Clare 1-21 Wexford 0-17
An outstanding showing from Tony Kelly saw Clare overcome Wexford to reach the quarter finals of the All Ireland hurling championship.
The captain finished with 1-15 for his side with a cracking goal in the final quarter ultimately deciding the contest.
Clare had the elements in their favour in the opening period and used them to full advantage to put ten points between the sides at the break.
The main reason for that was a tour de force by All Star shoo in Tony Kelly who landed 0-10 in the opening period with some outstanding scores from either sideline among them.
Wexford struggled to make inroads in attack and were limited to long range shooting in a tricky wind, with the vast majority drifting wide.
Clare led 0-4 to 0-2 at the opening water break but were guilty of overplaying in the middle third with the wind at their backs. That changed in the second quarter as a mixture of direct running and direct deliveries saw them outscore Wexford 0-9 to 0-1 until the half time whistle. Clare outworked Wexford in the battle zone with the outlet of Kelly, O’Donnell and Guilfoyle proving potent.
That lead was cut to eight by the turn of the final quarter with a run of four in a row for Wexford being stopped by another from Kelly as Clare led 0-16 to 0-8 at the last water break.
Any thoughts of a grandstand finish were buried when Kelly fired to the net with 15 minutes to play with a deadly finish to Mark Fanning’s net. It sent Clare 1-17 to 0-9 in front, and left Wexford chasing shadows.
The sides traded scores in the closing stages, and while the Leinster side finished strongly, the goal Wexford needed to get back into the game never came as Clare held out for an outstanding win.
Clare: Eibhear Quilligan; Rory Hayes, Conor Cleary, Pat O’Connor; Stephen O’Halloran, Aidan McCarthy, Seadna Morey; Jason McCarthy, Tony Kelly; Cathal Malone, David Reidy, Colin Guilfoyle; Shane O’Donnell, David Fitzgerald, Ryan Taylor.
Subs: Paidi Fitzpatrick for J McCarthy, Diarmuid Ryan for Guilfoyle, Aaron Cunningham for Reidy, Cathal McInerney for Taylor
Scorers: Tony Kelly (1-15, 8f, 1 “65), Jason McCarthy (0-2), Cathal Malone, Diarmuid Ryan, Colin Guilfoyle and David Fitzgerald (0-1 each).
Wexford: Mark Fanning; Simon Donohoe, Liam Ryan, Joe O’Connor; Paudie Foley, Matthew O’Hanlon, Shaun Murphy; Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Jack O’Connor; Liam Óg McGovern, Rory O’Connor, Aidan Nolan; Kevin Foley, Conor McDonald, Paul Morris.