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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 22 February, 2019


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COULD CLARE WIN the All-Ireland U21 hurling title for a third straight year? Or would Wexford have the last laugh in Thurles this evening?

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the action. Email, tweet@TheScoreGAA, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Clare v Wexford (throw-in 7pm)

Good evening and welcome to what promises to be an absolute cracker!

Champions Clare and challengers Wexford meet in Semple Stadium to decide this year’s All-Ireland U21 Hurling title.

Throw-in is at 7pm.

Here are the teams:


1.Keith Hogan

2. Jarlath Colleran
3. Jack Browne
4. Séadna Morey

5. Gearóid O’Connell
6. Conor Cleary
7.Jamie Shanahan

8. Colm Galvin
9. Eoin Enright

10. Bobby Duggan
11. Tony Kelly
12. Peter Duggan

13. Shane O’Donnell
14. Aaron Cunningham
15. David Reidy


1. Oliver O’Leary

2.Andrew Kenny
3. Liam Ryan
4. Eoin Conroy

5. Jim White
6. Shane O’Gorman
7. Jack O’Connor

8. Aidan Nolan
9. Conor Devitt

10. Jack Guiney
11. Gary Moore
12. Pádraig Foley

13. Rhys Clarke
14. Conor McDonald
15. Kevin Foley

THROW IN: We’re underway in Semple Stadium.

2 mins – An early goal chance for Aaron Cunningham but Jack O’Connor is back on the line for Wexford to scramble it clear.

Wexford 0-1 Clare 0-0: 6 mins – Jack Guiney points the game’s opening score from a free but Tony Kelly responds immediately for Clare.

Clare 0-2 Wexford 0-1: 7 mins – Quick thinking from Clare to take a sideline cut while Wexford are napping. Aaron Cunningham has the time and space to point.

Clare 0-2 Wexford 0-2: 11 mins – Jack Guiney points his second free to level things up. Nothing to choose between the sides in the opening minutes.

GOAL! Clare 1-2 Wexford 0-2 (Reidy, 13′) First blood to Clare — and if you need a moment to illustrate why this can be a game of inches, look no further.

Kevin Foley is desperately unlucky not to score for Wexford as he rattles Keith Hogan’s bar. In a heartbeat, Clare are down the other end with Shane O’Donnell slicing through the Model defence and then handpassing for David Reidy to finish at the back post.

Clare 1-2 Wexford 0-3: 17 mins – Guiney points another free to keep the scoreboard ticking over for Wexford.

Ooh, that was very nearly a second goal for Clare. Aaron Cunningham looked to have all the time in the world to score but the ball somehow squirted out of his grasp.

Clare 1-3 Wexford 0-4: 19 mins – Gary Moore points to bring Wexford back within a point but Jamie Shanahan responds at the opposite end.

Conor McDonald thinks he has pointed for Wexford but the umpires aren’t sure! There’s no HawkEye here in Semple Stadium and, after exchanging a few confused glances, they eventually wave it wide.

Clare 1-4 Wexford 0-4: 23 mins – Tony Kelly makes it look all to easy as he points his second of the evening.

Clare 1-4 Wexford 0-5: 26 mins – Another Guiney free; Wexford only have the one from play so far.

Clare 1-5 Wexford 0-5: 27 mins – You can’t give Tony Kelly an inch or he will punish you. This one is made by Colm Galvin and finished by the captain.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Clare 1-5 Wexford 0-6: 28 mins – Gary Moore is showing no ill effects from the blood injury which forced him off temporarily earlier on. A fine score to cut the gap to two again.

Clare 1-7 Wexford 0-6: 29 mins – Cunningham gets out in front of the Wexford defence, turns and points. Kelly follows up with another as Clare look to finish the half with a flourish.

One minute added.

Clare 1-8 Wexford 0-6: 30+1 mins – If Tony Kelly is under any pressure, he’s certainly not showing it. That’s five from play now; Wexford need the dressing room.

HALF TIME: Clare 1-8 Wexford 0-6

Kettle’s on, be back in a minute.

SECOND HALF: We’re up and running again. Can Wexford claw themselves back into this?

Clare 1-8 Wexford 0-8: 32 mins – They couldn’t have asked for a better start. Conor McDonald rifles a point over the bar seconds after the restart and Jack Guiney follows up with a free.

Clare 1-9 Wexford 0-9: 33 mins – It’s fast and furious now. Bobby Duggan plays in Colm Galvin to point for Clare but Wexford answer back immediately through  Conor Devitt.

Clare 1-10 Wexford 0-9: 35 mins – Not a bother, Bobby Duggan. He pops over a free, his first score of the evening. Clare lead by four again.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

GOAL! Clare 2-10 Wexford 0-9 (Cunningham, 38′) That could be curtains for Wexford. Superb play by Jamie Shanahan who loops a pass over the head of an advancing defender into Bobby Duggan’s path. Duggan squares and Cunningham scores.

PENALTY FOR WEXFORD! Maybe this will be their lifeline? Rhys Clarke does superbly to pick the ball off his boot and drive towards goal. He’s held up by Jarlath Colleran and it’s a penalty —  but how many steps did Clarke take there?

SAVED! Look, nobody can score penalties under this new rule and Jack Guiney is no different. He keeps it low but Jack Browne gets his hurl down and turns it behind for a 65. Guiney points.

Clare 2-11 Wexford 0-10

GOAL FOR WEXFORD! Clare 2-12 Wexford 1-10 Gearóid O’Connell bombs forward from wing-back to score his first of the evening and strethc Clare’s lead to eight but Wexford bite back immediately – substitute David Dunne rifles in a goal.

They’re not Dunne yet, you know *ahem*

Clare 2-14 Wexford 1-10: 48 mins – Bobby Duggan points one from play and one from a free and the gap is back to seven with just over 10 minutes to play.

Clare 2-16 Wexford 1-10: 51 mins – It’s all over bar the shouting. Another from Duggan is followed in by Kelly’s latest.

GOAL! Clare 2-16 Wexford 2-10 (Dunne, 52′) Hang on a second. David Dunne has fired his second goal since coming on. Wexford still have a mountain to climb but it’s looking a little less steep now.

Clare 2-17 Wexford 2-10: 54 mins – David Reidy points. Wexford need a third goal…

GOAL FOR WEXFORD! And there it is! Conor McDonald buries the sliotar past Keith Hogan to cut the gap to four. Clare 2-17 Wexford 3-10 (54 mins)

Clare 2-17 Wexford 3-11: 57 mins – Jack Guiney sends over a big, big point. Three in it now.

Clare 2-18 Wexford 3-11: 58 mins – That should help to settle the Clare nerves; Tony Kelly makes this a two-score game at least.

Clare 2-20 Wexford 3-11: 59 mins – That could be the winning and losing of it. Peter Sutton misses scoring Wexford’s fourth goal by inches and then at the other end, Colm Galvin points twice in quick succession.

What a finale.

We’re into the first and only minute of added time.

FULL TIME: Clare 2-20 Wexford 3-11

Clare are the All-Ireland U21 Hurling Champions for a third straight year.

Operation Pitch Invasion is a go in Thurles – congrats to the Banner!

About the author:

Niall Kelly