*Paul Rodgers in action for Clare. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

IN A thrilling contest All-Ireland minor hurling champions Clare were stripped of the title losing out by three points after extra time to Kilkenny.

Kilkenny 2-23
Clare 2-20
Venue: FBD Semple Stadium, Thurles

It won’t be of much consolation to Clare but they played a huge part in a marvellous contest which ebbed and flowed throughout the almost ninety minutes for the All-Ireland semi-final.

In the end a physically stronger Kilkenny side prevailed and will now go on to face Tipperary in the final in two weeks time.

Having gone a point behind in the opening minute, Clare’s response was impressive with goals in the third and sixth minutes giving them a merited lead.

Conor Ralph struck for the first goal while Paul Rodgers was on hand to finish after Liam Murphy had created the opportunity for the second three minutes later.

Points from James Cullinan and a brace from team captain Harry Doherty had Clare 2-3 to 0-1 in front early in the second quarter.

While Clare were deserving of their lead at the halfway point, it was noted that Kilkenny had amassed eleven wides in the first half and included was a miss from a penalty in the eighth minute

Five unanswered points inside the opening ten minutes of the second half inspired a Kilkenny rally which saw them draw level by the three quarter stage. Two minutes into the final quarter they hit the front with a Ollie O’Donovan goal and they had pushed their lead to four points with seven minutes remaining.

Four in a row for Clare, three of which came from team captain Harry Doherty, had the sides level with two of the scheduled four minutes of additional time played.

A Kevin Buggy point edged Kilkenny back in front but Clare mounted one last attack and Paul Rodgers fired over the leveller with the last play of the game.

Kilkenny laded four unanswered points in the opening half of extra time and led by three after the first period when the score was 2-20 to 2-16, Clare having managed just one score through wing back Dara Kennedy.

Liam Murphy. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Just before the half time whistle in extra time, Clare were dealt a massive blow with the sending off of full forward Paul Rodgers following an off the ball incident with Kilkenny’s Mikey Rohan.

Points were exchanged three times in the second period before Clare had the final say but they just couldn’t get past a strong Kilkenny defence for the goal they needed to get back on terms.

Scorers Kilkenny: Jake Mullen (0-13); Bill McDermott (0-4) Kevin Buggy (0-3); Ollie O’Donovan, Conor Holohan (1-0) each; Patrick Lacey (0-2); Robbie Doherty (0-1)

Scorers Clare: Matthew Corbett (0-6); Harry Doherty (0-6); Conor Ralph (1-2) Paul Rodgers (1-1 ), Dara Kennedy, James Cullinan, Patrick Finneran Darragh McNamara, Jerry O’Connor (0-1) each

Kilkenny;
1: Jake O’Doherty (Mooncoin);

2: Oisin Henderson (Dicksboro),
3: Larry Phelan (James Stephens),
4: Billy Brennan (Erin’s Own);

5: David Barcoe (Clara),
6: Jack Dollard (Glenmore),
7: Mikey Rohan (Carrickshock);

8: Robbin Doherty (Mooncoin),
9: Kevin Buggy (Erin’s Own);

10: Jake Mullen (Shamrocks Ballyhale),
11: Bill McDermott (James Stephens)
12: Jason Cody (Glenmore);

13: Ollie O’Donovan (John Lockes)
14: Conor Holohan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
15: Eoin Brennan (Erins Own)

Subs;

Clare
1: Matthew Crotty (Scariff);

2: Darren Moroney (Éire Óg),
3: Sean McNamara (Clooney/Quin)
4: Sean Og Kilkenny (Bodyke);

5: Dara Kilkenny (Ballyea);
6: James Cullinan (Ruan),
7: Rian Mulcahy (Éire Óg);

8: Graham Ball (St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield),
9: Matthew Corbett (Clooney/Quin);

10: Conor Ralph (Clarecatle)
11: Patrick Finneran (Clooney/Quin),
12: Harry Doherty (Clarecastle);

13: Tadhg Lohan (Cratloe),
14: Paul Rodgers (Scariff)
15: Liam Murphy (O’Callaghans Mills)

Subs:

Referee; Colum Gunning, Antrim

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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