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Banner share spoils with Cats in thriller


DEADLY: Clare’s Shane O’Donnell. Pic: Sportsfile

DEADLY: Clare’s Shane O’Donnell. Pic: Sportsfile

DEADLY: Clare’s Shane O’Donnell. Pic: Sportsfile

A frantic finish to this Allianz Hurling League Div 1 clash in UPMC Nowlan Park ended level, Kilkenny 1-19 to Clare's 3-13, and while there will be relief all round, both sides will have regrets too that they didn't finish it out.

Clare came from four points down in the 66th minute to lead when Shane O'Donnell exploited a Darren Brennan error to score their third goal.

It was brief however as Walter Walsh levelled instantly but Aaron Cunningham's over-the-shoulder point in the 71st minute looked to have given the visitors a second win on Leinster soil in this campaign, following on from their Wexford Park success.

Alan Murphy levelled again from a free but Clare will really feel they should have killed it twice after that, first when David McInerney was wide and then Tony Kelly missed a pick-up which would surely have provided a winner.

Clare had 17 wides throughout but lost their way after leading by 2-7 to 0-10 at the break.

O'Donnell was on fire and instrumental in both Clare goals in that first half, scoring the first after just seven minutes when he caught brilliantly from Kelly's delivery and foraged his way into position before unleashing a shot that goalkeeper Darren Brennan couldn't possibly muster an answer to.

Having made the early running, Kilkenny recovered ground and were 0-8 to 1-3 ahead when O'Donnell surfaced again to meet another speculative delivery, this time from Colin Guilfoyle.

O'Donnell trapped, gathered and had the vision to spot Ryan Taylor overlapping him on his outside and with a crisp pass another goal was an inevitability for a 2-3 to 0-8 lead on 23 minutes.

Clare added the next four scores and by the 32nd minute they were 2-7 to 0-8 clear when Kelly intercepted in his own half and drove over from 85 metres.

Limerick manager John Kiely hailed the impact of his bench as the League champions came good late on to see off Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Leading by 0-17 to 0-11 at half-time before a crowd of 11,212, having been eight in front shortly before the break, the Shannonsiders found themselves three behind when Cork sub Aidan Walsh scored a goal to make it 2-18 to 0-21 in the 53rd minute.

The dead-ball accuracy of Cork captain Patrick Horgan helped the Rebels to stay in front as the end neared, but Limerick had six of the final eight points, ensuring they made it three wins from three. Kiely felt that the players introduced in the second half made a big difference.

"I'm very happy with that," he said, "the lads off the bench made a big impact in that regard because they brought freshness and great energy to it."

Waterford also maintained their unbeaten streak with a thrilling 0-17 to 0-16 defeat of Galway at Walsh Park.