Clare 2-19 Kilkenny 0-12
What a difference a week makes. Those of us, and there were quite a few, who feared the worst on Sunday after witnessing the disappointing seven point loss to Cork in the opening round a week earlier were treated to a thrilling performance which resulted in a thirteen point win over Kilkenny at Cusack park this afternoon.
Its a result that few could have forseen but it was fully merited. Unlike the opening round eight days earlier, Clare’s hunger for victory was a key ingredient in this win. They dictated matters from the throw in and they had hit Kilkenny for 1-3 without reply after just four minutes. The gap was seven points inClare’s favour at the end of the first quarter and its fair to say that Kilkenny never looked like they might get back into contention.
The half backs who had been in great difficulty against Cork, excelled this afternoon. Indeed, the entire defence lexcelled and this is reflected in the fact that just two of the Kilkenny forward line managed to get on the scoresheet and between them they managed just two points from open play.
Before an attendance of 7,395, Clare dictated matters throughout the field and Kilkenny were somewhat flattered to be just four points adrift at the break.
Their opening goal came as early as the second minute and was scored by Aaron Cunningham after good play between himself and his clubmate Aron Shanagher.
The noresiders lost Walter Walsh at half time due to injury and early in the second half Ritchie Hogan was called ashore having had a quiet outing as he struggled to escapt the shackles of Oisin O’Brien who excelled on his return following injury.
Entering the final quarter a goal separated the sides but then Clare hit four in a row to open a seven point margin again.
Eleven minutes from time Kilkenny were awarded a penalty but Donal Tuohy made an excellent save from T.J. Reid and this killed off any chance of a Kilkenny rally. Clare went on to add 1-5 while conceding just a point. The goal was a superb score involving a number of players before Aron Shanagher found the net.
On a day when Clare enjoyed dominance throughout the field, the defence excelled with David Fitzgerald and Oisin O’Brien particularly prominent while up front the Wolfe Tones due of Aron Shanagher and Aaron Cunningham did well as did substitute Cathal McInerney.
Clare; Donal Tuohy; Seadna Morey, Cian Dillon, Oisin O’Brien; Brendan Bugler, Conor Cleary, David Fitzgerald (0-1); Jamie Shanaghen, David Reidy (0-7), 6 frees 1 ’65; John Conlon (0-1), Podge Collins (0-2), Cathal Malone; Aron Shanagher (1-4), 0-1 free, Aaron Cunningham (1-0). Shane O’Donnell;
Subs; Cathal McInerney (0-2) for Cunningham; Jason McCarthy (0-1) for Reidy; Peter Duggan (0-1), free for Malone; Shane Golden for Shanahan. Pat Donnellan for Bugler
Kilkenny; Eoin Murphy; Evancody, Padraig Walsh, Conor O’Shea; Joey Holden, Oaul Murphy, Kieran Murphy; Conor Fogarty (0-2), Cillian Buckley (0-1); Liam Blanchfield, T. J. Reid (0-7), 6 frees, Ritchie Leahy (0-1); Ritchie Hogan, Walter Walsh, Kevin Kelly;
Subs; Robert Lennon for Holden; John Joe Farrell for W.Walsh (inj); Shane Prendergast for Cody; James Maher for Hogan; Ollie Walsh for Kelly; Sean Morrissey for Blanchfield;
Referee; James Owens Wexford
By Seamus Hayes