Galway seal dramatic last-gasp win over Clare
Galway 2-15 Clare 1-17
GALWAY rescued a dramatic late win over Clare as Jason Flynn’s stoppage time free disposed of Davy Fitzgerald’s charges in a tight game at Pearse Stadium.
It looked as if Galway’s tally of thirteen wides would cost them before Flynn pulled it out of the fire for the hosts – scoring 0-9 on the day and their goals coming from Joe Cooney and Cathal Mannion in each half.
Both sides were dealt blows before throw-in with Fergal Moore and Padraig Mannion forced to withdraw from Galway’s team through injury, and Tony Kelly and David McInerney both forced out of Clare’s team.
In the opening half experimental Galway started well as scores from Jason Flynn and Jonathan Glynn got the Tribesmen off the mark against a Clare side featuring the bulk of their All-Ireland winning side of 2013.
Rising star Bobby Duggan got the Banner up and running before Galway went 0-5 to 0-1 in front thanks to points from Cathal Mannion, James Regan and a free from Flynn in front of over 6,000 at Pearse Stadium.
Duggan and a free from Colin Ryan brought the gap back to two points, before Gearoid McInerney and a Flynn free made it 0-8 to 0-4 with Galway on top against their western neighbours.
Duggan and Flynn swapped scores at either end before Clare struck 1-3 on the trot to lead for the first time, with two Colin Ryan frees coming either side of their goal when Ryan’s long placed ball was flicked in by John Conlon.
Padraig Brehony fired a badly needed Galway score as the interval approached with Galway’s shooting letting them down andtheir wide count increased to nine in the opening half.
Nonetheless Anthony Cunningham’s side struck a well-deserved goal on the stroke of half time when Andy Smith’s long free was caught by Glynn, and the Ardrahan man fed Cathal Mannion who rattled the bottom corner to put his side 1-9 to 1-8 ahead.
After the restart Clare turned the game on its head with scores from Ryan, John Conlon, Shane O’Donnell and Brendan Bugler before Galway finally scored 10 minutes in with Glynn dispatching a screamer and Flynn adding another free.
Clare sub Conor McGrath announced his arrival with two cracking scores to pull the Banner three clear before the Tribesmen fired their second goal in style when Glynn played in Joe Cooney and he made no mistake from close range.
With Conlon’s point for Clare putting them ahead with 6 minutes to go at 1-17 to 2-13, Flynn showed real nerve to rescue the win for the men in maroon with a perfect ’65 and a tight-angle free in stoppage time from long range.
GALWAY: C Callanan; J Hanbury, J Coen, R Burke (G Lally 49mins); G McInerney (0-1), D Collins, A Smith; I Tannian, J Cooney (1-0); P Brehony (0-1) (P Killeen), J Glynn (0-2), D Higgins (A Harte 52mins); J Regan (0-1) (B Molloy 64mins), J Flynn (0-9, 6f, 1 ‘65), C Mannion (1-1).
CLARE: P Kelly; D O’Donovan, C Dillon, C Cleary (S Morey 65mins); J Browne, Conor Ryan, B Bugler (0-1); P O’Connor, C Galvin (0-1); P Donnellan (A Cunningham 53mins), B Duggan (0-3), Colin Ryan (0-6, 5f) (C O’Connelll 68mins); S O’Donnell (0-1), J Conlon (1-2), D Reidy (C McGrath 0-3 45mins).
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)