Ryan’s crucial late goal helps Clara claim a first Kilkenny senior title since 1986
Goal from a free changes trend of game as Carrickshock’s long wait for glory continues
Clara’s Shane Prendergast and James Nolan celebrate their team’s win at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Clara 1-15 Carrickshock 2-10
A late Lester Ryan goal saw Clara blast their way to the Kilkenny senior hurling title.
Midfielder Ryan came forward to drill a 55th minute free to net, turning the game on its head. The goal rocked Carrickshock, who had led by two points (2-9 to 0-13) before that. They never recovered.
Carrickshock were quicker to settle from the off, John Power driving them into the lead with a fifth minute goal. However, four Keith Hogan points (two frees, two 65s) saw Clara regain their composure by the 11th minute.
Hogan played a big part in Clara’s fortunes in that half, helping himself to eight points in the opening half hour.
It was nip and tuck for long spells after that, as neither side could ever open more than a one-point lead before being hauled back. Richie Power (0-3, frees) and Michael Rice kept Carrickshock motoring but, with Hogan and Austin Murphy leading the charge, Clara were right behind.
A purple patch saw Clara take charge as half-time loomed. Liam Ryan landed a fine point from the left after a searing solo run, while three more Keith Hogan points left Clara four to the good with 60 seconds of normal time left (0-11 to 1-4).
Carrickshock’s Brian Donovan kept them going with a point before, in injury-time, he picked off a long Michael Rice free and blasted it to the net from close range, leaving the sides all square at the break (Carrickshock 2-5, Clara 0-11).
The second half was a much quieter affair, the sides sharing just four points between them in the opening 20 minutes.
But three in quick succession from Brian Donovan, Damien Walsh and John Power put Carrickshock into a 2-9 to 0-13 lead with seven minutes to play.
The situation changed when Lester Ryan netted his close range free. Ryan followed that up with a mammoth point from close to halfway, before sub Chris Bolger made sure Clara claimed their first senior title since 1986.
CLARA: K Phelan; T Ryan, J Phelan, S O’Shea; N Prendergast, S Prendergast, D Langton; Lester Ryan (1-1, 1-0 free), J Langton (0-1); C Phelan, K Hogan (0-10, 0-7 frees, 0-2 65), Liam Ryan (0-1); A Murphy (0-1), J Nolan, C Prendergast. Subs: C O’Shea for Nolan, (50 mins), C Bolger (0-1) for Murphy (56 mins).
CARRICKSHOCK: J Butler; J Murphy, J Dalton, D Franks; J Cahill, J Tennyson, P Tennyson; M Rice (0-2), P Mulcahy; Jamie Power, R Power (0-4, frees), John Power (1-1); M Rohan, M O’Dwyer, B Donovan (1-2). Subs: D Walsh (0-1) for Mulcahy (42 mins), N Rohan for Jamie Power (56 mins), N Tennyson for P Tennyson (56 mins).
Referee: S Cleere (O’Loughlin Gaels).