It wasn't always perfect from Clare in Portlaoise but after a difficult few weeks the win was all that counted as the Banner finally got up and running in Division 1B.

Shane O'Donnell struck Clare's first goal and set up the second for substitute Mark Rodgers as Brian Lohan's side put their first points on the board.

Clare struck 20 wides overall, 13 in the first-half alone, though the wet and miserable conditions made playability extremely difficult.

The visitors were also without All-Star midfielder Tony Kelly who withdrew from the line-up with an apparent dead leg.

Kelly's loss was tempered by the second-half introduction of All-Ireland-winning midfielder Colm Galvin following a long-term groin problem while ex-footballer Aaron Fitzgerald made his debut in defence.

Lohan rolled on his full allocation of seven subs and Rodgers took his chance, sniping 1-02 after his introduction.

Clare forward Aron Shanagher is tackled by Matthew Whelan

Clare only had a point to spare against Laois in last year's championship but burned off Seamus Plunkett's side in the second half when they outscored the hosts by 1-15 to 1-06.

John Conlon captained Clare from the half-back line and scored after just 70 seconds, matching colleague Ian Galvin's earlier point, as the Munster men started at a ferocious tempo.

Clare enjoyed the lion's share of possession but were undermined by poor striking and those 13 first-half wides meant they led by just 1-12 to 0-11 when it should have been more.

Top scorer and free-taker Aidan McCarthy converted four first-half points but blasted several more wide while David Reidy, Shane Golden and goalscorer O'Donnell were also left to rue misses.

O'Donnell redeemed himself with a terrific 10th-minute goal when he burst straight through the Laois defence and kept going despite shipping a blow to the midriff.

Clare's efficiency improved after the restart and a long-range McCarthy free nudged them further clear.

Galvin, McCarthy and O'Donnell reeled off four points in a row between them and suddenly Clare were in the clear.

Rodgers' goal came in the 48th minute after a speedy run through the centre from O'Donnell who laid off for the sub to volley home from close range.

Rodgers added two more points while Ross King pinched a goal for Laois with an expert volleyed finish following a high ball in from Fiachra Fennell.

Laois: Enda Rowland; Diarmuid Conway, Donnchadh Hartnett, Sean Downey; Conor Phelan, Matthew Whelan, Jack Kelly (0-01); Fiachra Fennell, Paddy Purcell (0-02); James Ryan (0-01), Colm Stapleton (0-01), Ciaran Collier; PJ Scully (0-10, 8f, 1'65), Eoin Gaughan, Ross King (1-02).

Subs: Ciaran Comerford for Gaughan 47, Lee Cleere for Phelan & Ciaran McEvoy for Whelan 62, Aaron Dunphy for Stapleton 64, Stephen Bergin for Collier 71.

Clare: Eibhear Quilligan; Rory Hayes, Conor Cleary, Aaron Fitzgerald; Diarmuid Ryan (0-02), John Conlon (0-01), Jack Browne; Cathal Malone (0-04), Jason McCarthy (0-01); Shane Golden, David Reidy, Shane O'Donnell (1-01); Aron Shanagher, Ian Galvin (0-02), Aidan McCarthy (0-13, 12f).

Subs: Mark Rodgers (1-02) for Golden (ht), David Fitzgerald (0-01) for J McCarthy (45), Colm Galvin for Reidy (56), Domhnall McMahon for Galvin (63), Cian Nolan for Ryan (63), Darragh Lohan for Conlon (68), Gary Cooney for O'Donnell (68).

Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow).