Davy Fitzgerald’s side lost by just one point (0-18 to 0-17) to a strong Kilkenny side, boosted by the return of their Ballyhale Shamrocks contingent.
Shane O’Donnell’s excellently taken first half goal was cancelled out by a TJ Reid strike but was enough to see Clare lead at the half-time break by 1-8 to 1-7.
Clare faced into a strong breeze in the second period, which saw Clare produce some of their finest of the league campaign.
There was a distinct championship pace to today’s game with both sides picking off some excellent points.
Cillian Buckley’s injury time point following a misplaced hand pace from Clare keeper Patrick Kelly ultimately proved the difference between the two sides.
Despite their fifth defeat in this year’s League, Clare can look forward to their Munster Hurling Championship opener against Limerick. Tony Kelly and Shane O’Donnell in particular, put in excellent performances.
One major concern for Davy Fitzgerald however, will be the leg injury suffered by Tony Kelly who was substituted late in the game.
Clare scorers: T Kelly (0-9, 1 free, 1 65); S O’Donnell (1-3); D Reidy (0-3); J Conlon, S Morey (0-1 each).
Kilkenny scorers: TJ Reid (1-3); R Hogan (0-5, 2 frees); C Fennelly, W Walsh (0-3 each); C Buckley (0-2); M Fennelly, K Joyce (0-1 each).