*Shane O’Donnell struck for goal. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Brian Lohan’s Clare have recorded their first win of 2021.
Venue: MW Hire O’Moore Park, Portlaoise
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Pointless after the opening two rounds, Clare hurlers travelled to Portlaoise this afternoon in desperate need of a victory and an improved performance and they certainly delivered that.
While their final tally of 2-27 is certainly impressive, there is sure to be concern at the fact that they recorded twenty wides in the process
For this tie the Banner men welcomed Éire Óg duo Shane O’Donnell, who lined out at wing forward and David Reidy back from injury but they were without Tony Kelly following his injury in the game against Wexford.
Ex Clare senior football centre back Aaron Fitzgerald of Éire Óg made his senior inter county debut, lining out at corner back while the midfield pairing for this tie was Jason McCarthy and Cathal Malone
A superb Shane O’Donnell goal ten minutes into the game helped Clare to a four point lead at half time. The score opened a four point lead for the visitors who played with the aid of the wind in a half in which the players had to contend with some heavy showers.
It was 1-12 to 0-11 at the interval with the winners having hit thirteen wides in that opening period. Scariff’s Mark Rodgers was introduced for the second half and he certainly caused problems for the home side’s defence.
Clare had stretched their advantage to eight points (1-18 to 0-13 when Rodgers finished off a great more after O’Donnell had created the opening to make it 2-18 to 0-13 and from here Laois’ challenge crumbled as Clare dominated throughout the field.
As the game progressed, Lohan gave both Cian Nolan and Darragh Lohan their first taste of action for the county seniors. The margin was much less in doubt when compared with the sides’ championship meeting last year.
Scorers for Clare: Aidan McCarthy 0-13 (0-111f 1’65), Mark Rodgers 1-2, Shane O’Donnell 1-1, Cathal Malone 0-4, Diarmuid Ryan 0-2, Ian Galvin 0-2, John Conlon 0-1, Jason McCarthy 0-1, David Fitzgerald 0-1.
Scorers for Laois: PJ Scully 0-10 (0-8f, 0-1 65), Ross King 1-2, Paddy Purcell 0-2, Colm Stapleton 0-1, James Ryan 0-1, Jack Kelly 0-1.
1: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)
2: Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)
3: Conor Cleary (St Josephs Miltown)
7: Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg)
5: Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
6: John Conlon (Clonlara)
4: Jack Browne (Ballyea)
21: Jason McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona)
10: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
17: Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
12: David Reidy (Éire Óg)
14: Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
13: Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
11: Ian Galvin (Clonlara)
15: Aidan McCartrhy (Inagh/Kilnamona)
18: Mark Rodgers (Scariff) for Golden (HT)
9: David Fitgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona) for J. McCarthy (45)
26: Colm Galvin (Clonlara) for Reidy (55)
23: Cian Nolan (Smith O’Briens) for Ryan(63)
25: Domhnall McMahon (Tubber) for I. Galvin (63)
20: Darragh Lohan (Wolfe Tones) for Conlon (67)
24: Gary Cooney (O’Callaghans Mills) for O’Donnell (67)
Laois; Enda Rowland; Diarmuid Conway, Sean Downey, Donnacda Hartnett; Jack Kelly, Matthew Whelan, Conor Phelan; Fiachra Fennell, Paddy Purcell; James Ryan, Colin Stapleton, Ciaran Collier; P.J. Scully, Ross King, Eoin Gaughan;
Subs: C. Comerford for Gaughan; John Ryan for Purcell; C.McEvoy for Whelan; L. Cleere for Phelan; A. Durphy for Stapleton, S Bergin for Ryan;
Referee: Patrick Murphy, Carlow