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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 15 April 2021
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Clare survive late onslaught and hold on for victory against Wexford

Peter Duggan scored 1-6 for the Banner.

Ian Galvin and Paudie Foley.
Ian Galvin and Paudie Foley.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Clare 2-22

Wexford 1-22

Eoin Brennan reports from Cusack Park, Ennis

A RELIEVED CLARE held on for what could yet prove a valuable victory in their bid for a National Hurling League quarter-final place after a late Wexford backlash threatened to derail the home side in Cusack Park, Ennis.

13 points clear by the 50th minute following goals from 2018 All-Stars John Conlon and Peter Duggan either side of half-time, the Banner would amazingly switch off to allow Wexford gather momentum with a 1-8 unanswered rally and set up an anxious finale in front of an attendance of 4,245.

Indeed, while Clare did bounce back off the ropes with three of the last five points, they had Donal Tuohy to thank for ensuring an eighth successive home victory as the Crusheen goalkeeper kept out a Rory O’Connor pulled effort at the death.

Having led from the seventh minute to the finish, it was a deserved home victory copperfastened by those timely goals that lifted Clare to a comfortable cushion. The breakthrough came right on the stroke of half-time when Tony Kelly and David Fitzgerald combined to tee up the unmarked Conlon to billow the net at 1-15 to 0-11.

The second would arrive only four minutes into the new half when Peter Duggan dispossessed Matthew O’Hanlon and was duly tripped on his way to goal before dispatching the resulting penalty low to the left corner of Mark Fannng’s net as Clare carved out a seemingly unassailable 2-18 to 0-11 lead.

Diarmuid Ryan’s fourth point of the afternoon maintained that cushion heading into the final 20 minutes. However, much like their last outing in Cusack Park against Kilkenny, Clare took their foot off the gas to provide a glimmer of hope to a resurgent Wexford.

Rory O’Connor chipped away at the deficit with three points while sweeper Kevin Foley added two to lessen the damage to just seven. But it was Shaun Murphy’s volleyed 60th minute rebound goal that really injected belief into the visitor’s cause as they eventually whittled the arrears down to just two by the 63rd minute.

Peter Duggan, Podge Collins and Ian Galvin eased the pressure on the home side
entering injury-time to move four clear once more.

But after a Jack O’Connor free, Wexford laid siege on the Clare defence for the remainder in search of an equalising goal, only for Tuohy to ultimately spare Clare’s blushes.

Scorers for Clare: Peter Duggan 1-6 (1-0 Pen, 6f); Diarmuid Ryan 0-4; John Conlon 1-1; Podge Collins 0-3; David Fitzgerald, Tony Kelly, Ian Galvin 0-2 each; Colm Galvin, Shane Golden 0-1 each

Scorers for Wexford: Rory O’Connor 0-5 (1f); Ian Byrne 0-4 (4f); Shaun Murphy 1-0; Cathal Dunbar, Liam Óg McGovern, Kevin Foley, Jack O’Connor (1f) 0-2 each; Aidan Nolan, Liam Ryan, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Lee Chin, Paul Morris 0-1 each

Clare

1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)

2. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)
3. David McInerney (Tulla)
4. Jack Browne (Ballyea)

20. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber) (Captain)
6. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
7. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)

8. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
9. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)

10. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
11. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
12. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)

13. Ian Galvin (Clonlara)
14. John Conlon (Clonlara)
15. Podge Collins (Cratloe)

Subs:
5. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge) for Fitzgerald (55)
21. Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin) for Golden (61)
17. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for O’Connor (65)
18. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Ryan (69)
19. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Conlon (69, inj)

Wexford

1. Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barntown)

17. Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
3. Darren Byrne (Blackwater)
4. Shane Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien)

5. Pádraig Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurn)
7. Shaun Murphy (Oulart-The-Ballagh)
6. Matthew O’Hanlon (St James’)

8. Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s)
11. Liam Óg McGovern (St Anne’s)

9. Kevin Foley (Rapparees)
12 Ian Byrne (Ferns St Aidan’s)
10. Aidan Nolan (HWH Bunclody)

13. Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Eanna)
20. Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers)
22. Rory O’Connor (St Martin’s)

Subs:
14. Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna) for McGovern (HT)
24. Paul Morris ((Ferns St Aidan’s) for Byrne (HT)
2. Damien Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien) for S. Reck (54)
25. Jack O’Connor (St Martin’s) for Dunbar (55)
21. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) for Nolan (67)

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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