| 14°C Dublin

Scintillating Kelly lifts Banner past Laois

Clare 0-17 Laois 0-9, Allianz NHL Division 1, Group B

Close

Clare’s David Reidy tries to keep James Keyes of Laois at bay during their Division 1, Group B match at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Clare’s David Reidy tries to keep James Keyes of Laois at bay during their Division 1, Group B match at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Clare’s David Reidy tries to keep James Keyes of Laois at bay during their Division 1, Group B match at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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.

Close

Clare's Ryan Taylor feels the pressure from Diarmuid Conway of Laois. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Clare's Ryan Taylor feels the pressure from Diarmuid Conway of Laois. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Clare's Ryan Taylor feels the pressure from Diarmuid Conway of Laois. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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.

Close

Clare's David Reidy looks for a way past John Lennon of Laois. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Clare's David Reidy looks for a way past John Lennon of Laois. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Clare's David Reidy looks for a way past John Lennon of Laois. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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.

Close

Clare goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan saves a shot from James Keyes of Laois. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Clare goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan saves a shot from James Keyes of Laois. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Clare goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan saves a shot from James Keyes of Laois. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

"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).

Close

A sideline flag blowing in the wind during a hail shower ahead of the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B Round 3 match between Clare and Laois at Cusack Park in Ennis, Clare. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

A sideline flag blowing in the wind during a hail shower ahead of the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B Round 3 match between Clare and Laois at Cusack Park in Ennis, Clare. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

A sideline flag blowing in the wind during a hail shower ahead of the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B Round 3 match between Clare and Laois at Cusack Park in Ennis, Clare. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Irish Independent