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David McInerney captained Clare to an easy win over Kerry in the first round of the Munster senior hurling league. Photograph by John Kelly

Comfortable first round victory for Clare

Clare 4-20 Kerry 0-12

Clare had their expected comfortable win over Kerry in the opening round of the Co-op Superstores Munster hurling league this afternoon in a game played at Limerick I.T after Sixmilebridge was deemed unplayable due to the heavy rain of the previous two days.

Fielding a new look side that included a number of debutants, there was never la doubt about the outcome. The winners raced into an early lead and were 1-3 to 0-0 ahead after six minutes, the goal coming from David Reidy who quickly added a point while Niall Deasy scored the opening two points.

Goals from Cathal O’Connell and Shane O’Donnell in the closing minutes of the half left Clare with a fifteen point lead, 3-11 to 0-5, when the half time whistle sounded. Clare’s workrate was impressive throughout that opening half with newcomers Diarmuid Ryan and Rory Hayes in fine form.

Both sides made changes at the interval when Clare brought in Colin Guilfoyle, Bobby Duggan and Darragh Corry to their attack and all three went on to feature prominently and get amongst the scorers. Duggan scored his side’s fourth goal which came near the end of the third quarter and when he followed with a point the Bannermen were 4-15 to 0-6 ahead at the three quarter stage.

To their credit Kerry battled on and they scored the final three points of the game through midfielder Shane Nolan. It must be pointed out that Clare finished with fourteen men as they had used their quota of five subs when Gary Cooney was forced to retire with a leg muscle injury and, hence, they could not introduce a replacement.

Joint manager Donal Moloney was, understandably pleased with the performance. “A lot of the lads acquitted themselves very very well,. They have been training hard and its good to get a game on such a good pitch. We are pleased with how the guys applied themselves especially as there were five making a start for the first time and another two or three came on who were making their debuts”, he said afterwards.

Clare will be in action again next week when they will entertain Cork in round 2 of the competition.

Clare; Donal Tuohy; Jack Browne, Conor Cleary, Rory Hayes; Diarmuid Ryan, David McInerney|(captain) Mikey O’Malley (0-1); David Reidy (1-3), Ryan Taylor (0-2); Niall Deasy (0-4), Cathal Malone (0-1), John Conlon (0-1); Cathal O’Connell (1-1) Shane O’Donnell (1-1), Gary Cooney;

Subs; Colin Guilfoyle (0-3) for Conlon; Bobby Duggan (1-1) for O’Connell; Darragh Corry (0-2) for O’Donnell), all at half time; Michael O’Neill for Malone (47 minutes); Oisin O’Brien for Ryan (51 minutes).

Kerry; Martin Stackpoole; Niall O’Mahony, Jason Diggins, Sean Weir; Dougie Fitzell, Jack Goulding, Brendan O’Leary; Shane Nolan (0-7, 6f), Daithi Griffin (0-2); Colum Harty, Daniel Collins (0-2, 1f), Jordan Conway; Padraig Boyle (0-1), Brandon Barrett, Shane Conway;

Subs; Philip Lucid for Harty; Maurice O’Connor for Goulding (both at half time); Daniel Carroll for S. Conway. John Buckley for n. O’Mahoney (both 50 minutes); Evan Murphy for Diggins (57 minutes)

Referee; Johnnie Murphy, Limerick

By Seamus Hayes

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