Clare banished the scars of the epic Munster final heartache against Limerick as they produced a strong closing surge to overpower Wexford and set up an All-Ireland SHC semi-final against Kilkenny after this afternoon's quarter-final at FBD Semple Stadium.
The Banner appeared in real bother after second-half Wexford goals from 'keeper Mark Fanning – his long distance free going all the way to the net – and Lee Chin bolted Darragh Egan’s challengers into a 3-12 to 0-15 advantage after 59 minutes.
But with substitute Aron Shanagher pouncing upon a goalkeeping error to net, Clare reeled off 1-06 without reply between the 60th and 68th minutes to transform matters decisively.
It saw them halt to Wexford’s championship ambitions for the fourth time inside five years.
Not a single eyebrow was raised as Clare started with Rory Hayes at corner-back and Peter Duggan upfront following their midweek suspension reprieves, although Hayes didn’t last too long – being hauled off after only eight minutes as he struggled under a vibrant start by Wexford.
Wexford showed a tactical change as Mikie Dwyer was rested with Shane Reck making his first start of the season in a clear effort to try to quell Tony Kelly.
And Wexford’s quest to halt their championship misery against the Banner got a serious injection when Jack O’Connor gathered a Fanning puck-out and rifled to the net after a mere 26 seconds.
The Clare goal survived a further scare moments later when Lee Chin applied the pressure before Conor McDonald’s angled drive flew across the face of the goal and clear.
David Fitzgerald pointed Clare on target in the third minute, and although Lee Chin quickly restored a three-point gap, Tony Kelly squandered three successive chances from frees, including two long-range efforts.
Shane O'Donnell and Kelly pegged it back to 1-02 to 0-03 before the Clare management hauled Hayes off, with Keith Nolan replacing him.
Rory O’Connor was helping Wexford hum upfront, and he together with Oisín Foley stretched them clear by 1-04 to 0-03 before the purple and gold lost O’Connor’s influence to injury moments after David Reidy shaved it back to three points.
And Clare appeared to be finding their mojo when levelling for the first time after 19 minutes through Peter Duggan (two frees) and Diarmuid Ryan (0-07 to 1-04).
Lee Chin and Diarmuid O’Keeffe encouraged Wexford before a flurry of wides helped Clare regain parity at the break on 0-10 to 1-07 with closing scores from Ian Galvin and Duggan (free).
Clare sparked into action on the restart as a couple of gems from defender Diarmuid Ryan helped the Banner eventually gain the upper-hand after 42 minutes.
But Wexford really shook things up as Lee Chin fired over, before Mark Fanning’s free from deep inside his own half flew all the way to the net on 47 minutes with Chin swiping at the dropping ball.
And Wexford soared clear by 3-10 to 0-14 on 50 minutes when Chin powered home after Ian Galvin had crashed a shot off the crossbar at the opposite end.
Fanning also had to clear from under his crossbar after Chin (free) and sub Mikie Dwyer crafted a 3-12 to 0-15 Wexford advantage.
But Clare controlled matters subsequently, substitutes Shanagher and Shane Meehan setting the positive tone for an upsurge consolidated by Shanagher netting on 67 minutes after Fanning had failed to control a free from Tony Kelly.
And Brian Lohan’s men comfortably saw it out from there to set up a big duel with the Cats.
Clare: Eibhear Quilligan; Rory Hayes, Conor Cleary, Paul Flanagan; Diarmuid Ryan (0-03), John Conlon, David McInerney; Ryan Taylor, David Fitzgerald (0-01); Cathal Malone (0-01), Peter Duggan (0-05, 0-05fs), Shane O’Donnell (0-02); Ian Galvin (0-02), Tony Kelly (0-04), David Reidy (0-02).
Subs: Cian Nolan for Hayes (8), Mark Rodgers for Reidy (54), Aaron Shanagher (1-02) for Fitzgerald (59), Shane Meehan (0-02) for Galvin (62).
Wexford: Mark Fanning (1,00, 1-00f); Shane Reck, Liam Ryan, Simon Donohoe; Matthew O’Hanlon, Damien Reck (0-01), Pádraig Foley; Diarmuid O’Keeffe (0-01), Liam Óg McGovern; Oisín Foley (0-02), Jack O’Connor (1-00), Conor Devitt; Rory O’Connor (0-01), Conor McDonald, Lee Chin (1-08, 0-6fs).
Subs: Mikie Dwyer (0-01) for R O’Connor, inj. (14), Kevin Foley for O’Keeffe (62), Connal Flood for McGovern (63), Charlie McGuckin for S Reck, inj. (67), Paul Morris for D Reck, inj. (69).
Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).