Clare maintained their unbeaten run in 2016 with an 8-point win over Laois in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise on Saturday night.
6 pointed frees from Clarecastle’s Bobby Duggan, 5 points from Colin Ryan and 1-2 from John Conlon helped Davy Fitzgerald’s side to a 1-21 to 0-16 win.
The win, along with victories over Wexford and Offaly, means that Clare are now guaranteed a league quarter final spot.
Clare’s next outing comes on Sunday at home to Kerry followed by another home tie at Cusack Park against Limerick one week later. Clare go into the final two games knowing that two wins will see them make an immediate return to Division 1A in 2017.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Wexford and Limerick over Kerry and Offaly respectively.
Clare Scorers: B Duggan 0-6 (6f), Colin Ryan 0-5 (1f, 1 ’65), J Conlon 1-2, D Reidy 0-3, A Cunningham 0-2, G O’Connell, Conor Ryan and C O’Connell 0-1 each.
Laois Scorers: Z Keenan 0-5 (4f), W Hyland 0-3, PJ Scully 0-3 (2f), C Dwyer 0-2, L Bergin, S Maher 0-1 each E Rowland 0-1 (1 ’65).
Clare: A Fahy; P O’Connor, C Dillon, B Bugler; P Flanagan, D McInerney, C Cleary; Conor Ryan, D Reidy; G O’Connell, Colin Ryan, J Conlon; A Cunningham, S O’Donnell, B Duggan. Subs: C Galvin for Cleary (HT), O O’Brien for Dillon (47), C O’Connell for G O’Connell (55), C O’Donnell for S O’Donnell (66), M O’Malley for Reidy (68).
Laois: E Rowland; J Phelan, N Foyle, C Healy; L Bergin, M Whelan, R Mullaney; C Collier, P Purcell; C Dwyer, Z Keenan, S Maher; T Delaney, W Hyland, R King. Subs: PJ Scully for King (20), W Dunphy for Maher (55), C Stapleton for Foyle (60), J Walsh for Bergin (60).
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork)