A STRONG FINAL quarter ensured that a relieved Clare finally overturned Wexford on away soil this afternoon.
Trailing by three points after 50 minutes, Davy Fitzgerald’s side honed their radar to out-score their hosts by 0-8 to 0-1 for the remainder and keep up their winning start to 2016.
A sixth win from as many games so far this season certainly didn’t appear likely as, buoyed by Mark Fanning’s goaled-penalty just before the break, Wexford displayed great spirit to keep their gale-assisted opponents at bay for the third quarter.
However, with the introduction of Bobby Duggan, Clare steadied the ship, with Colin Ryan (4) and Duggan (2) eventually nudging the Banner in front for the first time in 35 minutes approaching the finish — a lead that they would not relinquish.
With the strong conditions at their backs, Wexford built up an early 0-4 to 0-1 advantage by the 10th minute, guided by the fre-etaking of Harry Kehoe.
A six-point unanswered rally through Ryan (3), Conor McGrath (2) and John Conlon gave Clare an unlikely advantage considering the strength of the gale that blew towards the town.
Points from Eoin Moore and David Dunne were bolstered by a 33rd-minute penalty that goalkeeper Mark Fanning sent to the left corner of the net to hand the home side a 1-6 to 0-7 interval advantage.
However, after being dumped out of the 2014 All-Ireland Championship at the same venue, this time Clare dug deep enough to take the honours.
Scorers for Clare: Colin Ryan 0-10 (0-8f, 0-1 ’65); Conor McGrath, Jack Browne and Bobby Duggan 0-2 each; John Conlon and David Reidy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Wexford: Harry Kehoe 0-6 (0-6f); Mark Fanning 1-0 (pen); David Dunne 0-2; Podge Doran, Eoin Moore and Andrew Shore 0-1 each.
1. Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona)
2. Paul Flanagan (Ballyea)
3. Cian Dillon (Crusheen)
4. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber)
17. Jack Browne (Ballyea)
6. David McInerney (Tulla)
5. Conor Cleary (Kilmaley)
10. David Reidy (Éire Óg)
7. Conor Ryan (Cratloe)
11. John Conlon (Clonlara)
19. Gearoid O’Connell (Ballyea)
12. Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
15. Conor McGrath (Cratloe)
13. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
21. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
22. Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle) for O’Connell (46)
20. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for Shanagher (56)
1. Mark Fanning (Glynn Barntown)
2. Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
3. Matthew O’Hanlon (St James)
4. James Breen (Adamstown)
5. Eoin Moore (Oulart the Ballagh)
6. Paudie Foley (Crossabeg/Ballymurn)
7. Shaun Murphy (Oulart the Ballagh)
8. Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers)
17. Andrew Kenny (Buffers Alley)
12. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn)
14. Andrew Shore (Parnells, Dublin)
10. Aidan Nolan (Halfway House/Bunclody)
13. David Dunne (Davidstown/Courtnacuddy)
15. Podge Doran (Oylegate/Glenbrien)
20. Liam Óg McGovern (St Anne’s)
9. Eoin Conroy (Naomh Eanna) for Murphy (28, inj)
19. Ian Byrne (Ferns St Aidan’s) for Breen (41)
25 Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna) for McGovern (57)
Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)
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