O'Connell late show saves day for Clonlara
Ballyea 1-11 Clonlara 1-11
Cathal 'Tots' O'Connell salvaged a replay for Clara with an injury-time point.
John Conlon had put Clonlara ahead in the third minute, but three frees for Ballyea by former Hurler of the Year Tony Kelly gave the mid-Clare club the early momentum.
In a tight first half, there was little to separate the teams and as half-time approached they were level at 0-5 apiece when an error in the Ballyea defence led to a Clonlara goal.
Paul Flanagan was blocked down in possession by midfielder Oisin O'Brien, who flicked to Colm Galvin and the inter-county stalwart expertly planted the ball in Kevin Sheehan's net to give Clonlara a three-point advantage at the break.
Kelly reduced the deficit early in the second period with a point from play but three successive wides by his colleagues handed the initiative over.
Clonlara took control and led by five at one stage but Ballyea sub Martin O'Leary grabbed a goal with seven minutes remaining to to level matters at 1-9 apiece.
Kelly then pointed a '65' to put Ballyea in front before O'Connell levelled matters once more.
Another Kelly point in injury-time put the underdogs ahead again before O'Connell landed the all important equaliser to force a replay - just like the football decider the previous weekend.
SCORERS - Ballyea: T Kelly 0-9 (4fs, 1 '65'), M O'Leary 1-1, C Doohan 0-1. Clonlara: C O'Connell 0-5 (3 fs), C Galvin 1-1, J Conlon, D Honan 0-2 each, J Hastings 0-1.
BALLYLEA - K Sheehan; J Murphy, J Browne, B Carrigg; J Neylon, P Flanagan G O'Connell; T Kelly; S Lineen, N Deasy, G Brennan C Doohan; PJ Connolly, E Donnellan, P Lillis. Subs: O'Leary for Neylon (h/t), D Burke for Connolly (38), D Egan for Donnellan (69).
CLONLARA - G O'Connell; C Fennessy, D O'Donovan, P McNamara; C O'Donovan, N O'Connell, N Ryan; O O'Brien, J Hastings, D Honan, C Galvin, P O'Loughlin; J Conlon, M O'Loughlin, C O'Connell. Subs: M White for P O'Loughlin (44), D Fitzgerald for M O'Loughlin (58), G Kennedy for Ryan (69).