CLARE’S U21 hurling side left its mark on the history books at the turn of the last decade, as they became the first to record a three-in-a-row at that age grade from 2012-2014 as well as winning Clare’s first U21 title in 2009.
Many of the men who took to the field for the U21s in those years went on to become household names and proud owners of an All-Ireland Senior Hurling medal in 2013, such as Colin Ryan, John Conlon and Pat O’Connor to name a few.
The springboard for this team’s greatness however arguably began when Darach Honan helped Clare on their way to the All Ireland U21 final in 2009 by defeating Galway in a dramatic extra-time affair at Semple Stadium. While Galway’s Joe Canning notched up a sensational 4-7, he was ultimately on the losing side so it was Honan who would prove star of the show with his personal tally of 2-4.
The Clonlara man’s former clubmate Conlon also popped up with a beauty of an assist for a goal in what was a historic win for Clare… hard to believe it’s now 11 years since this success.
Honan has since retired following a torrid run with injury but continues to impress as a writer, contributing to The Clare Echo’s sporting coverage when he’s not too busy in his full-time role as a financial advisor with IPS Financial in Limerick.