Clare maintained their 100% start to the Allianz Hurling League after literally weathering the storm to beat Laois by 0-17 to 0-09 in Ennis.

With all four seasons displayed over the 70 minutes including incessant rain, sporadic sunshine, hailstones and even thunder and lightning, the weather certainly impacted on the quality.

In the end Clare deservedly prevailed after scoring six of the last seven points despite facing into a gale.

Tony Kelly top-scored for Clare with eight points

Second-half substitute Aron Shanagher made his mark with three points while David Reidy, David McInerney and Tony Kelly were others to stand up when needed most after Laois had cut the deficit to three by the turn of the final quarter.

Eddie Brennan's side will be disappointed to have not lasted the pace but never took full advantage of the conditions and would only score a solitary point in the last 15 minutes.

The visitors did have two glorious goal opportunities early in the second period but James Keyes would be initially denied by debutant goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan before Willie Dunphy's pulled rebound was somehow saved off the line by newcomer Liam Corry.

At the other end, Ryan Taylor did see a kicked attempt repelled by the advancing Enda Rowland but as the half developed, Clare did make the most of their point-scoring opportunities to run out convincing winners.

Seven first-half wides did frustrate the wind-assisted hosts as despite easing to a 0-05 to 0-01 advantage by the seventh minute, three from the stick of top-scorer Kelly, Clare failed to add to their tally for the next 15 minutes.

Clare goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan saves Keyes' shot

Instead, Laois finally settled through Ross King and Dunphy and by the half-hour they would have been relatively satisfied to only trail by 0-06 to 0-04.

Kelly would provide a degree of comfort for the Banner County by the break as three successive points from the Ballyea clubman lifted is side to a 0-09 to 0-04 cushion.

Fittingly, Kelly would also be instrumental in closing out the contest in the second period as he scored two and set up points for substitutes Shanagher and Ian Galvin to protect Clare's status at the top of Division 1 Group B.

Clare: E Quilligan; J Browne (0-01), S Golden, L Corry; S O'Halloran, C Malone, A McCarthy (0-01); D McInerney, T Kelly (0-08, 0-05f); D Reidy (0-01), D Fitzgerald, S Morey; R Taylor, S O'Donnell, A Cunningham (0-01).

Subs: D McMahon (0-01) for Fitzgerald (32), A Shanagher (0-03) for Cunningham (45), I Galvin (0-01) for Morey (47), P Collins for O'Donnell (56), N Deasy for Taylor (65).

Laois: E Rowland; F Flanagan, D Hartnett, D Conway; P Delaney, R Mullaney, C McEvoy; C Stapleton, F Fennell; W Dunphy (0-02), J Ryan, P Purcell (0-01); R King (0-05, 0-05f), S Bergin, J Keyes.

Subs: J Lennon for Stapleton (10), M Whelan for Conway (44), A Dunphy (0-01) for Mullaney (44), R Broderick for Flanagan (59), C Taylor for Bergin (62).

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow).