/ GAA

Galway 2-14 Clare 1-23

Updated: Sunday, 28 Jul 2013 23:49 | Comments

Conor McGrath goaled in the 23rd minute
Conor McGrath goaled in the 23rd minute

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Clare are through to their first All-Ireland SHC semi-final since 2006 after beating Galway 1-23 to 2-14 in this afternoon’s quarter-final clash at Semple Stadium.

The Banner County scored a surprisingly comfortable six-point victory over a disappointing Galway outfit in Thurles.

Galway were two points down with just eight minutes remaining, but Clare responded with a whirlwind finish to claim the win.

The Banner County will now face Munster rivals Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-final on 18 August.

Clare came up with another performance laced with energy and Galway simply had no answers in front of 33,383 spectators.

Even Tribesman superstar Joe Canning endured a miserable afternoon as he was taken off free-taking duty in the second half, having hit four wides after half-time.

Galway were desperately poor in the Leinster final against Dublin and could not rouse themselves to mount a sustained challenge here.

They were within two points of Clare, 2-13 to 1-18, with eight minutes remaining, but the Banner men kicked for home in impressive fashion.

When Galway scored second half goals from Johnny Glynn and sub Niall Healy, Clare’s response was hugely positive on each occasion.

And that enabled them to set up that mouthwatering clash with near neighbours Limerick at Croke Park.

At half-time, Clare held a comfortable seven-point advantage, 1-12 to 0-08.

Galway, well beaten in the Leinster final by Dublin, were desperately flat once again and battle-hardened Clare took full advantage.

Galway did start well as they registered the opening two scores of the game through Portumna pair Canning and Hayes before Colin Ryan opened Clare’s account with a pointed free in the third minute.

Galway moved 0-04 to 0-02 in front, but Clare reeled the Tribesmen back in and the sides were level at 0-05 apiece before Hayes edged the Westerners back in front once again.

But Clare levelled through the impressive Pádraic Collins and they would hold that advantage comfortably all the way to half-time.

And they were given oxygen with Conor McGrath’s 23rd-minute goal, brilliantly slotted into the corner after he burned Kevin Hynes for pace.

Hynes had endured a torrid time against Paul Ryan in the Leinster final and when he found himself isolated against the deadly McGrath, Galway paid a heavy price.

Galway rarely threatened for the remainder of the half although Clare goalkeeper Patrick Kelly pulled off a good save to deny Niall Burke on the half hour mark.

Clare were five points clear at that stage, 1-10 to 0-08, and further points from Ryan (with a free) and wing-back Patrick O’Connor, after the Banner men had forced yet another turnover, ensured a handsome interval lead.

Scorers for Clare: C Ryan 0-10 (8f), C McGrath 1-02, P Collins 0-04, B Bugler, P O’Connor, J Conlon, T Kelly, D Honan, N O’Connell & F Lynch 0-01 each.

Scorers for Galway: J Canning 0-07 (5f, 1 65), J Glynn & N Healy 1-00 each, D Hayes 0-03, A Harte, D Burke (f), J Cooney & C Donnellan 0-01 each.

Clare: P Kelly; C Dillon, D O’Donovan, D McInerney; B Bugler, P Donnellan, P O’Connor; Colin Ryan, C Galvin; J Conlon, P Collins, Conor Ryan; C McGrath, D Honan, T Kelly.

Substitutes: F Lynch for Conlon (55), N O’Connell for T Kelly (64), S O’Donnell for Honan (64), C McInerney for McGrath (69), S Morey for Galvin (70+1).

Galway: C Callanan; K Hynes, F Moore, J Coen; S Kavanagh, D Collins, J Grealish; A Harte, A Smith; D Burke, C Cooney, J Glynn; D Hayes, J Canning, N Burke.

Substitutes: I Tannian for Smith, D Glennon for C Cooney, J Cooney for Coen (all half-time), C Donnellan for N Burke (48), N Healy for Harte (60).

Referee: B Gavin (Offaly).

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