Kerry withstand strong Clare effort to move into Munster U21 semi-final
Kerry 1-17 Clare 2-8
Kerry made heavy weather of disposing of a dogged Clare side at Austin Stack Park, needing a late surge to seal their progress.
Jack O’Connor’s hosts surged into a three-point lead through Cathal Bambury, Sean O’Shea and Mathew O’Sullivan.
Clare’s running game was troubling the Kingdom defence, bringing scores from Brian Finucane (2) and Aidan Davidson before Conor Geaney, Sean O’Shea (2) and Tom O’Sullivan made 0-7 to 0-3.
Banner wing-back Conall Ó hAiniféin stormed forward to blast in a goal before O’Sullivan billowed the Clare net. Ó hAiniféin kicked a point and when Conor Finucane added a free, the half-time lead was just 1-8 to 1-5.
Finucane cut the deficit with another free and Kerry looked in trouble but sub Killian Spillane kicked two points before Clare grabbed another goal, this time by Eimhin Courtney.
The game was now in the melting pot with just two points in it, but Kerry finished strongly with points from Matthew Flaherty (2), Bambury, Conor Geaney, Spillane and Lee O’Donoghue.
Kerry face Waterford away in the semi-final.
Scorers – Kerry: M O’Sullivan 1-1, S O’Shea 0-4 (3fs), M Flaherty, K Spillane 0-3 each, C Geaney (1f), C Bambury 0-2 each, T O’Sullivan, L O’Donoghue 0-1 each. Clare: C Finucane 0-5 (4fs); C O hAinifein 1-1, E Courtney 1-0, A Davidson, K Sexton 0-1 each.
KERRY – S Ryan; TL O’Sullivan, J Foley, T O’Sullivan; B Sugrue, A Barry, D O’Brien; B O’Sullivan, B Ó Seanacháin; B Barrett, S O’Shea, M O Flaherty; C Geaney, M O’Sullivan, C Bambury. Subs: K Spillane for M O’Sullivan (35), J Morgan for D O’Brien (42), C Coffey for B Sugrue (53), L O’Donoghue for C Geaney (55) R Ó Se for B O’Sullivan (60), I Parker for C Bambury (60).
CLARE– K Roche; E O’Connor, D Nagle, C Pyne; C Ó hAiniféin, R McMahon, C Brennan; D Bohannon, C O’Dea; A Davidson , K Sexton, D Egan; E Courtney, A Sweeney, C Finucane. Subs: R Danagher for E O’Connor ( h/t), O Hanrahan for D Egan ( 36), J Culligan for C Pyne ( 42), S O’Donoghue for D Bohannon ( 42), C Downes for A Sweeney ( 50) , D Foran for A Davidson ( 53)
Ref – A Kissane (Waterford)