Allianz Hurling League Division 1
Clare bagged back-to-back wins, as Kilkenny were left searching for their first win of the 2018 Allianz Hurling League Division 1 at Nowlan Park this afternoon.
Despite some bad shot selection and a lot of wides in the closing 35 minutes, Clare held out for a three-point win.
In front of an attendance of 6,416 spectators, Clare led this entralling hurling encounter from the seventh minute, after Shane O’Donnell snuck home an opportunist goal.
O’Donnell’s effort gave Clare a 1-2 to 0-2 lead at this stage, with Kilkenny having opened the scoring before Clare had moved 0-2 to 0-1 ahead, only to be on level terms once more in the sixth minute.
Clare’s David Reidy scores their second goal from the halfway line.
Brian Cody’s side wouldn’t registered their third score until the 21st minute when Bill Sheehan netted to end their barren streak.
Clare moved 2-7 to 0-2 ahead, and were totally dominant throughout the park, with an uncharacteristic error by Eoin Murphy leading to their second goal.
David Reidy finishing to the net from his own 65 metre line in a period where Clare hit 2-4 without reply.
Sheehan’s goal handed Kilkenny a life-line, but Clare continued to look good.
Kilkenny were certainly sensing the danger, and by the 25th minute, three players had been substituted, with the game slowly turning in their favour after this.
But Clare also pegged off their scores, and built up a comfortable 2-12 to 1-7 lead at the break.
Indeed free-taker Alan Murphy contributed the bulk of Kilkenny’s first half scores, with just one of their points from play – that coming in injury time from Pat Lyng.
The Cats rattled off three unanswered points on the restart, before a sideline cut from Peter Duggan was Clare’s second half opener in the 38th minute.
Kilkenny continued to press hard and really put it up to Clare, but the visitors led by 2-17 to 1-14 entering the final quarter.
Clare only managed one further point, and Kilkenny pegged off scores, but the Cats fell short in the end, as Clare held out for a three-point win.
Clare: P Duggan (0-5, 3f); D Reidy (1-3); J Conlon (0-3); S O’Donnell (1-0); C Malone (0-2); D Fitzgerald, S Morey, C Galvin, T Kelly, N Deasy (0-1 each).
Kilkenny: A Murphy (0-10, 8f, 2 65s’); B Sheehan (1-0); W Walsh, M Keoghan (0-2 each); E Murphy (0-2, 2f); R Leahy, P Lyng (0-1 each).
Kilkenny: E Murphy; J Holden, P Walsh, P Deegan; C Buckley, R Lennon, J. Lyng; J Maher, O Walsh; J Donnelly, R Reid, R Leahy; B Sheehan, W Walsh, A Murphy. Subs – E Morrissey for J. Lyng; P Lyng for O Walsh; M Keoghan for R Reid; C O’Shea for Lennon; L Blanchfield for J Donnelly.
Clare: D Tuohy; J Browne, C Cleary, P O’Connor; D Fitzgerald, D McInerney, S Morey; C Galvin, T Kelly; C Malone, J Conlon, D Reidy; S O’Donnell, P Duggan, P Collins. Subs: M O’Malley for D Fitzgerald; I Galvin for P Collins; N Deasy for C Malone; J McCarthy for P Duggan.
Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath).