Thursday 23 November 2017

Clare learn little from a magnificent seven

CLARE 7-19 LAOIS 2-15 IT was redemption day for Clare as they torpedoed an out-of-sorts Laois in a totally one-sided first round All-Ireland senior hurling qualifier, at a sunny Limerick Gaelic Grounds on Saturday.

"It was nice to get a result like this after our own heavy defeat by Waterford in the Munster championship, but if I am to be honest, we learned very little from the exercise," said manager Anthony Daly.

Daly brought in Tom Holland, Ger O'Grady, James O'Connor and Daithi O'Connell from the Waterford setback, but agreed it was difficult to assess individual performances given the lop-sided nature of the match.

However, he could not have been but impressed by the scoring power of deadly duo Niall Gilligan and Tony Griffin, with the latter having bagged a hat-trick inside the opening quarter.

With Gilligan raising the first green flag after six minutes, Clare were beyond reach at 4-3 to 0-1, the only satisfaction for Laois been that Dave Cuddy had opened the scoring for them from a free, inside 60 seconds.

If there was a worry for Daly it was that centre back Sean McMahon was their only other player to get on the scoresheet - a point from a 65 - after 30 minutes play. By then they had eased off, allowing Tom Fitzgerald to claim a goal for Laois on the stroke of half-time.

The opportunity was set up by midfielder James Young, the only Laois player to strike any level of consistency.

Gilligan started the second half as he had the first, with a goal after two minutes.

In 41 minutes, substitute Tony Carmody, with an assist from Griffin, piled on the agony for the Leinster men, and it was now 6-11 to 1-5.

David Culleton pulled another goal back, but Clare were still having it their own way and not really too pushed about inflicting further punishment on their opponents. Griffin rounded off a great day's work with his fourth goal, and Clare's seventh, close to full time.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Tony Griffin (Clare).

SCORERS - Clare: T Griffin 4-1, N Gilligan 2-10 (0-5f), T Carmody 1-0, D Forde 0-3, B Murphy 0-2, G Quinn S McMahon, F Lohan 0-1 each. Laois: J Young 0-6 (5f), T Fitzgerald 1-2, R Coonan 1-0, D Cuddy 0-3, P Mahon, C Cuddy, J Dunne, R Jones 0-1 each.

CLARE - D Fitzgerald; T Holland, B Lohan, G O'Grady; D Hoey, S McMahon, A Markham; C Lynch, D McMahon; J O'Connor, G Quinn, F Lohan; N Gilligan, T Griffin, D O'Connell. Subs: D Forde for O'Connell (28 mins), T Carmody for B Lohan (35), C Forde for Holland (49), B Murphy for O'Connor (54).

LAOIS - K Galvin; C Cuddy, P Cuddy, D Rooney; J Fitzpatrick, L Tynan, M McEvoy; J Young, J Walsh; E Browne, D Walsh, C Coonan; T Fitzgerald, D Cuddy, D Culliton. Subs: R Jones for J Walsh (47), C Brophy for Coonan (52), L Mahon for Rooney (60), P Mahon for D Walsh (63), J Dunne for Brown (46).

REF - M Haverty (Galway).

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