Clare 2-28 Kerry 1-9
Cusack Park, Ennis
The Clare Senior Hurlers’ 2-28 to 1-9 win over Kerry at Cusack Park in Ennis on Sunday sets up a deciding clash with Limerick in Division 1B of the Allianz National Hurling League next Sunday.
The winner of next week’s game will secure promotion to hurling’s top tier in 2017 although both sides are already guaranteed a league quarter final berth.
The result of Sunday’s clash with Kerry never looked in doubt with Clare leading within 15 seconds courtesy of a David Reidy point.
Clare led by 0-15 to 0-06 at the interval, despite Bobby Duggan’s late first half penalty being saved by Kerry keeper Aidan McCabe.
Indeed, the scoreline could have read much better for Clare had it not been for McCabe’s fine diving save to deny Clare Captain Shane O’Donnell.
The Kerry defence, marshalled by Clarecastle’s Patrick Kelly, came undone twice in the second half courtesy of a Duggan penalty and Aaron Cunningham’s shot, although the latter may have taken received a final touch from John Conlon.
The Kerry goal came in the closing stages of the match after a Daniel Collins long range free eluded the Clare defence and dipped under the crossbar.
The loudest cheer of the day from the home support was reserved for Podge Collins who made his long awaited return from injury by taking to the pitch midway through the second half.
Last night, Limerick had a 32-point victory over Laois at the Gaelic Grounds ensuring that a Clare win would make this coming Sunday’s final encounter of Division 1B a deciding fixture. A draw for Limerick will also see them secure promotion due to their better scoring difference.
It’s now 8 wins from 8 competitive games in 2016 for Davy Fitzgerald’s side.
Throw in next Sunday is at 2.00pm in Cusack Park.
Pic by Eamon Ward Photography.
Clare: D Tuohy; O O’Brien, P O’Connor, P Flanagan; B Bugler (0-01), D McInerney, C Cleary (0-01); D Reidy (0-02), C Ryan; J Conlon (1-00), B Duggan (1-07, 1-00 pen, 0-05f, 0-1 ’65), C Galvin (0-05); A Cunningham (0-06), S O’Donnell, C McGrath (0-05). Subs: P Collins for Ryan (44 mins), C O’Connell (0-01) for O’Donnell (44 mins), A Shanagher for Conlon (49 mins), C O’Doherty for Flanagan (60 mins), D Honan for McGrath (67 mins).
Kerry: A McCabe; D Fitzell, P Kelly, K Carmody; D Collins (1-00f), D Dineen, T Murnane; T Casey, J Griffin; J Diggins (0-01), M O’Leary (0-02), C Harty; J Egan (0-04,3f), M Boyle, J Buckley (0-01). Subs: S Weir for Fitzell (32 mins), J Conway for Boyle (45 mins), J Goulding for Harty (45 mins), B Brosnan (0-01) for Casey (51 mins), B O’Leary for Egan (51 mins).
Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly).