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Colin Ryan in action. Photograph by John Kelly.

Hard earned win for Clare

Clare 0-18 Wexford 1-11

Clare justified favouritism in this round 2 Allianz division 1B hurling league tie at Innovative Wexford Park this afternoon but there were a number of anxous moments before the Banner side emerged with a merited win.

Greater experience and a higher level of fitness proved key ingredients for Clare who finished strongly, outscoring their opponents, 0-9 to 0-1 in the final twenty minutes.

It was anybody’s game with the scores level with just four minutes remaining but Clare hit four points in three minutes to seal victory and keep their unbeaten run this season going.

An injury hit Clare faced a strong wind in the opening half having been forced to make three changes in personnell from the side which beat Offaly in the opening round a week earlier. Colm Galvin and Darach Honan were ruled out due to injury while Peter Duggan was unavailable due to suspension.

Into the side came Ballyea’s Jack Browne and Gearoid O’Connell and Wolfe Tones teenager Aron Shanagher. Wexford started well and opened a three point lead by the tenth minute. Clare settled and hit the next six points to take a three point lead with ten minutes to play in the half.

Wexford had it back to one when referee James McGrath signalled for a penalty and yellow carded Clare captain Cian Dillon much to the surprise of Clare followers at the game. Wexford goalkeeper Mark Fanning converted the penalty and the Slaneysiders went to the break with a two point advantage, 1-6 to 0-7.

The home side, arguably, played their best hurling in the third quarter ar the end of which they were still in front, 1-10 to 0-11. Clare levelled with eight minutes to play but a Wexford point saw the home side lead by one with four minutes remaining. Clare put in a storming finish and three Colin Ryan efforts and one from Bobby Duggan sealed a merited win.

Clare; Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona): Patrick O’Connor (Tubber), Cian Dillon, Capt. (Crusheen), Paul Flanagan (Ballyea); Jack Browne (Ballyea), David McInerney (Tulla), Conor Cleary (Miltown St. Josephs): David Reidy (Éire Óg), Conor Ryan (Cratloe): Gearoid O’Connell (Ballyea), Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus), John Conlon (Clonlara): Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Conor McGrath (Cratloe);

Subs: Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle) for O’Connell (46 minutes); Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for Shanagher (53 minutes)

Scorers; Colin Ryan (0-10), 8 frees, 1 ’65; Conor McGrath, Jack Browne, Bobby Duggan (0-2) each); John Conlon, David Reidy (0-1) each

Wexford; Mark Fanning; Liam Ryan, Matthew O’Hanlon, James Breen; Eoin Moore, Paudie Foley, Shaun Murphy; Lee Chin, Andrew Kenny; Aidan Nolan, Liam Og McGovern, Harry Kehoe; David Dunne, Andrew Shore, Podge Doran

Subs; Eoin Conroy for Kenny (inj., 28 minutes); Ian Byrne for Breen (40 minutes); Conor McDonald for McGovern (55 minutes).

Scorers; Harry Kehoe (0-6), all frees; Mark Fanning (1-0), penalty: Eoin Moore, Liam Og McGovern, Andrew Shore, Podge Doran, David Dunne (0-1) each

Referee; James McGrath, Westmeath

By Seamus Hayes

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