By Seamus Hayes
Clare 3-23 Offaly 0-12
Thirty one players saw action for Clare as the All-Ireland champions recorded an easy win over a disappointing Offaly outfit in this senior hurling tournament played to mark the opening of a new stand at the Smith O’Briens GAA grounds in Killaloe on Friday evening.
For the second time in a week Clare played a different team in each half as preparations for their Munster championship semi-final against either Cork or Waterford continued.
the rain began to fall as proceedings got under way in Killaloe where Munster GAA council chairman Robert Frost performed the official opening of the next stand. He paid tribute to all involved with the development and urged the goverment of the day to ensure that grant aid from the Sports capital fund was made available to GAA clubs who he described as leading community organisations throughout the country.
A superb goal from Podge Collins helped Clare to a 1-13 to 0-6 interval lead. The rain got progressively heavier as the second half was played but Clare continued to dominate and further goals from Jamie Shanahan and Tony Kelly had Clare well ahead by the end of the third quarter.
Kelly’s goal came from a 20m free which he blasted to the net in similar fashion to Anthony Nash from Cork and to Kilkenny’s T.J. Reid as he showed in the league final.
Clare’s next outing will be on Sunday evening May 18 when they travel to play Kilkenny at the James Stephens grounds in Kilkenny.
The Clare team which played in the first half was Donal Tuohy; Domhnaill O’Donovan, Cillian Duggan, Jack Browne; Seadna Morey, Pat O’Connor, Paul Flanagan (0-1); Sean Collins, Nicky O’Connell; Peter Duggan, Colin Ryan (0-5), Bobby Duggan (0-3); Podge Collins (1-1); Darach Honan (0-1), Davy O’Halloran (0-1);
Sub–Tony Kelly (0-1) for Ryan;
The second half team was Derek Fahy; CianDillon, David McInerney, Conor Cooney; Brendan Bugler, Alan O’Neill, Stephen O’Halloran; Pat Donnellan, Jamie Shanahan (1-0); Cathal Malone (0-1), Tony Kelly (1-0), John Conlon (0-4); Shane Gleeson (0-1). Cathal McInerney, David Reidy (0-3);
Sub–Conor McGrath (0-1) for Kelly.
Offaly;–James Dempsey; Niall Wynn, Rory Hannify, Sion Og Lyons; Barry Harding, Ger Healion, Cathal Parlon; Derek Morkam (0-2) Kevin Connelly; Joe Bergin 90-1) Danie Currams, Peter Geraghty (0-2); Shane Dooley (0-2) Brian Carroll (0-4) Tommy Geraghty;
Subs–Sean Ryan for Bergin; Eoin Ryan for T. Geraghty; Conor Doughan for Healion; James Rigney (0-1) for Lyons
Referee—Johnnie Healy Smith O’Briens.