Youthful Clare overcome Galway to set up All-Munster semi
Clare will take on Limerick in an All-Ireland semi-final in three weeks time following a 1-23 to 2-14 victory over Galway in Semple Stadium today.
Davy Fitzgerald's men led by 1-13 to 0-8 at the break with the Banner tactic of deploying Patrick Donnellan as a sweeper working like a dream.
The Tribesmen rallied in the second half and goals from Johnny Glynn and Niall Healy saw them close to within two points at one stage but that was as close as they came as Clare pulled away late on.
Joe Canning's free-taking was well below par with Clare's Colin Ryan much more efficient.
Damien Hayes opened the scoring in the opening minute before Joe Canning and Colin exchanged frees.
Canning and Conor McGrath both struck fine points from open play before Aidan Harte found his range for the Tribesmen.
Placed-ball accuracy from both Joe Canning was very impressive early on and John Conlon's point for Clare which flew just over the bar after 10 minutes saw the sides level at five points apiece.
Damien Hayes second point from play edged Anthony Cunningham's men back in front but this was cancelled out by Padraig Collins effort who struck the first his three straight points.
Clare were in the ascendancy and they stretched their lead to five when Tony Kelly picked out Conor McGrath who shrugged off Johnny Coen before finishing to the net.
Patrick Donnellan was sweeping much of the loose ball in the Clare back-line with Galway's one-dimensional tactics failing to deliver.
Another Joe Canning free was cancelled out by a sublime score from Darrach Honan and Conor McGrath added another point as Clare led by 1-10 to 0-7 with 27 minutes on the clock.
Joe Canning cut the deficit before Niall Burke forced Clare keeper Patrick Kelly into a fine save.
Colin Ryan was successful with another free and Pat O'Connor landed a point just before the break as Clare led by 1-12 to 0-8 at the break.
The Banner really should have had a goal straight from the restart but Colin Ryan's shot flew over the crossbar before two poor misses from frees for Joe Canning.
He had his first successful effort in the 40th minutes but Galway needed a spark and they got it when Johhny Glynn squeezed the ball into the net off Patrick Kelly.
Colin Ryan snapped over a free and Clare led by 1-14 to 1-9 with 25 minutes remaining.
Joe Canning cut the arrears to four points before the big full-forward missed a free from directly in front of goals to his own dismay.
Cyril Donnellan galloped forward and cut the deficit to three but Colin Ryan cancelled that effort out after Honan was fouled by Fergal Moore.
A booming effort from Brendan Bugler came before Joe Canning missed yet another free.
Colin Ryan ws much more clinical for Clare and his free was added to by Tony Kelly who dissected the uprights from midfield after robbing Canning of possession and Clare led by 1-18 to 1-11 with 15 minutes to go.
David Burke assumed the freetaking responsibility from Joe Canning and cut the deficit for Galway.
Galway Niall Healy made it a three point game with nine minutes remaining when he found the roof of the net.
Joeseph Cooney made it 1-18 to 2-13 with a superb score from play and a grandstand finish was on the cards.
Padge Collins' brilliant individual point edged Clare three points in front once more and Fergal Lynch made it four with a great score in the 67th minute.
Nicky O'Connell fired over the insurance score two minutes later.
Damien Hayes scored a consolation point that was instantly responded to by midfielder Colin Ryan and Clare ran out six point winners.