The game at a glance
Damien Hayes (Galway): Plenty of contenders as the Galway attack showed a ruthless streak, but the man who set the tone was Hayes with his sixth-minute goal and exploitation of Conor Cooney's brittle defence early on. A constant thorn.
When Joe Canning took a pass from Hayes after two minutes and stepped on the gas with only goal on his mind, you immediately got the sense Galway were out to lay down a marker. A thundering shot cannoned off the crossbar and back into play but the message had been delivered.
It has to be the crowd of 13,011 that flocked to Salthill on a warm summer's evening when they might have been inclined to steer clear of the traffic. With over 14,000 in Limerick, it looks like the €5 reduction is having an impact. Canning's audacious goal on 29 minutes also merits kind reflection. Only a genius like him could consider going for it from where he was.
From a distance, James McInerney's red card for his challenge on Canning looked harsh but on second glance it was an instant dismissal. A good call by Diarmuid Kirwan who had a sound match.
What they said
"Galway showed their true colours tonight. It was a big test of character because people would have anticipated a dispirited, disorganised, head-down Galway team going through the motions. These guys have too much pride for that to happen."
"We've made progress, even though the results are poor. We have a nucleus built now to go forward. We need an injection again of five or six 18-20-year-olds in the next year or two, but Clare will win something in the next maybe three years."
Wides: Galway 7 (3); Clare 11 (2).
Frees: Galway 8 (5); Clare 14 (9).
Yellow cards: Galway 1 (A Cullinane 42); Clare 2 (C Cooney 7, C Dillon 48).
Red cards: Clare 1 (J McInerney 40).
Galway meet Cork in the third phase of qualifiers on Saturday, while Clare must ponder their next step if they are to progress.