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Tony Kelly fires over 20 points as Clare defeat 14-man Dublin for second league victory

The Ballyea star returned from injury to fire Brian Lohan’s side to victory.

Donal Burke is tackled by Conor Cleary.
Donal Burke is tackled by Conor Cleary.
Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Clare 0-34

Dublin 2-23

TONY KELLY FINISHED with 20 points as Clare picked up their second league win of the season in a breathless game against Dublin.

The Ballyea star recovered from dead leg he suffered against Wexford to drive Clare to victory with a remarkable haul, 16 points of which arrived from frees. The 2013 Hurler of the Year was a late addition to the squad, donning the number 23 jersey here after missing the win over Laois.

Antrim’s draw with Davy Fitzgerald’s side earlier in the day already assured their survival in Division 1.

This was a welcome victory for Brian Lohan, who must have felt like he’s been fighting fires on a weekly basis since the campaign started.

It’s been a difficult start to the season for the Banner after the unwanted headlines relating to the county board and then the close contact cases following the Wexford clash.

But they delivered a fine performance here in an entertaining affair with excellent scoring shows from Kelly and Aidan McCarthy (0-4). Shane O’Donnell and Mark Rodgers also chipped in with a brace each and looked lively at different stages up front.

Dublin’s fouling in defence and midfield ultimately cost them, though they were brought about by some excellent short passing moves by Clare.

Donal Burke grabbed 0-13 for Mattie Kenny’s side, while Ronan Hayes (1-2), Cian Boland (1-1) and Eoghan O’Donnell also gave strong performances.

Full-back O’Donnell won his tussle with Aron Shanagher, though he was sent off eight minutes before time for a second yellow card.

Dublin started the quicker, racing into an 0-5 to 0-2 lead inside the opening 10 minutes. 

They used Chris Crummey in a midfield role and he dropped to centre-back when Clare attacked, leaving Conor Burke to sweep in front of the full-back line. It left Conor Cleary as the free man in the Banner full-back line.

Kelly came roaring into the game, firing over three in quick succession to drag the visitors level as Dublin were punished for hitting five wides in the opening 12 minutes. 

A fascinating battle between O’Donnell and Shanagher saw the Whitehall Colmcilles man on top until the Clare full-forward produced a stunning catch and point in the 18th minute. 

It was the start of Clare’s best spell of the half. They scored six of the next seven, with two arriving from the stick of Shane O’Donnell, to move 0-12 to 0-7 ahead. Dublin’s finish to the half was clinical. Cian Boland fed a long ball into Ronan Hayes, who turned Rory Hayes and buried past Eibhear Quilligan.

The Clare net minder made an excellent close-range stop on Boland two minutes later. Dublin’s second goal arrived before the break after Eamonn Dillon was hooked and Boland followed up to turn the ball into the net. 

Dublin’s 2-11 to 0-15 half-time lead was wiped out by an impressive Clare third quarter. They shot 10 points, nine of them scored between Kelly and the excellent McCarthy.

Donal Burke kept Dublin alive with six points in the final quarter, but Kelly brought his tally to 0-20 to hand the Banner a deserved five-point win.

Scores for Clare: Tony Kelly 0-20 (0-15f, 0-1 65), Aidan McCarthy 0-4, Mark Rodgers, Shane O’Donnell and David Fitzgerald 0-2 each, Diarmuid Ryan, Cathal Malone and Aron Shanagher 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 0-13 (0-8f), Ronan Hayes 1-2, Cian Boland 1-1, Chris Crummey and Danny Sutcliffe 0-2 each, Mark Schutte, Eamonn Dillon and Daire Grey 0-1 each.

Clare

1. Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle) 

2. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones), 3. Conor Cleary (Kilmaley), 4. Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg Ennis).

5. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe), 6. John Conlon (Clonlara), 18. Paidi Fitzpatrick (Sixmilebridge)

 21. Colm Galvin (Clonlara), 8 Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)

7. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona), 23. Tony Kelly (Ballyea), 15.  Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg Ennis)

14. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), 11. Ian Galvin (Clonlara), 23. Mark Rodgers (Scariff).

Subs

10. David Reidy (Éire Óg Ennis) for Galvin (47)

9. David Fitzgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona) for Fitzpatrick (53)

26. Stiofan McMahon (Broadford) for Rodgers (62)

24. David McInerney (Tulla) for Galvin (67)

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Dublin 

1. Alan Nolan (St Brigid’s)

4. Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala), 3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille), 2. Andrew Dunphy (St Brigid’s)

5. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf), 6. Conor Burke (St Vincent’s), 7. Daire Gray (Whitehall Colmcille)

11. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields), 9. James Madden (Ballyboden St-Enda’s)

10. Danny Sutcliffe (St Judes), 14. Ronan Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes), 12. Mark Schutte (Cuala)

15. Eamonn Dillon (Naomh Fionbarra), 13. Cian Boland (St Oliver Plunketts ER), 8. Donal Burke (Na Fianna)

Subs

20. Rian McBride (St Vincent’s) for Smyth (49)

24. John Hetherton (St Vincent’s) for Schutte (53)

22. Davy Keogh (Thomas Davis) for Boland (60)

21. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes) for Sutcliffe (70)

26. Paul Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields) for Dillon (70)

Referee: Colum Cunning (Antrim)

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / Reports from Parnell Park

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