*Photograph: Martin Connolly
Clare were made sweat till the final puck of the game as they held on to secure their second win of the 2019 Allianz League.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Dominant for large spells of Sunday’s tie, Clare held off a second half Wexford resurgence to keep their hopes of qualifying for the League quarter-finals alive.
Wexford were first out of the blocks with Rory O’Connor and Cathal Dunbar on target but Clare responded with four points on the trot to take a lead they would never relinquish. Clare ended the half in the best possible fashion with David Fitzgerald teeing up John Conlon for a goal on thirty seven minutes. The Clonlara attacker’s strike gave the hosts a seven point cushion at the break.
A Tony Kelly point was followed by a converted Peter Duggan penalty inside the opening four minutes of the restart. Ian Galvin and Diarmuid Ryan added scores before Rory O’Connor picked up Wexford’s first score of the half on forty nine minutes.
Clare would go fourteen minutes without a score while Wexford raided for 1-08. Shaun Murphy who was lining out at centre back pulled on the sliotar mid-air which managed to elude Donal Tuohy for their only goal. White flags from Duggan, Podge Collins and Ian Galvin were badly needed for the Banner as they did enough to secure a three point win.
For Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford, their first half performance will leave a tinge of annoyance, they had the momentum after getting the opening two scores of the game but allowed Clare find their feet and played catch up for the rest of the game. Aspects of their defence still leave a lot to be desired but it’s not all doom and gloom ahead of final round clash with Kilkenny. Kevin Foley, Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Rory O’Connor were best for the Slaneysiders
It was necessary for Clare to cut back on the amount of frees conceded and they did. Over the seventy minutes they coughed up 16 frees which is one more than the fifteen point tally of Patrick Horgan last weekend. Finding the 70 minute performance still requires perfecting but a quarter final place is still achievable prior to meeting Limerick next Sunday which was an aim before the competition commenced. Podge Collins, David Fitzgerald and Diarmuid Ryan impressed for the winners.
Both Joint Managers, Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor have confirmed to The Clare Echo that John Conlon “went over his ankle”, it had appeared the All Star sustained a knee injury but both were hopeful the injury was not as serious as first thought.
Scorers Clare: Peter Duggan (1-06 6f 1’Pen), John Conlon (1-01), Diarmuid Ryan (0-04), Podge Collins (0-03), David Fitzgerald (0-02), Ian Galvin (0-02), Tony Kelly (0-02), Shane Golden (0-01), Colm Galvin (0-01).
Scorers Wexford: Rory O’Connor (0-05 1f), Ian Byrne (0-04 4f), Shaun Murphy (1-00), Cathal Dunbar (0-02), Liam Óg McGovern (0-02), Jack O’Connor (0-02 1f), Kevin Foley (0-02), Aidan Nolan (0-01), Liam Ryan (0-01), Diarmuid O’Keeffe (0-01), Lee Chin (0-01), Paul Morris (0-01)
1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)
2. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones na Sionna)
3. David McInerney (Tulla)
4. Jack Browne (Ballyea)
20. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber) – Captain
6. Conor Cleary (St. Joseph’s Miltown)
7. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)
8. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
9. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
10. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
11. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
12. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
15. Podge Collins (Cratloe)
14. John Conlon (Clonlara)
13. Ian Galvin (Clonlara)
5: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge) for Fitzgerald (54)
21: Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin) for Golden (60)
17: Jason McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona) for O’Connor (65)
18. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Ryan (68)
19: Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Conlon (68) Inj
1: Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barntown)
3: Darren Byrne (Blackwater)
4: Shane Reck (Oylgate-Glenbrien)
17: Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
5: Paudie Foley (Crossbeg-Ballymurn)
7: Shaun Murphy (Oulart-The-Ballagh)
6: Matthew O’Hanlon (St James)
8: Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Annes)
11: Liam Óg McGovern (St Annes)
9: Kevin Foley (Rapparees)
22: Rory O’Connor (St Martins)
12: Ian Byrne (Ferns St Aidans)
10: Aidan Nolan (HWH Bunclody)
20: Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers)
13: Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Éanna)
24: Paul Morris (Ferns St Aidans) for Byrne (HT)
14: Conor McDonald (Naomh Éanna) for Óg McGovern (HT)
2: Damien Reck (Oylgate-Glenbrien) for S Reck (53)
25: Jack O’Connor (St Martins) for Dunbar (55)
21: Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) for A Nolan (66)
REFEREE: John Keenan (Wicklow).