Saturday 16 December 2017

Clare make serious statement with 13-point drubbing of Brian Cody's Kilkenny

Clare 2-19 Kilkenny 0-12

Shane O'Donnell of Clare in action against Evan Cody, left, and Conor O'Shea of Kilkenny during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 2 match between Clare and Kilkenny at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Shane O'Donnell of Clare in action against Evan Cody, left, and Conor O'Shea of Kilkenny during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 2 match between Clare and Kilkenny at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kilkenny endured a torrid visit to Ennis as the home side bounced back impressively from their opening round defeat to Cork with a 13-point win.

The Leinster champions fell apart after TJ Reid's 59th minute penalty was saved brilliantly by Clare goalkeeper Donal Tuohy.

Reid followed up with a converted 65 for Kilkenny's 12th point but they didn't score again as Clare piled on the pressure and hit 1-4 without reply in the last 13 minutes.

It leaves the Cats without a win so far in the campaign and plenty fo questions over the next few days.

They were second best throughout this contest and from an early stage appeared to be struggling.

Aaron Shanagher was on fire in the opening minutes and had a hand in every score as they led by 1-5 to 0-2 after just 13 minutes.

It was a difficult period of adjustment for rookie Kilkenny corner-back Evan Cody as Shanagher struck two points and was creator of the goal for Wolfe Tones club mate Aaron Cunningham with a deft pass after just two minutes. Cunningham's finish gave Eoin Murphy no chance.

Clare's half-back line were on top, especially the powerful David Fitzgerald, and they made light of the absence of Tony Kelly to drive on and lead by 1-7 to 0-3 by the 22nd minute.

They might have been further ahead, if it not for the shop-stopping ability of Eoin Murphy who came to the rescue in the 29th minute with a great save from David Reidy after an impressive build up.

Clare were finding ways of opening up the Kilkenny full-back line and when Shane O'Donnell found room beyond Conor O'Shea and had support inside with just Padraig Walsh back a second goal beckoned by Walsh's intercept was timed to perfection.

The lead was back out to six points when Kieran Joyce was penalised for overcarrying but the visitors scrambled to trail by four at the break, 1-9 to 0-8.

They kept pressing after the break with Collins, substitute Cathal McInerney and Shanagher again all finding openings.

Richie Hogan was withdrawn from the action in the 49th minute as he failed to leave his mark on the game.

Murphy, full-back Padraig Walsh and Kieran Joyce were among those to help stem the tide most for Kilkenny.

Scorers - Clare: A Shanagher 1-4 (0-1f), D Reidy 0-7 (6fs, 1 65), A Cunningham 1-0, C McInerney, P Collins 0-2 each, J McCarthy, J Conlon, D Fitzgerald, P Duggan (f) all 0-1 each

Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-7 (2 65s, 2fs), C Fogarty 0-2, R Leahy, E Murphy (f) R Hogan all 0-1 each. 

Clare: D Tuohy; S Morey, C Dillon, O O'Brien; B Bugler, C Cleary, D Fitzgerald; J Shanahan, D Reidy; J Conlon, P Collins, C Malone; S O'Donnell, A Cunningham, A Shanagher. Subs: C McInerney for Cunningham (51), J McCarthy or Reidy (57), P Duggan for Malone (66), S Golden for Shanahan (66), P Donnellan for Bugler (71).

Kilkenny: E Murphy; E Cody, P Walsh, C O'Shea; J Holden, P Murphy, K Joyce; C Fogarty, C Buckley; L Blanchfield, TJ Reid, R Leahy; R Hogan, W Walsh, K Kelly. Subs: S Prendergast for Cody, JJ Farrell for Walsh (35+1), J Maher for Hogan (49), O Walsh for Kelly (57), S Morrissey for Blanchfield (67)

Referee: J Owens (Wexford)

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