Laois 1-17 Clare 2-27
National Hurling League Division 1B Round 3
The Laois hurlers’ wait for a first win of the season goes on after they were beaten by 13 points by Clare in O’Moore Park this afternoon.
Laois were competitive in the first half but had no answer to Clare in the second as they outscored them by 1-15 to 1-6 in the second period.
In horrific conditions with driving rain and even hailstones at times, Clare played with the breeze in the first half and despite a slow start, Laois were right with them for most of the half.
They actually had a chance to narrow the deficit to a point in injury time but PJ Scully missed a close range free and Clare got the final two points to leave four in it at the break.
PJ Scully and James Ryan were Laois’s early scorers but Clare had four points in the opening stages through Cathal Malone, John Conlon, Ian Gavin and Diarmuid Ryan.
Scully cut the deficit but Clare struck for the half’s only goal after ten minutes when Shane O’Donnell pounced on a loose ball and bounced off a couple of tackles before finding the bottom corner.
Laois were rattled and Clare reeled off two more points Ryan and Aidan McCarthy.
The home side steadied via Scully and Colm Stapleton but an Aidan McCarthy free left it 1-7 to 0-5 at the water break.
Laois were much improved after that though and got much closer to Clare with Eoin Gaughan and Ross King operating very well in a two man full forward line.
PJ Scully finished the half with seven points while Paddy Purcell also scored for the home side as Clare took a 1-12 to 0-11 lead into half time.
Clare began the second half with an Aidan McCarthy free but Jack Kelly instantly responded with a sideline puck from in front of the terrace.
But Clare took over for the next fifteen minutes and put clear daylight between the teams that Laois couldn’t recover from.
Aidan McCarthy reeled off a serious of frees with Ian Galvin also scoring before Shane O’Donnell set up sub Mark Rodgers for the game’s second goal.
PJ Scully and Mark Rodgers traded points but Laois gave themselves a chance of redemption right on the stroke of the water break.
Fiachra C-Fennell delivered a ball towards the goal and Ross King delightfully batted it into the net to leave it 2-20 to 1-14 with 18 minutes to play.
But unfortunately the comeback never materialised and Clare claimed a relatively easy win.
Laois’s search for a first win of the season will resume in two weeks time when they face Kilkenny in Nowlan Park.
SCORERS – Laois: PJ Scully 0-10 (eight frees, one 65), Ross King 1-2, Paddy Purcell 0-2, James Ryan 0-1, Colm Stapleton 0-1, Jack Kelly 0-1 Clare: Aidan McCarthy 0-13 (twelve frees), Mark Rodgers 1-2, Shane O’Donnell 1-1, Cathal Malone 0-4, Ian Galvin 0-2, Diarmuid Ryan 0-2, John Conlon 0-1, Jason McCarthy 0-1, David Fitzgerald 0-1
LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Diarmuid Conway, Sean Downey, Donnchadh Hartnett; Jack Kelly, Colm Stapleton, Conor Phelan; Fiachra C-Fennell, Paddy Purcell; James Ryan, PJ Scully, Ciaran Collier; Eoin Gaughan, Ross King, Matthew Whelan. Subs: Ciaran Comerford for Gaughan and James Keyes for Purcell (47), Ciaran McEvoy for Whelan and Lee Cleere for Phelan (both 61), Aaron Dunphy for Conway (63), Stephen Bergin for Collier (71)
CLARE: Eibhear Quilligan; Rory Hayes, Conor Cleary, Aaron Fitzgerald; Diarmuid Ryan, John Conlon, Jack Browne; Cathal Malone, Jason McCarthy; Shane O’Donnell, David Reidy, Shane Golden; Aaron Shanagher, Ian Galvin, Aidan McCarthy. Subs: Mark Rodgers for Golden (ht), David Fitzgerald for McCarthy (45), Colm Galvin for Reidy (55), Domhnall McMahon for I Galvin and Cian Nolan for Ryan (both 63), Darragh Lohan for O’Donnell and Gary Cooney for Conlon (both 67)
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)