Clare 1-32 Laois 0-15

Updated: Sunday, 07 Jul 2013 09:32 | Comments

Clare's Brendan Bulger jostles with James Walsh of Laois
Clare's Brendan Bulger jostles with James Walsh of Laois

Clare destroyed Laois by 1-32 to 0-15 to reach Phase 3 of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship at Cusack Park in Ennis.

A late goal from substitute Shane O'Donnell was the cherry on top for Clare, who registered scores from play from 15 players, including 13 starters.

Clare led by 0-17 to 0-08 at half-time and they never let up on a lacklustre Laois, whose first year under Seamus Plunkett's management ended in severe disappointment.

Colin Ryan hit 0-11 for the Banner men, but Peter Duggan and Darach Honan also logged strong displays.

After disappointing in the manner of their defeat to Cork in the Munster championship, Davy Fitzgerald will be thrilled with the way he side never let up against Laois.

Leading by nine points at the break and by 15 after 50 minutes, the temptation must have been to rest up ahead of next week's clash with a phase one winner.

Fitzgerald did empty the bench, but they all hit the ground running and registered solid displays to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Clare led by 0-06 to 0-03 after just eight minutes, but the impressive Zane Keenan hit his third point of the game to reduce that to two.

That would be Laois' last score until the 27th minute. By that stage, Clare had accelerated clear with seven points in a row to lead by 0-13 to 0-04. Stephen Maher stopped the rot for Laois, but by half-time the nine-point lead had been restored thanks to Ryan's accuracy from frees.

Laois started the second-half brightly and Maher once more registered a score after Honan hit a great point from the left for Clare.

But the Banner men took total control of the game and hit seven of the next eight points.

At this stage, it was just pride in the jersey that was keeping Laois going as the result was beyond doubt, but when Keenan flashed a 20-metre free over the bar in the 57th minute their challenge ground to a halt.

Clare continued to pile on the scores, and when O'Donnell hit the net in the 68th minute, it just compounded a cruel day for Laois.

Clare: P Kelly; D O'Donovan, D McInerney (0-01), C Dillon (0-01); B Bugler (0-01), P Donnellan (0-01), P O'Connor (0-01); C Ryan (0-11, 0-08f, 0-02'65), P Duggan (0-04); J Conlon (0-01), T Kelly (0-01), C Galvin (0-01); P Collins (0-02), D Honan (0-03), C McGrath (0-03).

Subs: S O'Donnell (1-00) for Honan (42 mins), A Cunningham for Conlon (53 mins), L Markham (0-01) for Galvin (56 mins), S Morey for Bugler (58 mins), J Clancy for Ryan (61 mins).

Laois: E Reilly; B Stapleton, D Maher, J A Delaney; J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan, G Burke; C Healy, J Walsh; S Maher (0-05, 0-03f), Z Keenan (0-04, 0-01f), T Fitzgerald; J Brophy (0-01), W Hyland (0-03), B Dunne.

Subs: PJ Scully (0-02) for Brophy (24 mins), C Dunne for Walsh (34 mins), B Duggan for Dune (44 mins), B Conroy for Fitzgerald (60 mins), A Collier for Healy (62 mins).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).

Highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s action on The Sunday Game from 21:30 on Sunday 6 July on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only). Expert and fan reaction on Take Your Point from 18:00 on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

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