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Cats cling onto top-flight status
30 Mar 2015 09:09
By Eoin Brennan
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Kilkenny 1-18 Clare 1-17
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An injury-time time winner from Cillian Buckley ensured defending champions Kilkenny edged a compelling relegation play-off to retain their Division 1A status in Nowlan Park.
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Extra-time appeared on the cards as plucky visitors Clare, led superbly by twin threats Shane O’Donnell and Tony Kelly, kept asking questions of Kilkenny’s defence, with the sides level on ten occasions before that late winner.
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The result now means that Davy Fitzgerald’s side will return to Division 1B after only three seasons at the top flight, albeit this was easily their best performance of the year.
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With this being the counties' second meeting in the space of seven days, a replenished Kilkenny who welcomed back seven regulars, were expected to do the double over the 2013 All-Ireland winners.
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However, Clare seemed to learn more from their previous meeting as they upped the physical and intensity levels to push their hosts all the way.
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