Galway and Clare will meet again after an epic extra-time All-Ireland semi-final ended level at Croke Park.

The teams were level nine times in front of an enthralled crowd of 54,191 and could not be separated in over 90 minutes of intense action.

The Tribesmen had looked to be walking away with it early on as they eased into a nine-point lead inside 15 minutes, helped by Conor Cooney’s goal.

Clare settled into the game however and the gap was just four at the interval, 1-10 to 0-09 in favour of the reigning champions.

The sides were neck and neck through the second-half, but the Banner needed a late free from Peter Duggan to make it 1-23 to 0-26 and force extra-time.

The Munster finalists looked to be in the driving seat when Aron Shanagher’s goal in the second extra period put them in front for the first time but, and with Gearoid McInerney and Joe Canning off the field injured, Galway showed the grit of champions to pull ahead once again.

Johnny Coen must have thought he had won it in the 92nd minute but, with the last puck of the game, Clare substitute Jason McCarthy secured a deserved draw.

Galway had threatened to settle the contest within the opening quarter of an hour.

The Tribesmen had done their homework on Clare’s short puck-out strategy and Donal Tuohy was intercepted three times early on, leading to points for Joe Canning and Conor Whelan and a goal chance that Johnny Glynn flashed wide as Tuohy came off his line to make amends.

Conor Cooney was back in the team and looked to have a point to prove, following up a towering high catch and score with a lovely flick to Coen that the midfielder converted.

Both sides lined out with two-man full-forward lines and while John Conlon and Shane O’Donnell were starved of possession, Glynn and Cooney were causing havoc every time a high delivery landed near the Clare square.

In the 15th minute, Galway took advantage as four defenders foostered over the sliotar and Cooney buried the ball to the net from close range.

It was 1-07 to 0-1 and Clare’s goose already looked cooked. But they fought back admirably.

David Reidy got their first point in 16 minutes and that was followed by efforts from O’Donnell, a Tony Kelly howitzer from his own 65 and consistent free-taking from Peter Duggan.

Galway started to miss the target, hitting 12 first-half wides in all, three of which were confirmed by Hawk-Eye.

Duggan’s catch from a puck-out, all too rare from his side in the half, and clever hop-off the ground before pointing narrowed the gap to two, but Cathal Mannion and Glynn got the final scores of the half to make it 1-10 to 0-09 at the interval.

Canning began the second half with the first of his two masterful sideline cuts before John Conlan started to find his groove, aided by O’Donnell and Duggan.

The Hurler of the Year contender had barely been seen the ball in the opening period but he stormed into action upon the restart and helped Clare back into contention with a brace from play.

Clare were now within a single score  – 1-12 to 0-14 – but David Burke burst through from midfield twice as Galway hit back with four on the bounce.

Colm Galvin, effectively employed as a sweeper, and a towering catch and point from Duggan cut the gap before Conlan tied it up as McInerney hobbled off on the far sideline.

Galway edged two clear once more as Conor Whelan and Canning dispatched identical stunners from right on the left sideline.

Clare came again. Cathal Mannion added his fourth from play to put Galway one up – 1-20 to 0-22 before Duggan scored the point of the day, juggling the ball one handed and tapping over despite the close attention of three backs.

The champions made another surge. Canning, substitute Niall Burke and captain David Burke, with his third score. With four minutes to play, the Tribesmen looked on course for the final

Clare however simply refused to die. Kelly matched Canning’s feat from the sideline, Conlan added his fourth from play and with 30 seconds of the three additional minutes to play, Duggan tied it up from a free - 1-23 to 0-26.

There was still time for Coen to drop a tame effort into Tuohy’s hands and David Burke to make a superb block on Conor McGrath before James Owens signalled the end of normal time.

The tempo understandably dropped in the first period of extra-time, Galway edging ahead again thanks to three points from Canning, including a superb second from a sideline, as Clare racked up five wides and scored just once.

But with Canning off the pitch, after jarring his knee, the game exploded back into life on the resumption.

Substitute Aron Shanagher, making his first appearance since a cruciate-ligament injury last November, gathered a high ball and rattled the net with his opening touch to put Clare in front for the first time.

Jason Flynn hit back immediately, however, and Galway missed a great goal chance when Glynn bulldozed through the middle only for Flynn to miscontrol the pass and have to settle for a point.

Galway were denied for a fourth time by Hawk-Eye and there was nothing between them again going into injury-time.

Coen’s point looked to have clinched it for the holders before McCarthy popped up and secured a deserved draw for Clare at the death.

A remarkable exhibition of point-scoring and determination from both sides, who will do it all again in Thurles next Sunday.

Galway: James Skehill; Adrian Tuohy, Daithi Burke, John Hanbury; Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney, Aidan Harte; Johnny Coen (0-2), David Burke (0-3); Joseph Cooney, Joe Canning (0-12, 6f, 2 s-l), Jonathan Glynn (0-1); Conor Whelan (0-3), Conor Cooney (1-1), Cathal Mannion (0-04).

Subs: Niall Burke (0-1) for J Cooney (52 mins), Paul Killeen for McInerney (53), Jason Flynn (0-3, 1f) for C Cooney (62), Davey Glennon for Canning (82), J Cooney for David Burke (82), C Cooney for Whelan (81).

Clare: Donal Tuohy; Patrick O’Connor, David McInerney, Jack Browne; Seadna Morey, Conor Cleary, Jamie Shanahan; Colm Galvin (0-1), Cathal Malone; Peter Duggan (0-14, 11f), Tony Kelly (0-3, 1 s-l), David Reidy (0-1); Padraic Collins, John Conlon (0-4), Shane O’Donnell (0-3).

Subs: David Fitzgerald (0-1) for Malone (48), Conor McGrath for Collins (58), Ian Galvin (0-2) for Reidy (61), Aron Shanagher (1-0) for O’Donnell (67), Jason McCarthy (0-1) for Shanahan (82), O’Donnell for McGrath (82).

Referee: James Owens (Wexford)