Nolan’s goal helps Clara book their place in Kilkenny hurling final
All-Ireland intermediate champions too strong for St Martin’s
Clara 1-17 St Martin’s 1-14
A James Nolan goal gave Clara the boost they needed to charge into the Kilkenny senior hurling final.
Nolan’s strike, a volleyed shot following some good work by Ciaran Prendergast, proved to be the score that saw the reigning intermediate club All-Ireland champions shake off a dogged St Martin’s (Muckalee) in Nowlan Park on Sunday.
Backed by the accuracy of their free-taker Keith Nolan (0-3) Clara moved into an early three-point lead (0-5 to 0-2), however they were overhauled when John Mulhall’s point was followed by Canice Maher’s 13th minute goal.
The half-forward gathering Robert Shore’s telling pass to fire home a low shot.
The goal knocked Clara out of their stride, but Martin’s couldn’t fully capitalise though they went on to lead at half-time by 1-6 to 0-8.
Muckalee held on to their slender advantage into the last quarter but Clara scrapped their way in front.
Further points from Nolan and Hogan pushed them in front before Nolan slammed home the decisive goal.
CLARA: K Phelan, T Ryan, J Phelan, S O’Shea, N Prendergast (0-1), S Prendergast, D Langton, L Ryan, J Langton (0-2), C Phelan, K Hogan (0-7, 0-5 frees), L Ryan (0-3), A Murphy, J Nolan (1-2), C. Prendergast (0-2). Subs: C O’Shea; C Bolger.
ST MARTIN’S’: C McGrath, N Moran, O Walsh, S Cadigan, B Byrne, P Nolan, J Maher, J Dowling, T Breen, D Breen (0-1), J Mulhall (0-4), C Maher (1-0), B Mulhall, J Maher (0-8, 0-6 f), R Shore (0-1). Subs: J Maher; P Maher.