Monday 5 December 2016

Rampant Clare hit massive score to gun down Offaly

Clare 3-26 Offaly 0-15

DECLAN ROONEY

Published 04/07/2015 | 20:57

James Dempsey, Offaly, after conceding his side's second goal. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1, Clare v Offaly. Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
James Dempsey, Offaly, after conceding his side's second goal. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1, Clare v Offaly. Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Clare's forwards had a field day as the Banner men swept past Brian Whelehan's Offaly and into Round 2 of the hurling championship qualifiers.

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Offaly had no answer to Clare's hungry pack of forwards, who had this game wrapped up long before John Keenan called a halt to action at Cuasack Park.

Goals from Conor McGrath, John Conlon and Shane O'Donnell sealed the win for Clare who will de delighted to shake off their Munster championship woes.

Clare were in the mood to entertain and after Colin Ryan hit his first free of the game, Conor McGrath landed a great score from halfway to make it 0-4 to 0-1 after six minutes.

John Conlon, Clare, in action against Colin Egan, Offaly. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1, Clare v Offaly. Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
John Conlon, Clare, in action against Colin Egan, Offaly. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1, Clare v Offaly. Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

The first-half's crucial score came in the seventh minute and Honan was centrally involved as he laid possession off to McGrath and he buried his shot past the desperate attempts of Dempsey.

But instead of pushing on further Clare seemed to retreat into their shells and Shane Kinsella's point made it three in a row for Offaly to leave it 1-5 to 0-4.

Clare were full value for their 1-13 to 0-9 half-time lead though, but the nine wides they shot before the break meant it should have been a more comfortable cushion.

Substitute Sean Cleary made an immediate impact for Offaly with a score in the first minute after the break, but Clare soon quenched any hope of a comeback when John Conlon raced on to Patrick Kelly's puck-out and goaled in the 37th minute.

And Shane O'Donnell hit their third goal in the 44th minute to put his side well clear and into the Round 2 draw tomorrow morning.

Clare: P Kelly; D McInerney, C Dillon, S Morey; B Bugler, Conor Ryan (0-3), J Browne; P O’Connor (0-1), T Kelly (0-8, 2f); J Conlon (1-2), Colin Ryan (0-3, 2f), S Golden (0-2); C McGrath (1-4), S O’Donnell (1-0), D Honan (0-3).

Conor McGrath, Clare, on his way to scoring his side's first goal. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1, Clare v Offaly. Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Conor McGrath, Clare, on his way to scoring his side's first goal. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1, Clare v Offaly. Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Subs: D Reidy for Conlon (53 mins), A Cunningham for O'Donnell (53), P Flanagan for Dillon (59), D O'Donovan for Browne (60), C Galvin for Honan (63).

Offaly: J Dempsey; D Shortt, N Wynne, D King; E Murphy, C Egan, G Conneely; E Nolan, J Mulrooney (0-1); P Murphy (0-1), D Currams, J Bergin (0-1); B Carroll, S Kinsella (0-4), S Dooley (0-6, 6f).

Subs: S Cleary (0-2) for Nolan (35 mins), S Ryan for Conneely (41), P Camon for Shortt (51), S Wynne for Currams (58), D Mooney for E Murphy (62), C Kiely for Egan (68).

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)

Conor McGrath, Clare, in action against Dan Currams, Offaly. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1, Clare v Offaly. Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Conor McGrath, Clare, in action against Dan Currams, Offaly. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1, Clare v Offaly. Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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