Tribes subs help Hanley's boys lower the Banner
Galway 1-24 Clare 1-22
Galway minor hurling manager Brian Hanley picked out his substitutes as the difference after the Tribesmen carved out the result they needed to set up an All-Ireland semi-final against Wexford on Sunday next.
Clare needed a six-point win to qualify from the round robin quarter-final stages, but four late points from Galway sub Seán O'Hanlon and an inspirational 1-9 from Seán McDonagh kept a spirited Clare at bay.
Galway had led from the 10th minute until Shane Meehan dragged Clare back into the lead midway through the second-half, but despite a late goal from Cian Galvin, Galway finished the stronger of the two sides to secure their qualification.
"If you win against Wexford you say it was great that you got the bit of confidence from this win. But we got the performance and we were tested," said former Westmeath senior manager Hanley.
"Character is probably the word you would use today. We dug it out. And again you would pay reference to your bench. Every one of them contributed when they came in. Particularly Sean O'Hanlon made a big difference."
With McDonagh in excellent form from placed balls, Galway raced into a healthy lead in the early stages of the first-half, but at the other end Meehan kept Clare in touch.
McDonagh's penalty just before half-time gave Galway a deserved 1-11 to 0-11 lead at the break, but knowing they were out of the championship without a handsome win, Clare scored nine of the next 12 points to lead by three.
However, O'Hanlon, Alex Connaire and Paddy Cummins stepped up for Galway, who will be severely tested against the Leinster champions next weekend.
Scorers - Galway: S McDonagh 1-9 (1-0 pen, 4f, 2 '65); S O'Hanlon 0-4; A Connaire 0-3; G Thomas 0-2; E Collins, L Leen, C Cunningham, T Killeen, G Lee, P Cummins 0-1. Clare: S Meehan 0-13 (9f); C Galvin 1-1 (1f); O O'Donnell, S Ronan 0-2 each; T Butler, C O'Meara, C Hegarty, D Cahill 0-1 each.
Galway - M Egan; A Nolan, E Lawless, E Davoren; E Collins, I McGlynn, C Brennan; L Leen, A Connaire; C Cunningham, S McDonagh, T Killeen; G Lee, S Morgan, G Thomas. Subs: L Prendergast for Davoren (37), S O'Hanlon for Killeen (43), C Molloy for Lee (52), P Cummins (0-1) for Morgan (56), O Slevin for Leen (60).
Clare - A Shanahan; A Hogan, S Devanney, T Butler; C O'Meara, C Galvin, J Collins; C Hegarty, O Clune; D Downes, D Cahill, C Murphy; S Meehan, O O'Donnell, C O'Connor. Subs: S Ronan for Murphy (43), S Punch for Downes (50), K Smyth for Cahill (52).
Ref - C McAllister (Cork).