Galway and Clare minor hurlers had the privilege of competing in the first inter-county game at the magnificent Páirc Uí Chaoimh redevelopment. On the day, Clare faced redemption or expulsion from the last ever minor championship.
All Ireland Minor Hurling Quarter Final Galway 2-19 Clare 1-12
Under the stewardship of 2015 winning manager Jeff Lynskey, Galway should be in the top three. With Tipperary exiting to Cork, were the presumptive front runners along with Leesiders.
John Fleming opened the scoring inside the first minute before Sean Blehane added a second in the fourth. Keith White got Clare on the scoreboard as their rearguard was under pressure but coping well in the first five minutes.
Galway’s next score was courtesy of a Conor Walsh free in the 10th minute.
Tiernan Agnew sent a free wide as Donal Mannion claimed Galway’s fourth point in the 13th minute. Gary Cooney popped up for Clare’s second score at the end of the opening quarter to leave 0-4 to 0-3 between the sides.
Conor Walsh sent over his second point before Darach Fahy blocked Gary Cooney’s goalbound effort.
Gary Cooney scores Clare’s only goal
Gearoid Cahill made his mark from play before another Conor Walsh free had Clare 0-6 to 0-4 in arrears with ten minutes remaining in the opening half.
Galway exposed pace issues as he raced through the Clare half back line for Jack Canning to rifle the ball past Eamonn Foudy.
Aidan McCarthy struck immediately for a point to keep in touch entering the final five minutes of the half. Riain Considine had the final score of the half with the scoreline on 1-7 to 0-7.
Clare replaced Killian McDermott as Jack Canning and Keith White exchanged points in the opening three minutes of the new half.
Two points from Sean Blehane had the Tribesmen five clear as Clare’s pace and handling errors, coughed up hard won possession.
Breffni Horner narrowed the gap to four before another Galway free by Walsh left them 1-11 to 0-9 ahead in the 40th minute. Conor Fahey extended the Galway lead to six points.
Galway’s Mark Gill wins the ball from Aidan McCarthy of Clare
Keith White’s third point in the 43rd minute was matched by Donal Mannion as Clare needed two goals to turn the last ten minutes into a contest.
Another Canning point from an unforced error was matched by a score from substitute Shane Ryan to leave nine points between the sides entering the final quarter.
Breffni Horner set up Gary Cooney as eight points became the target. Some aimless wides by Clare did not help their cause as Martin McManus hit over a point.
Galway substitute Enda Egan hit the net with his first touch seconds after coming on. Conor Walsh continued Galway’s scoring rout for Galway as Clare had consolations from Cooney (goal) and Diarmuid Ryan (point).
Galway advance to the All Ireland semi final in Croke Park on August 6th.
Galway’s best included Daniel Loftus, Conor Fahey, Sean Blehane, Jack Canning, Donal Mannion and Daniel Morrissey.
Clare’s limitations worked against an honest performance. They had solid performances from Gary Cooney, Diarmuid Ryan, Aidan McCarthy, Eamonn Foudy, Ross Hayes, Keith White, Bradley Higgins and Gearoid Cahill.
GALWAY: Darach Fahy, Darren Morrissey, Daniel Loftus, Caimin Killeen, Ronan Glennon, Conor Caulfield, Mark Gill, John Fleming (0-1), Conor Fahey (0-1), Sean Blehane (0-3), Conor Walsh (0-5), Ben Moran (0-1), Donal Mannion (0-2), Jack Canning (1-3), Martin McManus (0-1). Subs: Shane Ryan (0-1) for Fleming, Enda Fahey (1-0) for Blehane, Sam McArdle for Gill, Conor Molloy for Mannion, Conor Elwood (0-1) for Canning.
CLARE: Eamonn Foudy, Cian McInerney, Ross Hayes, Bradley Higgins, Cian Minogue, Diarmuid Ryan (0-1), Aidan McCarthy (0-1), Cathal Darcy (0-1), Killian McDermott, Gearoid Cahill (0-1), Tiernan Agnew, Keith White (0-3), Gary Cooney (1-3), Breffni Horner (0-1), Riain Considine (0-1). Subs: Tom O’Rourke for Considine. Colin Haugh for McDermott, Eoin Wallace for Cahill, Eoin Fitzgerald for White, Lee Brack for Darcy.
Referee: John O’Brien (Laois)