Reid accuracy helps ease Kilkenny past challenge of Clare
Kilkenny 2-18 Clare 1-17
There were goals at the start and finish as National League champions Kilkenny and All-Ireland champions Clare produced an open and true friendly to mark the official opening of James Stephens new grounds in Kilkenny last night.
The Cats opened with a blasted goal from a 20-metre free by TJ Reid, who had a 99pc strike rate on his way to a take of 1-10. That goal was the difference between the teams during the opening half, at the end of which the home side led by 1-10 to 0-10.
Early second-half points from Colin Galvin and Podge Collins got Clare back level, and while the scores were level twice subsequently, Davy Fitzgerald's men never got in front.
Kilkenny struck for home in the 46th minute when Reid picked off a point (1-12 to 0-14). They stayed in front from there.
They were seven points to the good with time almost up, with Michael Rice adding a second Cats goal, but Clare had a late goal from a free by Tony Kelly, with a lift and strike effort that saw him almost on the '14' when making contact with the sliotar.
Neither side over-extended themselves, but Kilkenny were left with a question mark hanging over Michael Fennelly, who left the field with an injury midway through the first half.
SCORERS - Kilkenny: TJ Reid 1-10 (1-6fs), M Rice 1-0, L Ryan, C Fennelly, A Fogarty 0-2 each, E Larkin, JJ Farrell 0-1 each. Clare: C Ryan 0-9 (7fs), C Galvin 0-4, Tony Kelly 1-0 (f), P Flanagan, D Honan, J Conlon, P Collins 0-1 each.
KILKENNY - D Herity; C Fogarty, M Walsh, P Murphy; T Walsh, J Tyrrell, K Joyce; M Fennelly, L Ryan; W Walsh, C Fennelly, TJ Reid; A Fogarty, JJ Farrell, E Larkin. Subs: P Walsh for M Fennelly; C Buckley for Joyce; J Holden for P Murphy; M Rice for W Walsh; T Kehoe for C Fogarty.
CLARE - P Kelly; D O'Donovan, D McInerney, J Browne; S Morey, B Bugler, P Flanagan; C Galvin, N O'Connell; J Conlon, Colin Ryan, C Malone; P Collins, D Honan, D Reidy. Subs: Conor Ryan for Bugler; T Kelly for D Reidy; C McGrath for Honan; S Collins for Galvin; C McInerney for Morey.
REF - D Murphy (Wexford)