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Dublin: 14°C Saturday 8 May 2021


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And then there were four.

All-Ireland champions Galway will have to get past a young Clare side, who haven’t been back at Croke Park since their stunning 2013 championship win, if they’re to retain their crown.

This evening’s clash at GAA HQ is the A-side of a weekend semi-finals double-header, with the mouthwatering showdown of Cork and Limerick to come tomorrow.

The Tribesmen are hotly fancied to overpower the Banner with throw in at 5pm. How do you see it going?

Daithí Burke has emerged as a doubt for Galway but time will tell if he runs out ahead of 5pm.

In the meantime, here are your teams as named:


1. James Skehill (Ceapach an tSeagail)

2. Adrian Tuohy (Beithe)
3. Daithi Burke (An Turloch Mór)
4. John Hanbury (Rathún-An Caisleán Nua)

5. Padraic Mannion (Áth Eascrach-Fothaine)
6. Gearoid McInerney (Órán Mór-Meáraí)
7. Aidan Harte (Gort Inse Guaire)

8. Johnny Coen (Baile Locha Riach)
9. David Burke (Capt.) (Naomh Thómais)

10. Joseph Cooney (Na Sáirséalaigh)
11. Joe Canning (Port Omna)
12. Jonathan Glynn (Ardrahan)

13. Conor Whelan (Cinn Mhara)
14. Conor Cooney (Naomh Thómais)
15. Cathal Mannion (Áth Eascrach-Fothaine)


16. Fergal Flannery (Padraig Pearses)
17. Paul Killeen (Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry)
18. Seán Loftus (Turloughmore)

19. Ronan Burke (Turloughmore)

20. Seán Linnane (Turloughmore)
21. Shane Cooney (St Thomas)
22. Niall Burke (Oranmore-Maree)
23. Eanna Burke (St Thomas)
24. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)
25. Jason Flynn (Tommie Larkins)
26. Davey Glennon (Mullagh)


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 Josephs 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)


16. Andrew Fahy (Whitegate)
17. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones na Sionna)
18. Cian Dillon (Crusheen)
19. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)
20. Michael O’Malley (Kilmaley)
21. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
22. Niall Deasy (Ballyea)
23. Ian Galvin (Clonlara)
24. Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley)
25. Conor McGrath (Cratloe)
26. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones na Sionna)

We have Kevin O’Brien and Fintan O’Toole at Croke Park and I’m told Daithí Burke has his right ankle strapped but looks good to go for throw in.

‘It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s about the size of the fight in the dog,’ says Gerry O’Connor. He says his panel is relaxed and ready for road.

All the talk is that Galway will steamroll this Clare side, but Richie Hogan says he fancies the Banner. The handicap is four points, for what it’s worth.

The president is meeting the sides and we’re moments away from throw-in.

The defence forces are being honoured moments before the game gets underway.

Paul Killeen takes to the field Source: James Crombie/INPHO

And we’re off!


Joe Canning opens the scoring. Donal Tuohy’s puck out is poor and the Portumna man sends it back where it came from.


Clare freetaker Peter Duggan has his first sight at the posts and it’s no gimme, out by the sideline. But he makes no mistake and we’re level.


Galway 0-3 Clare 0-1 85m out and Joe Canning converts a monster free. As I type, Conor Cooney picks one out of the air and sends it over.


Johnny Glynn has a big goal chance after a clever ball by Cathal Mannion.

Glynn is closed down and it’s well wide.


Some interested spectators. Ger’s off to join the Cuban revolution in that very nice cap.

Ger Loughnane Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Brian Cody Source: James Crombie/INPHO


Another puck-out malfunction. Donal Tuohy’s attempt to centre field is cut out by Conor Whelan and he sends it over.


Galway 0-5 Clare 0-1 Johnny Coen scores Galway’s fourth on the trot. Clare are all at sea in this first quarter.


Galway 0-6 Clare 0-1 Galway looked to be in for a goal but the chance was wasted. The ball’s recycled though and Cathal Mannion opens his account with a point.


GOAL! Conor Cooney scores for Galway


Galway 1-7 Clare 0-2 

Podge Collins and Tony Kelly — two of Clare’s talismen — get on the ball in the middle of the park but Jamie Shanahan puts the chance the created wide. Moments later, Galway get in for a goal and this game is drifting away from the Banner.

David Reidy points for Clare.


Galway 1-7 Clare 0-3 Quality score from Shane O’Donnell. He makes a great catch, shakes of John Hanbury and then arrows it over under pressure.


Galway 1-7 Clare 0-4 Peter Duggan adds another point from a free. The gap is down to six.


Galway 1-7 Clare 0-5 Colm Galvin finds Tony Kelly and he lofts over a big point. Clare are on a roll all of a sudden.


Joe Canning sends a sideline cut wide of the far post and we have 25 minutes on the clock almost.

Conor Cooney and David McInerney Galway's Conor Cooney and David McInerney of Clare. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


Aidan Harte’s effort is gone to Hawkeye and we get a Níl. Galway are gone 10 minutes without a score, Ger Canning says.


Galway 1-8 Clare 0-6 Tony Kelly scores and his influence is increasing. Cathal Mannion gets the scoreboard ticking over for Galway once again moments later.


Galway 1-8 Clare 0-7 Peter Duggan makes no mistake from another free. Five minutes in first-half normal time remaining.


Galway 1-8 Clare 0-8 Peter Duggan with another free and the Banner are back within a puck of a ball with Galway. That didn’t look at all likely after 15 minutes.


Hawkeye again for a Galway effort and yet another Hawkeye: wide.


Galway 1-8 Clare 0-9 Peter Duggan adds his fifth point — but first from play – and the momentum is with one side right now.


Galway 1-9 Clare 0-9 Cathal Mannion is the recipient of a free on the wing and he sends one over the bar.


Half-time: Galway 1-10 Clare 0-9


Jonathan Glynn tacked over the final point of the half to send the sides in four points apart.

What did you make of that first half then?


Attendance for the first semi-final of the weekend is 54,191.

Galway are waiting on the pitch for a few minutes now and there’s no sign of Clare.

It’s a wait of four minutes now and the crowd are restless.


Here they come after a five-minute wait and there’s a huge amount of boos fro mthe Galway crowd. Let’s see if that tactic works. We’re up and running again.


Galway 1-11 Clare 0-10 What a sideline cut from Joe Canning. John Conlon responds for Clare.


Galway 1-11 Clare 0-11 Peter Duggan scores his sixth point with another free.


Galway 1-11 Clare 0-13 Conlon angles over a great score as he was headed away from the posts. Shane O’Donnell follows up that up with another excellent effort.


Galway 1-12 Clare 0-13 Joe Canning taps over a facile free in front of the posts.

Niall Burke is about to be introduced.


Galway 1-12 Clare 0-14 Peter Duggan arrows over anther free. We’re down to a point in the difference once again.


Galway 1-14 Clare 0-14 Donal Touhy makes a great save from Conor Cooney! That looked like it was heading for the back of the net.

David Burke makes sure Galway get a point at least out of that passage. Joe Canning adds another with a free.


Galway 1-16 Clare 0-14 David Burke and then Conor Whelan add points. All that Clare work is undone with a couple of sloppy mistakes.


Galway 1-16 Clare 0-15 Peter Duggan makes no mistake with another free and it keeps Clare in touch.


Galway 1-16 Clare 0-18 David Fitzgerald isn’t long on the field but he’s made an immediate impression, finishing off a move started by Podge Collins. Colm Gavin adds another after a Tony Kelly knock down and as I type, Peter Duggan pings another one from play.

Clare flying again.


Galway 1-16 Clare 0-19 the sides are level and we’ve 20 minutes to play! John Conlon levels it up.


Galway 1-17 Clare 0-19 A Conor Whelan point from play to nudge the champions ahead again.


Galway 1-17 Clare 0-20 Peter Duggan scores his 10th of the evening and it’s a tie game again.


Galway 1-18 Clare 0-20 Joe Canning points once again. This is nip and tuck.


Joe Canning sends a sideline cut the wrong side of the post and that’s Galway’s 15th wide of the game, by Ger Canning’s count.


Galway 1-19 Clare 0-20 Joe Canning with a free and we have 10 minutes to go in normal time.


Galway 1-19 Clare 0-22 Peter Duggan makes it a one-point game once again and Ian Galvin then ties it up.

Tony Kelly then has a chance to put the Banner ahead for the first time but he drags his effort wide.


Galway 1-20 Clare 0-22 The Tribesmen nose in front again with a Cathal Mannion score.


Galway 1-22 Clare 0-23 What a score from Peter Duggan, he swung at the ball and sent it over with a forehand stroke! Joe Canning and Niall Burke point down the other end however. This is hectic.


Galway 1-23 Clare 0-23 The skipper, David Burke, is on the end of a Galway move and the champions are hitting the turbo, according to Brendan Cummins.


Galway 1-23  Clare 0-25 Sideline cut from Tony Kelly goes over.  Cruciate victim Aron Shanagher is on for Shane O’Donnell. Conlon adds another with a minute to go!


Galway puck out and there’s three minutes of injury time to be played.


Free to Clare and a chance to level it!


Peter Duggan nails the free and the game is level with 30 seconds to play!


Full time in normal time: 1-23 0-26

Extra time to be played! Phew!


That was breathless stuff.

Cyril Farrell is warning that Galway would want to get the first couple of points in extra time to make sure they’re not dethroned this evening.

Anthony Daly is rightly exalting the Clare effort, particularly to come back from that awful start when the gap was nine points.

How do you see this one shaking out from here?


We should have thrown in by now but neither side has emerged. This is a game of poker at this stage.


The two teams are out and we’re about to throw in.


Galway 1-24 Clare 0-26 Galway do get the first score of the period; Joe Canning form a free.

Sean Loftus joins the Tribesmen forward line.


Galway 1-25 Clare 0-26 What a ridiculous skill that is. Joe Canning daws a sideline cut over the bar.


Seadna Morey with a bad wide for Clare.


A fourth wide on the trot for Clare with John Conlon the perpetrator this time. The Clare side look fatigued at this stage.


Galway 1-25 Clare 0-27 Ian Galvin with a much needed and well taken score for the Banner.


Joe Canning is down injured after seemingly jarring his left knee as he landed.


Joe Canning is playing on, thankfully. Two minutes of added time in the first period of extra time, we’re told.


Galway 1-26 Clare 0-27 David McInerney is booked for throwing the hurley and Joe Canning knocks over the subsequent free in front of the posts.


Half time in extra time: Galway 1-26 Clare 0-27


Shane O’Donnell’s back on as both camps shuffle the pack. they can make three changes each in extra time.


It’s started bucketing down again and this is gonna get wet and wild for the last 10 minutes.


GOAL! Aron Shanagher raises the green flag! 


Clare go ahead from the restart with a big goal form the man making his way back from serious injury.

Galway respond quickly with a point through Jason Flynn.

Joe Canning is going off in the meantime and Peter Dugan misses a free.


Clare 1-28 Galway 1-27  Peter Duggan towels down his hurley and then dispatches a free to put Clare ahead once again. Six minutes to go.


Clare 1-29 Galway 1-27 Shane O’Donnell puts the Banner two points in front! It’s absolutely bucketing down now.


Clare 1-29 Galway 1-28 Four minutes left and it’s a one point game. Jason Flynn converts a free.


Galway 1-29 Clare 1-29 The teams are level. A goal was on after Jonny Glynn steamed down the middle before hand passing to  Flynn and he blazed over.


There’ll be three minutes of additional time in extra time, if you know what I mean.


We’re into the red on the clock and Galway have a free for an infraction by a tired Peter Duggan I think. Jason Flynn has the chance.


Hawkeye again! The linesman looked like the was thinking about it but he’s gone upstairs.

And the answer is Níl!


Coen point! Galway go ahead.


Galway 1-30 Clare 1-29 the whistle will peep at any stage and Clare are on the brink of an exit.


The three minutes are up. Clare in possession.


Jason McCarthy points for Clare and they’re level!


FULL-TIME: Galway 1-30 Clare 1-30!  


That was unreal. What a game of hurling.


We started the week thinking we only had tow more hurling weekends left this year, weirdly. Thankfully the sides will face off this day week – the venue however, will be up for debate I’d imagine.


Thanks for your company. I need to go and lie down in a darkened room for a while.

We’ll have lots of reaction and analysis from Croke Park throughout the evening of course with Fintan and Kevin now heading to chat to the players and coaches.

And we’ll do it all again tomorrow as Cork face Limerick.

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