Clare’s Senior hurlers suffered a disappointing one point defeat in their opening game of the Allianz National Hurling League when Galway just managed to pip their opponents.
Anthony Cunningham’s Galway were minus the services of Joe Canning, Conor Cooney, Fergal Moore, David Burke and Niall Burke for today’s encounter. David McInerney, Tony Kelly, Nicky O’Connell, Eoin Enright, Davy O’Halloran and Jamie Shanahan were some of the noticeable absentees for the Banner.
It was the Tribesmen who started proceedings the better as they raced into a four point lead with twenty two minutes played. Clare cut the gap with two frees from Colin Ryan, the Newmarket-on-Fergus man also played a key role in Clare’s only goal as his long range free was flicked to the net by John Conlon. A late strike from Galway corner-forward Cathal Mannion beat Patrick Kelly in the Clare net to give his side a one point lead at the interval.
Davy Fitzgerald found his team three points clear with almost sixty minutes played. Ardrahan’s Jonathan Glynn cut through the Clare defence and offloaded to Joseph Cooney who shot past Kelly to level proceedings.
To their credit Clare regrouped with points from Conor McGrath and John Conlon. Two late placed balls from Jason Flynn, one a 65 and the other a free from an acute angle gave Galway the win and the all important two points.
Galway: Colm Callanan (Kinvara), John Hansbury (Rahoon-Newcastle), Johnny Coen (Loughrea), Ronan Burke (Turloughmore), Gearoid McInerney (Oranmore) (0-01), David Collins (Liam Mellows), Andy Smith (Portumna), Iarla Tannian (Ardrahan), Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields) (1-00), Pádraig Brehony (Tynagh-Abbey Duniry) (0-01), Jonathan Glynn (Ardrahan) (0-02), Dean Higgins (Castlegar), James Regan (St Thomas) (0-01), Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins) (0-09 6f 165), Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh) (1-01). Subs: Greg Lally (Gort) for Burke (49), Aidan Harte (Gort) for Higgins (52), Brian Molloy (Kilnadeema-Leitrim) for Regan (64), Paul Killeen (Tynagh-Abbey Duniry) for Brehony (66).
Clare: Patrick Kelly (Inagh/Kilnamona), Domhnall O’Donovan (Clonlara), Cian Dillon (Crusheen), Jack Browne (Ballyea), Conor Cleary (Kilmaley), Conor Ryan (Cratloe), Patrick O’Connor (Tubber), Brendan Bugler (Whitegate) (0-01), Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus) (0-06 5f), Patrick Donnellan (O’Callaghans Mills), Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle) (0-03), Colm Galvin (Clonlara) (0-01), David Reidy (Éire Óg), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg) (0-01), John Conlon (Clonlara) (1-02). Subs: Conor McGrath (Cratloe) (0-03) for Reidy (45), Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for Donnellan (53), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge) for Cleary (65), Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara) for Ryan (68).
Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly).