Eoin Brennan reports from Ennis
CLARE WARMED UP for their Allianz Division 1B hurling league winner-takes-all promotion showdown with Limerick next Sunday with a facile victory over newcomers Kerry in Cusack Park this afternoon.
With Ciaran Carey’s side still stinging from the 23 point hammering at the hands of Wexford seven days earlier, they employed two sweepers in a damage limitation exercise from the outset.
However, it only invited the hosts onto them as Colm Galvin and Conor McGrath both chalked up a hat-trick of points on their way to a 0-9 to 0-1 advantage by the end of the opening quarter.
John Egan did inspire a brief reprieve for the visitors but with Bobby Duggan punishing with frees despite his late penalty being stopped by goalkeeper Aidan McCabe, Clare eased to a 0-15 to 0-6 interval advantage.
While the wind favoured Kerry for the new half, it was the hosts who emphatically improved their score difference with an unanswered 1-8 in the third quarter including 1-3 for Aaron Cunningham at 1-23 to 0-6.
It provided manager Davy Fitzgerald the opportunity to empty the bench and spring Podge Collins after a ten month lay-off before Bobby Duggan finally beat McCabe with his second penalty.
Kerry were gifted a consolation goal when captain Daniel Collins’ 60 metre free dropped into the corner of the net but there was certainly no doubt about the result as Clare completed their biggest victory of the campaign just in time for the crucial Shannonside derby.
Scorers for Clare: Bobby Duggan 1-7 (1-0 Pen, 5f, 1’65); Aaron Cunningham 1-6; Conor McGrath 0-5; Colm Galvin 0-5; David Reidy 0-2; Cathal O’Connell, Conor Cleary, Brendan Bugler 0-1 each
Scorers for Kerry: John Egan 0-4 (3f); Daniel Collins 1-0f; Michael O’Leary 0-2; Jason Diggins, Johnny Buckley, Brendan Brosnan 0-1 each
1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)
2. Oisin O’Brien (Clonlara)
3. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber)
4. Paul Flanagan (Ballyea
5. Brendan Bugler (Whitegate)
6. David McInerney (Tulla)
7. Conor Cleary (Kilmaley)
8. David Reidy (Éire Óg)
9. Conor Ryan (Cratloe)
10. John Conlon (Clonlara)
11. Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle)
13. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones)
15. Conor McGrath (Cratloe)
14. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
19. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
26. Podge Collins (Cratloe) for Ryan (44)
21. Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara) for O’Donnell (44)
20. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Conlon (49)
17. Ciaran O’Doherty (Crusheen) for Flanagan (60)
22. Darach Honan (Clonlara) for McGrath (66)
1. Aidan McCabe (Kilmoyley)
4. Keith Carmody (Causeway)
3. Patrick Kelly (Clarecastle)
22. Dougie Fitzell (Kilmoyley)
5. Daniel Collins (Kilmoyley)
6. Darren Dineen (St Brendan’s)
7. Tom Murnane (Kilmoyley)
8. Tommy Casey (Causeway)
9. John Griffin (Lixnaw)
18. Johnny Buckley (Lixnaw)
11. Michael O’Leary (Abbeydorney)
21. Jason Diggins (Causeway)
12. Colum Harty (Causeway)
14. Mikey Boyle (Ballyduff)
13. John Egan (St Brendan’s)
2. Sean Weir (Crotta O’Neills) for Fitzell (31)
15. Jack Goulding (Ballyduff) for Harty (45)
19. Jordan Conway (Crotta O’Neills) for Boyle (45)
17. Brendan Brosnan (Lixnaw) for Casey (51)
20. Paudie O’Connor (Kilmoyley) for Egan (51)
Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly)
SHANE DOOLEY WAS the star man after Offaly claimed a vital victory over Wexford this afternoon in Innovate Wexford Park.
Dooley struck an incredible 0-15 for the Faithful while Paddy Murphy and Joe Bergin hit 1-2 apiece for Eamonn Kelly’s men.
2-8 from Conor McDonald and another goal from Aidan Nolan couldn’t prevent Wexford from crashing to defeat.
Wexford got an ideal start when McDonald netted from a penalty and Nolan scored another goal from play.
But Offaly rallied with goals from Murphy and Bergin to go in front 2-12 to 2-4 at the break.
Dooley’s marksmanship saw them move further in front in the second-half and a late McDonald goal couldn’t prevent a loss for Wexford.
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