Galway 2-15 Clare 1-17
A point from a free in the second minute of injury time by Jason Flynn snatched a dramatic victory for Galway in the opening round of the Allianz League at Pearse Stadium, Salthill.
Flynn kept his nerve to steer the free over from 50 metres on the right, having a minute earlier tied the match with a 65.
It completed a successful comeback for Galway after Clare had produced a very good third quarter against the wind.
A goal just before the break from Cathal Mannion saw Galway lead by 1-09 to 1-08 at the interval despite playing against the wind.
Galway did most of the early attacking and led by 0-05 to 0-01 after just nine minutes after Flynn hit two points and Jonathan Glynn, Cathal Mannion and James Regan found their range.
Bobby Duggan, a late replacement for Tony Kelly, was Clare’s most dangerous attacker in the opening half, hitting hit three points.
Colin Ryan landed three frees in that period as well as the Banner men came back into the contest.
He pointed a free to reduce the margin to 0-08 to 0-05 seven minutes from the break before a long range effort from him was flicked to the net by John Conlon.
The unmarked Colm Galvin then hit an excellent score from halfway to put Clare in front for the first time in the game and Colin Ryan doubled the lead with another free.
But Padraig Brehony hit back for Galway, and while Colin Ryan got a point from play, the Tribesmen led at the break when Glynn caught a long free from Andy Smith and passed to Mannion who drilled the ball into the bottom left corner from a tight angle.
However, Clare started the second-half very well with points from Colin Ryan, John Conlon, Shane O’Donnell and Brendan Bugler putting them 1-12 to 1-09 in front.
Jonathan Glynn and Flynn responded for Galway but they still trailed by three points with 12 minutes left before Joseph Cooney tied the match with a goal.
Conor McGrath, who hit 0-03 when introduced, restored Clare’s lead and Flynn and Conlon exchanged points for the Banner to lead going into stoppage time.
But then Flynn landed a 65 to tie the match before keeping his nerve to hit the match-winner in the dying moments.
Galway: C Callanan; J Coen, J Hanbury, R Burke; G McInerney (0-01), D Collins, I Tannian; A Smith, J Cooney (1-00); P Brehony (0-01), J Glynn (0-02), D Higgins; J Regan (0-01), J Flynn (0-09, 0-06f, 0-01 65), C Mannion (1-01).
Subs used: G Lally for Burke (48), A Harte for Higgins (52), B Molloy for Regan (63), P Killeen for Brehony (66).
Clare: P Kelly; D O’Donovan, C Dillon (capt), J Browne; C Cleary, Conor Ryan, B Bugler (0-01); P O’Connor, Colin Ryan (0-06, 0-05f); P Donnellan, B Duggan (0-03), C Galvin (0-01); J Conlon (1-02), S O’Donnell (0-01), D Reidy.
Subs used: C McGrath (0-03) for Reidy (45), A Cunningham for Donnellan (52), S Morey for Cleary (65), C O’Connell for Colin Ryan (68).
Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly).