Tony Kelly stole the show with a personal haul of 0-12 while Wexford were left cursing 13 wides as 14-man Clare pulled through at a wintry Division 1 Group B clash at Chadwicks Wexford Park.

Kelly was prominent from dead-balls as Clare availed of first assistance of the gale to forge clear by 0-12 to 0-4 at half-time, and although Wexford got back to within 0-15 to 0-14 on 62 minutes, the home-side's wastefulness proved costly.

There were no post-match handshakes between the rival bosses as All-Ireland winning colleagues turned bitter rivals Davy Fitzgerald and Brian Lohan duelled for the first-time on the inter-county managerial front.

Clare used the significant wind advantage to breeze clear by 0-6 to 0-0 after 12 minutes. Kelly drilled over three frees from distance, while Ryan Taylor pointed twice, although he was left disappointed when his goal effort pinged over off the crossbar.

While damage-limitation was obviously Wexford's priority given the conditions, they snapped back with three pointed frees from captain Jack O'Connor between the 14th and 27th minutes.

Scores were at a premium for a spell as play became quite fractured, with Clare defender Eoin Quirke escaping dismissal for a high tackle on Cathal Dunbar. Banner captain John Conlon however wasn't so fortune when being shown a straight red-carded for a rash challenge on Kevin Foley in the 29th-minute.

But four more Tony Kelly frees coupled with David Fitzgerald and Shane O'Neill additions eventually afforded Clare the cushion of a 0-12 to 0-4 lead at the interval.

Whether such a margin was sufficient was quickly put under the microscope as Wexford resumed with points from Pádraig Foley (free) and the O'Connor brothers, Rory (2) and Jack, together with Mark Fanning - the 'keeper coming out field to get on the end of a set-piece – to cut the gap to 0-12 to 0-9 after 46 minutes.

But five early second-half wides slowed Wexford's progress, although Conor McDonald (2), Paul Morris and Liam Óg McGovern continued to fuel their fight-back after 58 minutes reduced the gap to the bare minimum.

The reliable Tony Kelly popped up to maintain Clare's edge, and while Wexford hindered themselves with four additional late wides, the Ballyea-man added two more scores to his burgeoning tally to ensure boss Lohan of savouring a sweet result.

Clare: Donal Touhy; Conor Cleary, Jack Browne, Eoin Quirke; Stephen O'Halloran, Pat O'Connor, Aidan McCarthy; David McInerney, Tony Kelly (0-12, 10 frees); David Reidy, David Fitzgerald (0-3), Ian Galvin; Ryan Taylor (0-2), John Conlon (capt.), Shane O'Donnell (0-1).

Subs: Cathal Malone for Kelly (blood., 26-29); Domhnall McMahon for Galvin (46); Seadna Morey for Taylor (55); Malone for Reidy (60); Liam Corry for Quirke (69); Aaron Shanagher for O'Donnell (70+2).

Wexford: Mark Fanning (0-1); Joe O'Connor, Liam Ryan, Shane Reck; Damien Reck, Pádraig Foley (0-3 frees), Shaun Murphy; Liam Óg McGovern (0-1), Kevin Foley; Aidan Rochford (0-1), Rory O'Connor (0-2), Jack O'Connor (capt., 0-4, 3 frees); Cathal Dunbar, Conor McDonald (0-2), Paul Morris (0-1).

Subs: Aidan Nolan for McGovern (61); Harry Kehoe for D Reck (64).

Referee: Seán Cleere (Kilkenny).