By Seamus Hayes
Wexford 2-25 Clare 2-22
The fighting qualities that have been so much part of Clare’s hurling success in modern times stood out at Wexford Park this Saturday evening.[doptg id=”30″]Despite being reduced to thirteen men for the final twenty five minutes of the game, Clare simply refused to accept defeat and when Colin Ryan converted a ’65 in the fourth minute of ‘injury time’, Clare had secured extra time, against the odds given their numerical disadvantage for the final quarter.
In the end, however, the effort that went into the fightback which earned extra time took its toll and the Slaneysiders prevailed. The results is certainly disappointing for Clare fans but the team did not go down without a fight.
Over the two games, Wexford just about deserved their win but, that said, there will be some aspects of this latest clash that will trouble Clare. A third sending off in two games is certainly a worry and there were some decisions by match official Johnnie Ryan that were somewhat surprising.
Clare made three changes in personnell from the team which drew last week for this replay in Wexford Park. Team captain Pat Donnellan was omitted from the starting team as was Cathal McInerney while Podge Collins was ruled out due to suspension
Seadna Morey, Peter Duggan and Darach Honan came into a team which had an unchanged defence.
Wexford made two changes in personnell and they were also in attack with Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Garrett Sinnott replacing Harry Kehoe and Rory Jacob.
Points were exchanged three times in the opening twenty minutes with the home side levelling each time. The only goal of the first half came after twenty two minutes when Darach Honan cooly found the net after he had received an exquisite pass from his Clonlara clubmate Colm Galvin.
That, however, was Clare’s last score of the half and Wexford hit the next three scores. Two minutes form half time, just as was the case in the drawn game, Clare were reduced to fourteen men. Defender Brendan Bugler was shown a straight red card by referee Johnnie Ryan.
John before the half time whistle Wexford, who hit twelve wides in that first half, had a goal disallowed for a square ball infringement and they went to the break, after playing with the aid of the breeze, trailing by two points, 0-6 to 1-5.
Wexford were level within three minutes of the restart but Clare responded with a brace of points and they were two ahead when Jack Browne picked up a second yellow and the visitors were down to thirteen. John Conlon found the net with an unstoppable drive and the Clare fans were still cheering when Conor McDonald did likewise at the other end for the home side and they followed with three points in a row to go back in front. It was point for point from here to the finish with Ryan’s ’65 sending the clash to extra time for the second week in a row.
The visitors edged two points clear in the first period of extra time but then Wexford struck for a goal from Harry Kehoe and they led by two at the end of the first period.
Clare got the first two points of extra time to level the tie for the eleventh time and they were level twice more before three Jack Guiney points, two from frees, finally killed off the Clare challenge
Jack Guiney (0-10); Paul Morris (0-7); Conor McDonald (1-1); Harry Kehoe (1-0); Lee Chin, Liam Og McGovern (0-2) each; Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Rory Jacob, Dave Redmond (0-1) each
John Conlon (1-5) Colin Ryan (0-5) Darach Honan (1-1); Tony Kelly (0-3) Conor McGrath (0-4), Jamie Shanahan (0-2) Colm Galvin, Patrick Kelly (0-1) each
;–Mark Fanning; Liam Ryan, Matthew O’Hanlon, Keith Rossiter; Andrew Shore, Eoin Moore, Ciaran Kenny; David Redmond, Lee Chin; Paul Morris, Podge Doran, Diarmuid O’Keeffe; Garrett Sinnott, Conor McDonald, Liam Og McGovern
Subs;–Jack Guiney for Doran; Rory Jacob for Sinnott; Ian Byrne for Morris; P.J. Nolan for Redmond; Harry Kehoe for O’Keeffe; Paul Morris for Byrne; Ritchie Kehoe for Kenny; Shane Tompkins for Nolan; Paudge Doran for Jacob; Willie Devereaux for Rossiter. Rossitter for Moore
; Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona); Cian Dillon (Crusheen) David McInerney (Tulla) Jack Browne (Ballyea); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Conor Ryan (Cratloe), Patrick O’Connor (Tubber); Colm Galvin (Clonlara) Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin), Tony Kelly (Ballyea) Colin Ryan (Newmarket); John Conlon (Clonlara), Darach Honan (Clonlara), Conor McGrath (Cratloe)
;–Pat Donnellan (O’C. Mills) for Duggan; Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for Honan; Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge) and Paul Flanagan (Ballyea) for extra time in place of Bugler and Browne
Referee—Johnnie Ryan, Tipperary