Clare brush Kerry aside as they focus on showdown for league glory
Clare 2-28 Kerry1-9
Dominating from start to finish, Clare made light work of Kerry in Division 1B of the Allianz Hurling League at a sparsely populated Cusack Park, Ennis yesterday.
There is no doubt though that there will be a significant increase in attendance at the same venue next Sunday, when an unbeaten Clare face an undefeated Limerick, in a winner-take-all clash, to see who gains promotion.
Following yesterday's tie, Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald mentioned next week's opponents when he said: "I went into see Limerick last night and they notched up 6-29" - a reference to Limerick's demolition of Laois by 32 points on Saturday evening at the Gaelic Grounds.
"I thought they (Limerick) were absolutely on fire," the Clare managers said. "We struggled to beat Laois the week before.
"Limerick played at championship pace, so there's a lot of thinking to be done during the week as to how we are going to stem them. It's a big task but we are looking forward to it."
Clare had the opening two scores yesterday through David Reidy and Colm Galvin before John Egan opened Kerry's account with a point after three minutes.
By the 15th, a pattern was set for the day with the hosts enjoying a 0-9 to 0-1 advantage.
At half-time their lead had increased to 0-15 to 0-6 and could have been more but for the brilliance of Kerry goalie Aidan McCabe.
He stopped a Bobby Duggan penalty and also denied Shane O'Donnell a certain goal.
Corner-back Dougie Fitzell also denied O'Donnell on another occasion.
In the second half Clare's Aaron Cunningham grabbed a goal with a speculative shot from the right wing. Then Bobby Duggan got the game's second from a penalty.
Kerry did manage to produce a late consolation goal when team captain Daniel Collins' free from the left sideline somehow managed to end up in the Clare net, with nine minutes on the clock.
Scorers - Clare: B Duggan 1-7, (1-0 pen,4 fs, 1 '65), A Cunningham 1-6, C Galvin 0-6, C McGrath (0-5), D Reidy (0-2), C O'Connell, C Cleary 0-1 each. Kerry: J Egan 0-4 (3fs), D Collins 1-0 (1f), M O'Leary (0-2), B Brosnan, J Buckley, J Diggins (0-1).
Clare: D Tuohy 7; O O'Brien 7, P O'Connor 7, P Flanagan 7; B Bugler 7, D McInerney 8, C Cleary 7; D Reidy 8, Conor Ryan 6; J Conlon 7, B Duggan 7, C Galvin 9; C McGrath 8, S O'Donnell 7 (Capt), A Cunningham 8. Subs: C O'Connell 7 for O'Donnell (43), P Collins 7 for Ryan (43), A Shanagher 6 for Conlon (49), C O'Doherty 7 for Flanagan (60), D Honan 6 for McGrath (64).
Kerry: A McCabe 8; D Fitzell 6, P Kelly 8, K Carmody 6; D Collins 7 (Capt.), D Dineen 7, T Murnane 6; T Casey (6), J Griffin 6; J Diggins 6, M O'Leary 7, C Harty 6; J Egan 7, M Boyle 6, J Buckley 6. Subs: S Weir 7 for Fitzell (31), J Conway 6 for Boyle (45), J Goulding 6 for Harty (40), B Brosnan 7 for Casey (51), B O'Leary 6 for Egan (51).
Ref - B Gavin (Offaly).