare had patiently worked the ball upfield deep into the additional minutes of extra-time. It appeared as if Johnny Coen, who had missed a chance at the end of normal time, had notched the critical point for Galway to propel them into an All-Ireland final moments before.

But Clare, terrific throughout in testing the reigning Liam MacCarthy Cup holders, got a positive result that their performance merited. A replay beckons next weekend. Galway will hope for positive news on the fitness of Gearoid McInerney and Joe Canning, two lynchpins of their side that limped off with injuries.

Galway underlined their early dominance when pouncing for the first goal of the game in the 15th minute. Johnny Glynn’s presence caused difficulties for the Clare rearguard and after they failed to clear their lines, the sliotar spun loose for Conor Cooney to collect and charge through before finishing neatly to the net. A Canning point a minute later had them 1-7 to 0-1 in front.

But Galway’s work was undone regularly by their shooting in front of the posts. They had amassed 12 wides by half-time and as a result only enjoyed a 1-10 to 0-9 advantage.

Conor Cooney scores past goalkeeper Donal Tuohy Galway's Conor Cooney bagged the opening goal of the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Clare got themselves back into contention, aided by Colm Galvin’s form when he moved to a sweeper role. They hit five points on the bounce between the 18th and 28th minutes, with Galway mustering no reply.

Clare were magnificent in the second half as they wiped out that four-point interval advantage Galway possessed. John Conlon again emerged as their talisman by raising four white flags from play, despite the close attentions of Galway’s defensive cornerstone Daithi Burke. Conlon brought them level in the 53rd minute, Peter Duggan did likewise in the 55th minute and the teams were locked together once more when Ian Galvin scored in the 62nd minute.

Padraic Collins and Adrian Tuohey Clare's Podge Collins tries to get past Galway's Adrian Tuohy.

However it appeared as if Galway had made a decisive break when Canning, Niall Burke and David Burke all tacked on scores to push them three ahead. Clare came strong when it mattered with Tony Kelly, Conlon and Duggan weighing in with the points that sent this to extra-time.

In the additional periods, Galway went in front 1-26 to 0-27 at the midway mark. Then Clare were spurred on by an 82nd minute goal as Aron Shanagher lashed a shot to the net. It was frenetic stuff. Jason Flynn pointing to bring Galway level, Duggan and Shane O’Donnell nudging Clare two clear.

Galway came strong again with Flynn (2) and Coen contributing the points. They had a foot in the final before McCarthy salvaged something for Clare. Round two next Sunday in Thurles.

Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-12 (0-6f, 0-2 sideline), Cathal Mannion 0-4, Conor Cooney 1-1, Conor Whelan, David Burke, Jason Flynn (0-1f) 0-3 each, Johnny Coen 0-2, Jonathan Glynn, Niall Burke 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Peter Duggan 0-14 (0-11f), John Conlon 0-4, Aron Shanagher 1-0, Shane O’Donnell, Tony Kelly (0-1 sideline) 0-3 each, Ian Galvin 0-2, David Reidy, Colm Galvin, David Fitzgerald, Jason McCarthy 0-1 each.

Galway

1. James Skehill (Cappataggle)

2. Adrian Tuohy (Beagh)
3. Daithi Burke (Turloughmore)
4. John Hanbury (Rahoon-Newcastle)

5. Padraig Mannion (Ahascragh/Fohenagh)
6. Gearoid McInerney (Oranmore-Maree)
7. Aidan Harte (Gort)

8. Johnny Coen (Loughrea)
9. David Burke (St Thomas’)

10. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)
11. Joe Canning (Portumna)
15. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)

13. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
14. Conor Cooney (St Thomas)
12. Jonathan Glynn (Ardrahan)

Subs

22. Niall Burke (Oranmore-Maree) for Joseph Cooney (52)
17. Paul Killeen (Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry) for McInerney (inj) (53)
25. Jason Flynn (Tommie Larkins) for Conor Cooney (62)
18. Seán Loftus (Turloughmore) for Tuohy (start of extra-time)
10. Joseph Cooney for David Burke (81)
14. Conor Cooney for Whelan (start of second-half extra-time)
26. Davey Glennon (Mullagh) for Canning (inj) (82)

Clare

1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)

2. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber)
3. David McInerney (Tulla)
4. Jack Browne (Ballyea)

5. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)
6. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
7. Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge)

8. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
9. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)

10. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
11. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
12. David Reidy (Éire Óg Inis)

13. Podge Collins (Cratloe)
14. John Conlon (Clonlara)
15. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg Inis)

Subs

19. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Malone (48)
25. Conor McGrath (Cratloe) for Collins (58)
23. Ian Galvin (Clonlara) for Reidy (61)
26. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for O’Donnell (67)
21. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Shanahan (start of second-half extra-time)
15. Shane O’Donnell for McGrath (82)

Referee: James Owens (Wexford)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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