Clare 2-25 Wexford 2-25 (After extra time)
Clare’s dream of making history by retaining the All-Ireland senior hurling title for the first time is still alive….but only just.
Before an attendance of 12,871 at Cusack Park this Saturday afternoon, the title holders fought their way back from a ten point deficit to force extra time.[doptg id=”28″]They played the entire second half of normal time with fourteen men after Podge Collins was shown a straight red card just before the short whistle. The dual player, it is alleged, interfered with the face guard of his opponent’s helmet and this is a red card offence since the beginning of the playing season,
Wexford dominated the game in the first quarter at the end of which they were 2-7 to 0-3 on front. They were dominant in most positions and Clare can count themselves fortunate not to have been further behind at this stage. By half time, the home side had cut the visitor’s lead to five points, 2-9 to 0-10 but having to face into the second half a man short, things didn’t look good.
By the three quarter stage the margin was still the same with each side having added four points. Clare hit three in a row to come within two of the Leinster side but with ten remaining, Wexford had pulled five clear again.
With two minutes remaining, Wexford still held four points clear and looking set for what would surely be a massive win for them. Then, a four on Conor McGrath resulted in a penalty for the home side. Tony Kelly’s effort was saved but substitute Seadna Morey first timed the rebound to the net. Clare won possession from the puckout and David McInerney found Conor Ryan with a short delivery and the centre back, from the middle of the field, tied up the game with an excellent point.
Both sides had chances in the additional minute of injury time which followed but Darach Honan and Garret Sinnott saw their efforts go wide of the target.
For extra time Clare were back to a full compliment of players but Wexford were first to score and Lee Chin put them back in front. Halfway through the first period Clare hit the front for the first time when Conor McGrath found the net but Wexford responded with a brace of points to level the tie before Cathal McInerney had Clare in front, 2-22 to 2-21 at the end of the first period.
It was point for point throughout the second period with Paul Morris firing over a merited equaliser for the Slaneysiders in the final minute of the game.
The very least Wexford deserved from the game was a draw. They made most of the running and looked sharper in vital areas. That said, full credit has to go to Clare for the manner in which they fought back. Cian Dillon, Brendan Bugler, in the second half, Patrick Kelly and, particularly Conor McGrath stood out for Clare while Wexford’s best were Lee Chin, Matthew O’Hanlon, Andrew Shore, Liam Og McGovern and Paul Morris.
Its expected that the replay will take place next Saturday and the likely venue is Wexford park but details will be confirmed on Monday
;–Patrick Kelly; Cian Dillon (0-1), David McInerney, Jack Browne; Brendan Bugler, Conor Ryan (0-1), Patrick O’Connor; Pat Donnellan Colm Galvin; John Conlon, Tony Kelly (0-4) Colin Ryan (0-12), 11 frees, Podge Collins, Cathal McInerney (0-2) Conor McGrath (1-5);
—Peter Duggan for Donnellan (50 minutes); Darach Honan for Conlon (55 minutes); Seadna Morey (1-0) Galvin (64 minutes); Davy O’Halloran for Morey(for extra time); Shane Golden (for P. Collins); Morey for C. McInerney(80 minutes); Paul Flanagan for O’Connor (88 minutes)
Mark Fanning; Liam Ryan, Matthew O’Hanlon, Keith Rossiter; Andrew Shore (0-1), Eoin Moore (0-1) Ciaran Kenny; David Redmond (0-1) Lee Chin (0-3); Paul Morris (0-10), 7 frees, , Podge Doran, Harry Kehoe; Liam Og McGovern( 1-4) Conor McDonald (1-1), Rory Jacob (0-1);
—Jack Guiney (0-1) for Jacob (30 minutes); Garret Sinnott for H. Kehoe (half time); Diarmuid O’Keeffe (0-1) for Redmond (45 minutes); PJ. Nolan for Doran (48 minutes); Ritchie Kehoe for Short ((62 minutes); Ian Byrne (0-1) for McDonald (extra time); Willie Devereaux for Rossiter (80 minutes); Rory Jacob for Sinnott (85 minutes); Conor Devitt for Chin (88 minutes)
Referee—Cathal McAllister, Cork
By Seamus Hayes