/ GAA

Galway 4-25 Clare 0-20

Updated: Sunday, 03 Jul 2011 11:59

Joe Canning - one of the star performers for Galway
Joe Canning - one of the star performers for Galway

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Galway breathed new life into their season with an impressive All-Ireland Hurling Championship qualifier win over Clare at Pearse Stadium.

The Tribesmen will face either Cork or Antrim in the next phase as a result of their Salthill goalfest, which included a 1-09 tally from Joe Canning

The warning signs were there for Clare early on when Canning smashed an angled shot against the crossbar.

And with alarming gaps opening up in the Banner defence, the Tribesmen hit the net twice in the space of four minutes.

Damien Hayes, who was a constant threat, got in behind Conor Cooney to collect David Burke’s delivery and flash home the first, and in the 11th minute Ger Farragher finished from close range after Iarla Tannion’s effort had come back off a post.

Canning, Hayes and Tannion tagged on points, and Galway led by 2-04 to 0-01 with just 13 minutes played.

Clare reorganised their defensive strategy, and began to get some benefit, with Fergal Lynch, Conor McGrath, Nicky O’Connell and Caimin Morey splitting the posts.

But Galway grabbed a third goal in the 13th minute, a wonderful solo effort from Canning, who gathered wide on the right, before jinking past Jonathan Clancy, Pat Donnellan and Cian Dillon to fire in an angled shot past Philip Brennan.

They could have had a fourth goal, but Brennan pulled off a superb save from Joe Gantley.

Canning brought his tally to 1-05 from the resultant ’65, and the Connacht men led by 3-13 to 0-12 at the interval.

Clare’s task became all the more difficult when wing-back James McInerney received a straight red card for a high challenge on Canning four minutes into the second half.

They did respond with a couple of points from John Conlon and McGrath, who claimed his fifth, but Galway used the extra space to craft the openings which Canning, Alan Kerins, Gantley and Tannion turned into scores.

Galway’s fourth goal came in the 54th minute, delightfully created by Farragher and clinically finished by Kerins.

Ger Farragher swung over a couple of points, and with 4-20 of their total coming from play, this was an attacking display of genuine quality.

Clare did have scoring chances, and Galway have defensive issues to address as their campaign progresses, but they sent out a message that they must be regarded as All-Ireland contenders in 2011.

Galway: J Skehill, F Moore, S Kavanagh, D Collins, D Barry, T Og Regan, A Cullinane, D Burke (0-01), A Smith (0-01), J Gantley (0-02), G Farragher (1-4), I Tannian (0-01), D Hayes (2-04), J Canning (1-09, 3f, 1 ’65, 1 s/l), A Kerins (1-02).

Subs: B Daly for Burke, J Regan (0-1) for Gantley, A Harte for Farragher, K Hynes for Cullinane

Clare: P Brennan, P Vaughan, C Dillon, C Cooney, P O'Connor, P Donnellan, J McInerney, J Clancy (0-01), N O'Connell (0-06, 5f, 1 ’65), J Conlon (0-02), F Lynch (0-01), D McMahon, C McInerney (0-01), C Morey (0-03), C McGrath (0-05, 3f).

Subs: B Bugler for Vaughan, L Markham (0-1) for Clancy, S Collins for Lynch, C O’Donovan for McMahon, G Quinn for Donnellan

Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).

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