Sunday 22 April 2018

The game at a glance

Damien Hayes (Galway): Plenty of contenders as the Galway attack showed a ruthless streak, but the man who set the tone was Hayes with his sixth-minute goal and exploitation of Conor Cooney's brittle defence early on. A constant thorn.

Turning point

When Joe Canning took a pass from Hayes after two minutes and stepped on the gas with only goal on his mind, you immediately got the sense Galway were out to lay down a marker. A thundering shot cannoned off the crossbar and back into play but the message had been delivered.

Talking point

It has to be the crowd of 13,011 that flocked to Salthill on a warm summer's evening when they might have been inclined to steer clear of the traffic. With over 14,000 in Limerick, it looks like the €5 reduction is having an impact. Canning's audacious goal on 29 minutes also merits kind reflection. Only a genius like him could consider going for it from where he was.



From a distance, James McInerney's red card for his challenge on Canning looked harsh but on second glance it was an instant dismissal. A good call by Diarmuid Kirwan who had a sound match.

What they said

John McIntyre

(Galway manager):

"Galway showed their true colours tonight. It was a big test of character because people would have anticipated a dispirited, disorganised, head-down Galway team going through the motions. These guys have too much pride for that to happen."

Ger O'Loughlin

(Clare manager):

"We've made progress, even though the results are poor. We have a nucleus built now to go forward. We need an injection again of five or six 18-20-year-olds in the next year or two, but Clare will win something in the next maybe three years."

Match statistics

Wides: Galway 7 (3); Clare 11 (2).

Frees: Galway 8 (5); Clare 14 (9).

Yellow cards: Galway 1 (A Cullinane 42); Clare 2 (C Cooney 7, C Dillon 48).

Red cards: Clare 1 (J McInerney 40).

Attendance: 13,011

What next?

Galway meet Cork in the third phase of qualifiers on Saturday, while Clare must ponder their next step if they are to progress.

Irish Independent

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