Clare 0-17 Laois 0-9
Allianz Hurling League Division 1B
The Laois hurlers are still without a win after their brave performance in awful conditions fell just short against Clare in Ennis this afternoon.
Having lost to Wexford and Dublin in their opening two games, Laois made the trip to Clare today but with Storm Dennis battering the country, the game was shrouded in doubt right up to throw in.
Games in Limerick and Galway were postponed because of the weather but somehow Clare escaped.
Laois gave as good as they got in a terrible conditions in the first half, one dominated by a gale-force wind that Laois played into. For good measure, there was also sleet.
Aaron Cunningham got Clare off the mark with a nice point from play and though Ross King cancelled that out with a free, Clare got the next four to go 0-5 to 0-1 up with Kelly adding three more and Aidan McCarthy also pointing.
King pointed another free and Willie Dunphy narrowed the gap after good work from Paddy Purcell and James Ryan.
Jack Browne responded for Clare but a Dunphy free cancelled that out. With half time approaching, Laois were only two points down but Tony Kelly hit three in quick succession and at the break, Clare led 0-9 to 0-4.
Laois battled well in the second half but despite a couple of frees from King and points from play from Purcell, Willie Dunphy and Aaron Dunphy, they couldn’t get any closer than three points at any stage and saw goal chances for the lively James Keyes, Willie Dunphy and Stephen Bergin all go abegging.
Clare always had enough breathing room though and three points from very impressive sub Aron Shanagher were crucial in helping Brian Lohan’s side to a third straight win in this division.
Laois play Carlow next Saturday in MW Hire O’Moore Park with the winners of that game almost certain to be safe from relegation.
Laois then finish up at home to Kilkenny the following Sunday, March 1.
SCORERS – Clare: Tony Kelly 0-8 (four frees), Aron Shanagher 0-3, Ian Galvin 0-1, Aidan McCarthy 0-1, Jack Browne 0-1, Donal McMahon 0-1, David Reidy 0-1, Aaron Cunningham 0-1. Laois: Ross King 0-4 (four frees), Willie Dunphy 0-3 (one free), Paddy Purcell 0-1, Aaron Dunphy 0-1
LAOIS: Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix); Diarmuid Conway (Clough-Ballacolla), Frank Flanagan (Portlaoise), Donnacha Hartnett (Mountmellick); Podge Delaney (The Harps), Ryan Mullaney (Castletown), Ciaran McEvoy (Portlaoise); Colm Stapleton (Borris-Kilcotton), Fiachra C Fennell (Rosenallis); Willie Dunphy (Clough-Ballacolla), James Ryan (Rathdowney-Errill), Paddy Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill); Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill), Stephen Bergin (Clough-Ballacolla), James Keyes (Colt). Subs: John Lennon (Rosenallis) for Stapleton (injured – 9), Matthew Whelan (Borris-Kilcotton) for Mullaney (injured – 44), Aaron Dunphy (Borris-Kilcotton) for Conway (injured – 44), Ronan Broderick (Clough-Ballacolla) for Flanagan (60), Cian Taylor (Portlaoise) for Bergin (injured – 62)
CLARE: Eibhear Quilligan; Liam Corry, Shane Golden, Jack Browne; Stephen O’Halloran, Cathal Malone, Aidan McCarthy; David McInerney, Tony Kelly; David Reidy, David Fitzgerald, Seadna Morey; Ryan Taylor, Shane O’Donnell, Aaron Cunningham. Subs: Donal McMahon for Fitzgerald (injured – 31), Aron Shanagher for Cunningham (46), Ian Galvin for Morey (46), Podge Collins for O’Donnell (53), Niall Deasy for Taylor (66)
REFEREE: John Keenan (Wicklow)