Clare beat Wexford by 10 but they needed extra time
Davy Fitzgerald's Clare needed extra-time but ultimately qualified for the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals with a 3-24 to 1-20 win at Srmple Stadium today.
Clare looked to be stumbling towards victory in normal time and led by five with five remaining but Wexford deserve credit for forcing extra-time thanks to Jack Guiney's fine goal in the dying seconds.
Extra-time was all about Clare substitute Cathal McInerney who struck two goals as the Banner booked their place in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
The game began very competitively with Colin Ryan and Jack Guiney exchanging two points each.
Gary Sinnott pushed Wexford in front but Clare responded with a fine goal from Shane O’Donnell that was added to by points Ryan and the lively Tony Kelly and Clare led by four after 18 minutes.
Both sides traded points before Colin Ryan pushed the Banner five in front with his fourth white flag.
Clare were well in top but failed to capitalise like they should with Tony Kelly having a penalty saved but Brendan Bugler managed to salvage a point and Clare led by seven.
Jack Guiney scored a brace for the Model County but it was Colin Ryan who finished the scoring for the half and Davy Fitzgerald’s side led by 1-10 to 0-7 at the break but they really should have been further ahead.
Both sides exchanged a pair of points each with Paul Morris’ point for Wexford the pick of those.
Tony Kelly’s successful free in the 45th minute kept Clare in a six-point advantage after Podge Doran had pointed for Wexford.
There were some fine examples of high fielding from both sides but the game itself was mediocre at best.
Wexford’s Jack Guiney went for goal from a 20 metre free to try and get his side in touch but it was blocked superbly.
John Conlon’s point had settled Clare nerves with a point but the score seem to kickstart Wexford into action and three points on the trot from Gary Moore, Jack Guiney and Podge Doran got Wexford back to within a goal.
Wexford’s Mark Fanning produced a stunning save to keep the Model men in it but for Seadna Morey and Tony Kelly from Clare eased the tension in Semple Stadium for Clare fans with five minutes remaining.
Jack Guiney’s free in the 68th minute made it a four-point game once more.
Wexford got back to within a goal thanks to Chris McDonnell and within seconds of the end Jack Guiney flashed the ball to the net to tie the game and force extra-time.
Colin Ryan added two points and Cathal McInerney added two goals and point to put the Banner in complete control and Clare led by 3-20 to 1-18 after the first half of extra time.
John Conlon and Ger Moore swapped points in the second period of extra-time before Aaron Cunningham pushed Clare further in front.
Bobby Kenny was sent-off for Wexford for a high pull on Fergal Lynch and Tony Kelly pointed the resultant penalty and Clare ran out winners by 3-24 to 1-20.