Outclassed Laois feel the full force of Clare’s backlash
Davy Fitzgerald’s men get back on track with an impressive 20-pt win
Clare’s Brendan Bugler under pressure from James Walsh of Laois at Cusack Park on Saturday. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Clare 1-32 Laois 0-15
Clare got their championship ambitions back on track at Cusack Park, Ennis on Saturday when they hammered outclassed Laois by a whopping 20 points.
But for the opening ten minute period, the visitors never looked like troubling the Banner men in this one-sided affair.
After a disappointing loss to Cork in the Munster championship, Davy Fitzgerald’s men were out to make amends for a poor performance that day and on Saturday a hapless Laois were on the receiving end of a methodical backlash.
By the eight minute Laois were just two points in arrears (0-6 to 0-4) with centre-forward Zane Keenan in fine form, hitting three of those scores from play.
But alas for Laois, it was as close as they would get to an in-form Clare, who used their short-passing game effectively to outfox their opponents.
Peter Duggan a late replacement for Nick O’Connell, playing in the half-forward line, was a constant thorn in the Laois defence, scoring four points. At half-time, the hosts had a commanding 0-17 to 0-8 lead and with free-taker Colin Ryan in scintillating form, they pushed on in the second period.
Five of the six starting Clare back-line got on the scoresheet, as Séamus Plunkett’s men failed to sparkle like they did against Galway earlier, in the Leinster championship.
Clare’s midfield dominance and strength in defence cut out whatever attacking threat Laois might have posed and the icing on the cake for those home fans in the crowd of 7,192, came in the 68th minute when substitute Shane O’Donnell shot to Eoin Reilly’s net for the game’s only goal.
Clare dully advance to meet Wexford next weekend.