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Clare Minor Hurling Team. Photo by John Kelly

Kilkenny down the Banner in Thurles

Clare 0-13   Kilkenny 2-14

KILKENNY outclassed Clare in Thurles in their All-Ireland round robin fixture this afternoon. Clare were always in the game but Kilkenny’s class in front of goal made the difference with goals at critical times sealing the victory. Aidan Tallis in the Kilkenny goal also made two excellent saves from Shane Meehan to keep his side’s head in front.

Pierce Blanchfield got the opening score for Kilkenny within the minute mark but his opposite number Killian O’Connor levelled affairs within a minute from the Kinnane sideline.

Billy Drennan, who was to feature heavily in the first half, grabbed the Cats’ second score before Conner Hegarty and Shane Meehan notched scores to put the Banner ahead.

From the 10th minute Kilkenny took over and Drennan bagged three points before Kilkenny bagged clear daylight through an expertly-placed Blanchfield goal.

A Cian Galvin free being the only Clare for 19 minutes.

Clare bagged three points in the last six minutes of the half through a Galvin ’65 and two more Meehan points to leave the scoreboard Kilkenny 1-7 Clare 0-7 at the break.

Kilkenny ‘keeper Aidan Tallis closed out the first half with a great save from Meehan and did the exact same to open the second half, as the Banner man looked very threatening.

Two quickfire Blanchfield points were matched by two from Conner Hegarty as Clare endeavoured to stay within touching distance of the Cats.

Galvin made it a two-point game with a free but an excellent move from Kilkenny two minutes later gave them a six-point lead.

Billy Drennan hand-passed to Andy Hickey who deftly flicked it into the path of Colman O’Sullivan who cleverly batted first time to the net. This was a blow Clare never recovered from.

Kilkenny kept a lid on the Clare forwards after this who could never land a decisive blow to get them back in the game.

Clare: Aaron Shanahan; Storm Devanney, Adam Hogan, Cillian McGroary; Jarlath Collins, Cian Galvin, Tony Butler; Colm O’Meara, Cormac Murphy; Killian O’Connor, Oisin Clune, Keith Smyth; Shane Meehan, Conner Hegarty, Diarmaid Cahill.

Kilkenny: Aidan Tallis; Billy Reid, William Halpin, Tristan Roche; Peter McDonald, Padraic Moylan, James Aylward; Andy Hickey, Denis Walsh; Pierce Blanchfield, Colman O’Sullivan, Liam Moore; Billy Drennan, Timmy Clifford, Jack Doyle.

Eoghan Moloney.

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