*Clare’s Diarmuid Cahill. Photograph: Martin Connolly
Clare’s minor hurlers have suffered back to back defeats for the first time this year.
Venue: Semple Stadium, Thurles
A draw next weekend would now suffice for Kilkenny in their bid to qualify for the All-Ireland MHC semi-finals. Clare will be back in action in two weeks when they face off with Galway.
Kilkenny were first on the board in Thurles via Pierce Blanchfield with less than a minute played but his effort was cancelled out by Corofin’s Killian O’Connor to get Clare off the mark. They would take the lead via points from Conner Hegarty and Shane Meehan however this was short-lived as the Cats hit three white flags on the trot from Billy Drennan.
Blanchfield goaled on twenty two minutes to extend the gap to four points. Although Meehan was on target with the final two scores of the half, Kilkenny still held a three point advantage.
Though Clare immediately cancelled out two points from their opponents, the Cats would raid at the other end for 1-01 to sink Fergal Lynch’s side. From here, the Banner would add three more points as Kilkenny responded superbly to their Leinster Final defeat to Wexford.
Conner Hegarty, Cian Galvin and Shane Meehan who had two goal chances denied by Aidan Tallis were best for Clare who came up short against a more physical and clinical Kilkenny.
Scorers Kilkenny: Billy Drennan (0-09 5f), Pierce Blanchfield (1-03), Colman O’Sullivan (1-00), Jack Doyle (0-01), Timmy Clifford (0-01)
Scorers Clare: Conner Hegarty (0-04), Shane Meehan (0-03 2f), Cian Galvin (0-03 3f), Killian O’Connor (0-01), Colm O’Meara (0-01), Oisin O’Donnell (0-01).
Kilkenny: Aidan Tallis; Billy Reid, William Halpin, Tristan Roche; Peter McDonald, Padraic Moylan, James Aylward; Andy Hickey, Denis Walsh; Pierce Blanchfield, Colman O’Sullivan, Liam Moore; Billy Drennan, Timmy Clifford, Jack Doyle.
Clare: Aaron Shanahan (Tulla); Storm Devanney (Sixmilebridge), Adam Hogan (Feakle), Cillian McGroary (Corofin); Jarlath Collins (Éire Óg), Cian Galvin (Clarecastle), Tony Butler (St Josephs Doora/Barefield); Colm O’Meara (Clonlara), Oisin Clune (Feakle); Killian O’Connor (Corofin), Conner Hegarty (Inagh/Kilnamona), Oisin O’Donnell (Crusheen); Dylan Downes (Sixmilebridge), Shane Meehan (Banner), Diarmaid Cahill (Corofin).
Subs: Shane Punch (Ruan) for Cahill (45), Cormac Murphy (O’Callaghans Mills) for Clune (45), Sean Ronan (Kilmaley) for Downes (48), Keith Smyth (Killanena) for Collins (55), Callum Beirne (Clooney/Quin) for Butler (59)