Galway hold off second half Clare surge to advance to final meeting with Limerick

Galway's Cathal Mannion advances with the ball in Thurles.

Galway v Clare

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi- Final Replay

Semple Stadium, Thurles 2pm Sunday 5th August 2018

There was a real sense of Deja Vu at half-time here in Thurles. Galway had established a good lead, a Johnny Glynn goal put them 1-09 to 0-03 ahead after 21mins. However, Clare reacted to this by flooding men back into their defence and leaving three men up to feed off scraps. John Conlon came out to the half-forward line, Podge Collins acted as a link man and Shane O’Donnell did his best with limited ball. Clare picked off three points without reply, but also hit six wides during this spell. 

Would Clare be able to reel Galway back in similar to last week, or would Galway be able to push on again like they had done on their last trip to Tipp in the Leinster final replay against Kilkenny. 

Galway, in a repeat of last weeks game, once again came out of the traps at pace. Joe Canning hit two points from play and one free, Conor Whelan pointed twice, David Burke did the same, Conor Cooney and Cathal Mannion also both hit the ball over the bar. Two Peter Duggan frees and a Tony Kelly point were Clare’s only scores during the first twenty minutes. Glynn’s goal came after he controlled a long hopeful ball on his stick, before turning and placing the ball past Donal Tuohy in the Clare net. 

Clare, similar to last week, stemmed the flow of Galway scores and clawed their way back into the game. By the break the banner men had reduced the margin to six points, 1-09 0-06. On the restart Clare chased and harried Galway into mistakes, and Shane O’Donnell pounced on a half-chance to dance past three Galway defenders and blast to the net for what surely will be one of the goal of the season contenders.

The momentum was now with Clare and then Peter Duggan scored 1-2 in the space of five minutes to bring Clare back to within a point. Joe Canning kept the scoreboard ticking over for the tribesmen at this crucial juncture, and pointed two pressure frees. Aron Shangher’s introduction for the last ten minutes gave Clare another lift at a crucial time, and he had an immediate impact pointing with his first touch of the ball. 

But Clare wasted numerous chances to draw level, the best of which saw Clare hit the post after a rebound from a James Skehill save which was whipped on by Aron Shanagher only to come off the post as the goal was gaping. A beautiful sideline cut from Canning had Galway back two in front heading into injury time. 

John Conlon got his first point of the day to reduce the arrears to the minimum again as the clock turned red. The numerous Clare fans, who vastly outnumbered their western rivals, were lifted again when five minutes of additional time was announced. Niall Burke restored Galway’s two-point cushion, and Peter Duggan reduced the gap to the minimum again a minute later. Clare came again in search of an equaliser or a winning goal but found neither. Two frees from distance were dropped into the edge of the Galway square, but both were repelled by the full-back line, while a shot from distance tailed out left and wide.

Joe Canning hit 8 points for the tribesmen today in Thurles.

Clare will be left to rue their twenty wides, as Galway were more economical with their chances. The full-time whistle from Fergal Horgan was greeted with joy and despair in equal measures by the players and fans of the respective counties. Galway advance to the All-Ireland final against Limerick in two weeks time while Clare are left to ponder what might have been. 

Teams

Galway

1 James Skehill

2 John Hanbury

3 Dathi Burke

4 Adrian Tuohey

5 Aidan Harte

6 Niall Burke

7 Padraig Mannion

8 David Burke

9 Johnny Coen

10 Johnny Glynn

11 Joe Canning

12 Joseph Cooney

13 Conor Whelan

14 Conor Cooney

15 Cathal Mannion

Clare

1 Donal Tuohy

2 Patrick O’Connor

3 David McInerney

4 Jack Browne

5 Seadna Morey

6 Conor Cleary

7 Jamie Shanahan

8 Colm Galvin

19 David Fitzgerald

10 Peter Duggan

11 Tony Kelly

12 David Reidy

13 Podge Collins

14 John Conlon

15 Shane O’Donnell

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.