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Allianz HL D1: Clare go goal-crazy against Wexford

David Fitzgerald of Clare is tackled by Shane Reck of Wexford during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A match between Wexford and Clare at Chadwicks Wexford Park in Wexford. 

David Fitzgerald of Clare is tackled by Shane Reck of Wexford during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A match between Wexford and Clare at Chadwicks Wexford Park in Wexford. 

Allianz Hurling League Division 1


By Ronan Fagan at Chadwicks Wexford Park

Clare romped back to winning ways in Division 1B of the Allianz league as Wexford suffered at Chadwicks Wexford Park on Sunday.

Brian Lohan had demanded a response following the Banner County’s tame 1-27 to 2-18 folding to Limerick in round two, and he certainly got it.

Indeed, with eight personnel changes and seasonal bows for outstanding centre-back John Conlon together with Tony Kelly, Ryan Taylor and Paul Flanagan, the Munster outfit stormed to a 4-17 to 1-6 interval advantage and never looked back.

Clare are home to both Galway and Cork as they seek involvement in the knockout stages for the first time since 2019.

Wexford, meanwhile, have the task of trying to pick up the pieces with back-to-back away trips, to Cork and Limerick, and although being without the likes of Rory O’Connor, Lee Chin and Liam Ryan on this occasion, manager Darragh Egan has been left in little doubt about the serious work to right the ship for championship.

Wexford were given early cause for alarm as, following an opening exchange of points, centre-forward Peter Duggan raced onto a pass from David Reidy to drive Clare to a 1-1 to 0-1 lead on three minutes.

Wexford offered real encouragement initially in response, with Charlie McGuckin and Cathal Dunbar combining before Dunbar fed his Gorey colleague Conor McDonald to plunge to the net lift-and-strike style and help level matters after eight minutes (1-3 apiece).

However, as Wexford deficiencies became increasingly evident, Clare did as they pleased, and Tony Kelly weighed in with a long-range point before turning provider for David Reidy to stitch a 15th minute goal for a double-scores advantage (2-8 to 1-4).

Clare were in their pomp, and beleaguered Wexford were hit hard again in the 20th minute when a puck-out from Banner ‘keeper Eamonn Foudy located the on-fire Aidan McCarthy inside to net a 3-9 to 1-4 lead.

And Wexford were very much in damage-limitation territory at half-time as the gap swelled to 4-17 to 1-6 after Tony Kelly also got amongst the goals on 28 minutes – turning over a Wexford puck-out on the right flank before haring in to crash home an angled finish.

Kelly extended the gap to 21 minutes only seconds after the resumption.

Wexford made valiant efforts to repair the damage, and Rory Higgins had an early goaling chance parried at the expense of a ‘65 which Ross Banville pointed to help them close to within 4-20 to 1-13 after 49 minutes.

But despite having moved down a few gears, Clare still possessed enough smarts to inflict further pain, and Peter Duggan snapped onto a defensive error to feed David Reidy for his second personal goal after 64 minutes (5-23 to 1-16)

And the cherry was applied to the Banner’s cake when substitute Mark Rodgers stitched the net in the 69th minute.

Scorers for Clare: Aidan McCarthy 1-10 (0-6 frees), David Reidy 2-1, Tony Kelly 1-2, Peter Duggan 1-1, David Fitzgerald 0-3, Mark Rodgers 1-0, Ian Galvin 0-2, Ryan Taylor, Cathal Malone, Diarmuid Ryan, Adam Hogan, Eamonn Foudy (free), Davy Conroy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wexford: Ross Banville 0-8 (6 frees, 2 ‘65s), Conor McDonald 1-0, Cathal Dunbar 0-3, Charlie McGuckin 0-2, Conor Foley, Rory Higgins, Damien Reck, Conor Hearne, Ian Carty 0-1 each.

Clare: Eamonn Foudy; Adam Hogan, Conor Cleary, Paul Flanagan; Diarmuid Ryan, John Conlon, Brandon O’Connell; Tony Kelly, Ryan Taylor; David Fitzgerald, Peter Duggan, Cathal Malone; Ian Galvin, Aidan McCarthy, David Reidy.

Subs: Mark Rodgers for Galvin (42), Oran Cahill for Ryan (48), Davy Conroy for Malone (55), Aaron Fitzgerald for Flanagan (57), Seadna Morey for Taylor (66).

Wexford: James Lawlor; Shane Reck, Simon Donohoe, David Clarke; Conor Foley, Damien Reck, Jack O’Connor; Liam Óg McGovern, Cathal Dunbar; Conor Hearne, Connal Flood, Charlie McGuckin; Rory Higgins, Conor McDonald, Ross Banville.

Subs: Ian Carty for Foley (45), Corey Byrne-Dunbar for McGovern (47), Jack Doran for Flood (55), Eoin Murphy for O’Connor (60).

Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford).