All Ireland SHC QF: Clare march on
All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final
CLARE 0-27 WEXFORD 1-17
By Denis Hurley at Pairc Ui Chaoimh
Clare will face Galway in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final on July 28 after withstanding the challenge of Wexford in Saturday’s quarter-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The Banner County led by seven points, 0-16 to 0-9, at half-time and that was the gap at the end too but, in between, Wexford mounted a second-half revival, underpinned by a goal from Conor McDonald.
That strike came in the 58th minute as he pounced on a knockdown from Harry Kehoe to fire past Donal Tuohy, reducing the gap to five points, 0-22 to 1-14. While Shane O’Donnell had a point for Clare in response, Wexford almost struck again as Lee Chin set up Liam Óg McGovern but his shot was saved by Tuohy and Damien Reck’s attempted follow-up was blocked by Jack Browne.
Even so, two Rory O’Connor frees had Wexford back to within three points but some poor wides proved costly and though a long-range O’Connor free left three in it, that was as close as they came.
O’Donnell’s fourth point for Clare was followed by one from sub Ian Galvin to give them breathing space again. At the other end, Patrick O’Connor did well to intercept a Chin ball for Willie Devereux and Clare pushed on again after that, with John Conlon and Conor McGrath getting the clinching points, with Rory O’Connor sent off at the end.
Reck had the opening score for Wexford and they led 0-2 to 0-1 when Rory O’Connor got the first of his ten points but Clare hit the front through Séadna Morey, Peter Duggan and Shane O’Donnell and never trailed after that.
While Wexford had Shaun Murphy operating as a sweeper, Clare played around him and by half-time all of their forwards had scored, five of them from play, as they dominated the puckouts and David McInerney impressed as a spare man in defence.
Goal chances were at a premium but, while Conor McDonald had three points to his name by half-time, he was the only Wexford forward to have scored from play. On the resumption, Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Lee Chin had points for Wexford, but O’Donnell and Duggan answered them and that was the case until the goal.
Having let a big lead slip against Cork in the Munster final, Clare might been nervy when Wexford came back at them, but they kept a strong resolve and pushed on strongly.
Scorers for Clare: Peter Duggan 0-7 (5fs), Tony Kelly 0-5, Shane O’Donnell 0-4, John Conlon 0-3, Pádraic Collins, David Reidy 0-2 each, Séadna Morey, Cathal Malone, Conor McGrath, Ian Galvin 0-1 each.
Scorers for Wexford: Rory O’Connor 0-10 (9fs), Conor McDonald 1-3, Damien Reck, Shaun Murphy, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Lee Chin 0-1 each.
CLARE: Donal Tuohy; Jack Browne, David McInerney, Patrick O’Connor; Séadna Morey, Conor Cleary, Jamie Shanahan; Colm Galvin, Cathal Malone; Peter Duggan, Tony Kelly, David Reidy; Pádraic Collins, John Conlon, Shane O’Donnell.
Subs: Conor McGrath for Collins (27-29, blood), David Fitzgerald for Galvin (58), Ian Galvin for Reidy (61), Conor McGrath for Duggan (67), Michael O’Malley for Malone (70), Rory Hayes for Browne (70).
WEXFORD: Mark Fanning; Damien Reck, Liam Ryan, Conor Firman; Shaun Murphy; Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Paudie Foley, Matthew O’Hanlon; Kevin Foley, Aidan Nolan; Rory O’Connor, Lee Chin, Conor McDonald; David Dunne, Liam Óg McGovern.
Subs: Jack O’Connor for Nolan (49), Harry Kehoe for Kevin Foley (57), Harry Kehoe for Kevin Foley (57), Simon Donohoe for Paudie Foley (61), Willie Devereux for O’Keeffe (66).
REFEREE: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).