Paul Keane reports from MW Hire O’Moore Park
CLARE ARE FINALLY up and running in Division 1B of the Allianz NHL after burning off luckless Laois at MW Hire O’Moore Park with a strong second-half display to seal their first win of 2021.
The Banner were missing All-Star Tony Kelly with an apparent dead leg injury and blasted 20 wides overall, 13 in the first-half, but still had more than enough to overcome the hosts.
Shane O’Donnell struck Clare’s first goal in the 10th minute and set up the second for substitute Mark Rodgers in the 48th minute which all but sealed the deal, moving them 11 points clear.
There was a welcome return for experienced midfielder Colm Galvin who came on in the second-half following a long-term groin injury. Aaron Fitzgerald also made his debut for Clare after switching from Colm Collins’ football panel and lasted the duration in defence.
Both sides began at a furious pace with Clare 0-2 to 0-1 ahead after just 70 seconds but all of those wides hurt the visitors who only led by 1-12 to 0-11 at half-time when it should have been more.
Clare’s Diarmuid Ryan and Ciaran Collier of Laois.
Source: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO
O’Donnell at least made no mistake with his goal, the 2013 All-Ireland final replay hat-trick hero bursting through a couple of tackles and blasting to the net.
Cathal Malone fired over a series of long-range points for Clare too and they reeled off bursts of 0-4 and then 1-2 without reply in the third quarter of the game to put daylight between the teams.
O’Donnell took off on a similar direct run through the middle for Clare’s second goal before laying off to sub Rodgers who volleyed home.
There was a volleyed goal from Laois too, Ross King netting in the 52nd minute but it was little more than consolation for Seamas Plunkett’s side who slumped to their third straight defeat.
Scorers for Clare: Aidan McCarthy 0-13 (0-12f), Mark Rodgers 1-2, Shane O’Donnell 1-1, Cathal Malone 0-4, Diarmuid Ryan 0-2, Ian Galvin 0-2, John Conlon 0-1, Jason McCarthy 0-1, David Fitzgerald 0-1.
Scorers for Laois: PJ Scully 0-10 (0-8f, 0-1 65), Ross King 1-2, Paddy Purcell 0-2, Colm Stapleton 0-1, James Ryan 0-1, Jack Kelly 0-1.
1. Eibhear Quilligan
2. Rory Hayes, 3. Conor Cleary, 7. Aaron Fitzgerald
5. Diarmuid Ryan, 6. John Conlon, 4. Jack Browne
10. Cathal Malone, 21. Jason McCarthy
17. Shane Golden, 12. David Reidy, 14. Shane O’Donnell
13. Aron Shanagher, 11. Ian Galvin, 15. Aidan McCarthy
18. Mark Rodgers for Golden (HT)
9. David Fitzgerald for J McCarthy (45)
26. Colm Galvin for Reidy (56)
25. Domhnall McMahon for I Galvin (63)
23. Cian Nolan for Ryan (63)
20. Darragh Lohan for Conlon (68)
24. Gary Cooney for O’Donnell (68)
1. Enda Rowland
of the team
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4. Diarmuid Conway, 2. Donnchadh Hartnett, 3. Sean Downey
7. Conor Phelan, 6. Matthew Whelan, 5. Jack Kelly
8. Fiachra Fennell, 9. Paddy Purcell
12. James Ryan, 20. Colm Stapleton, 10. Ciaran Collier
13. PJ Scully, 15. Eoin Gaughan, 14. Ross King
22. Ciaran Comerford for Golden (HT)
21. Lee Cleere for Phelan (62)
18. Ciaran McEvoy for Whelan (62)
26. Aaron Dunphy for Stapleton (64)
24. Stephen Bergin for Collier (71)
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)
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