Clare storm past Kilkenny to finish with three straight wins

David McInerney returned from injury but then went off with a knock after 31 minutes

Clare’s John Conlon and Richie Leahy of Kilkenny collide during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B game at  Cusack Park in  Ennis. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Clare’s John Conlon and Richie Leahy of Kilkenny collide during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B game at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

Clare 4-20 Kilkenny 1-25

Having lost to Antrim in the opening round, Clare came storming back and finished their campaign with a third win on the trot, defeating Kilkenny by four points in Round 5 of the Allianz Hurling league at Cusack Park on Saturday. It was a good tonic for Brian Lohan and his charges, ahead of their opening championship game against Waterford in a fortnight’s time.

Welcoming back from injury, Clare saw David McInerney send over a booming point from a distance with the game only seconds old. Unfortunately for the experienced Tulla man, he retired with a groin injury after just 31 minutes.

Clare held the advantage by 0-6 to 0-4 after 17 minutes when Tony Kelly was in for the game’s first goal. TJ Reid replied for the Cats with a pointed free before Kelly added a second Clare goal, this time from the penalty spot after Ian Galvin was fouled in front of goal.

Clare led by a single point at the break, with the score-board reading 2-09 to 0-14. Brian Cody introduced Ciarán Wallace, David Blanchfield and Niall Brassil at half-time and Alan Murphy early in the second half, to shake things ups.

Yet Clare scored the half’s first pair of points. Kilkenny found themselves ahead by a point by the 52nd minute before goalscoring fireworks erupted.

David Reidy ripped through the Kilkenny defence for a peach of a goal and moments later teammate Aaron Shanagher batted to the net for a second. Kilkenny were not to be outdone though and Martin Keoghan was in at the other end, almost immediately it was Clare 4-14, Kilkenny 1-21. The sides were level in the 67th minute but a strong finish by Brian Lohan’s men, recording four late points by Tony Kelly, Gary Cooney (2) and Ryan , saw them over the line.

CLARE: E Quilligan; R Hayes, C Cleary, A Fitzgerald; D Ryan (0-3), J Conlon (capt), D McInerney (0-1); C Malone, T Kelly (2-5, 1-0 pen, five frees); D Reidy (1-2), C Galvin, A McCarthy (0-3); M Rodgers (0-1), A Shanagher (1-1), I Galvin.

Subs: P Flanagan for Fitzgerald (6 mins, inj), D Fitzgerald for McInerney (31, inj), D McMahon for C Galvin (49), R Taylor (0-1) for I Galvin (50), G Cooney (0-2) for Rodgers (63), S Golden (0-1) for Shanagher ) (63).

KILKENNY: E Murphy; T Walsh, H Lawlor, P Deegan; D Corcoran, P Walsh, C Browne; R Reid (0-3), R Leahy (0-1); A Mullen (capt) (0-3), W Walsh (0-1), TJ Reid (0-9, seven frees, two 65s); J Bergin, B Ryan (0-2), E Cody (0-4).

Subs: M Keoghan (1-0) for W Walsh (32 mins, inj), C Wallace for T Walsh, D Blanchfield (0-1) for Leahy, N Brassil for Ryan (all h/t), A Murphy (0-1) for Mullen (36), L Blanchfield for Bergin (61), C Buckley for R Reid (65).

Referee: J Murphy (Limerick).

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