Clare made it three wins from three as they proved too strong for Eddie Brennan's Laois at Cusack Park in Ennis yesterday in front of 1,009 hardy souls.
Weather conditions were atrocious - wind, rain, hail and sleet all combining to thwart a competitive game of hurling.
Laois, for their part, put in a strong first-half performance but had to yield to a more experienced Clare outfit after the break, with midfielder Tony Kelly in scintillating form.
The visitors held their own in the first half and could consider themselves unlucky to be five points adrift (0-9 to 0-4) at the break. Early in the half they trailed by 0-5 to 0-1 with Clare scores coming from Kelly (3), Aaron Cunningham and wing-back Aidan McCarthy.
Laois's early score came from a free by Ross King after Clare defender Stephen O'Halloran fouled James Ryan. But playing a short-passing game into a strong wind, they hauled themselves back into contention as the half progressed.
They trailed by 0-6 to 0-4 by the 24th minute but three Kelly scores before the break put distance between the sides.
Laois free-taker King began the second half with a pointed free from half-way. Then Clare substitute Domhnall McMahon converted a hand-pass by Seadhna Morey and fired over from the left.
Moments later Laois where almost in for a goal when James Keyes forced goalkeeper Éibhear Quilligan into a fine save.
The rebound fell to the awaiting Willie Dunphy but his goal-bound shot was stopped by Clare corner-back Liam Corry.
That missed chance seemed to hit Laois's confidence for they never quite got to grips with the game from there on in.
Clare substitute Aron Shanagher hit three fine scores from an inside forward position as the Banner's experience began to show.
Kelly had the freedom of the park and was equally successful from play and placed balls.
In spite of the inclement weather conditions his skill level was awesome and he made the Laois defence pay whenever they made mistakes.
After the game Clare team boss Brian Lohan cut a relieved figure.
"It was good to get the win," Lohan said. "At half-time it wasn't looking great. But they were very rough conditions. It was hard to strike never to mind score."
Scorers - Clare: T Kelly 0-8 (4f); A Shanagher 0-3; A Cunningham, A McCarthy, J Browne, D McMahon, D Reidy, I Galvin 0-1 each. Laois: R King 0-5 (5f); W Dunphy 0-2; P Purcell, A Dunphy 0-1 each.
Clare - E Quilligan 7; L Corry 7, S Golden 7, J Browne 7; S O'Halloran 7, C Malone 7, A McCarthy 7; D McInerney 8 (capt), T Kelly 9; D Reidy 8, D Fitzgerald 6, S Morey 6; R Taylor 7, S O'Donnell 7, A Cunningham 6. Subs: D McMahon 7 for Fitzgerald (32), A Shanagher 8 for Cunningham (44), I Galvin 7 for Morey (46), P Collins 7 for O'Donnell (56), N Deasy 6 for Taylor (65).
Laois - E Rowland 7; D Conway 6, F Flanagan 7, D Hartnett 7; P Delaney 7, R Mullaney 7, C McEvoy 7; C Stapleton 6, F C Fennell 6; W Dunphy 7, J Ryan 7, P Purcell 7; R King 7, S Bergin 7, J Keyes 7. Subs: J Lennon 7 for Stapleton (inj, 11), A Dunphy 7 for Mullaney (inj, 42), M Whelan 6 for Conway (44), R Broderick 6 for Flanagan (60), C Taylor 6 for Bergin (inj, 62).
Ref - J Keenan (Wicklow).
Just 550 spectators braved Storm Dennis to see Dublin preserve an unbeaten record in league and championship over Carlow at Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday. With an eight-point handicap, the outcome had a leaden predictability but it took the visitors time to assert themselves after leading by just two points at half-time.
If there was an asterisk over all of this year's hurling league matches given the new, more forgiving format, then there were further allowances to be made for this one. Conditions and absentees meant this was a dress rehearsal for a summer showdown in name only.