All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifiers Round 1 Replay
Wexford 2-25 Clare 2-22
at Wexford Park
After an epic 180 minute battle that was level on 13 occasions, it was Wexford who finally emerged on top to remain in the hunt for the Liam McCarthy. While the home side deservedly won out, you also had to give the defending champions huge credit for their remarkable powers of resilience in battling against almost an endless stream of adversity.
Seemingly dead and buried having been reduced to 13 men, they somehow dug deeper than ever before to get themselves to extra-time for the second time in a week but it would eventually prove a step too far as it was Wexford who finished the stronger with the final three points all through Jack Guiney.
There was talking points aplenty but Wexford substitute Harry Kehoe’s extra-time goal was certainly pivotal to victory as Clare, now restored to 15 appeared to be getting on top. The Banner should have perhaps received a penalty when Aaron Cunningham was tackled on route to goal but that aside, Clare were unable to shake off Wexford who finally it the front with that late Guiney treble.
It was a rollercoaster all through though.
With Wexford’s expectations heightened and the visitors determined to prove themselves, it was always going to be a tense game. So much so that there would only be three points in the opening quarter at 0-2 to 0-1 in favour of the visitors, despite facing into the sea breeze, thanks to Conor McGrath and John Conlon. But it wouldn’t tell the full tale.
Clare utilised Seadna Morey as a sweeper but their defence would be severely tested in only the second minute when Podge Doran intercepted but would see his shot saved by goalkeeper Patrick Kelly as would Conor McDonald.
That would only be the start of Wexford’s frustration as they hit 12 wides over the course of the first half and instead it was Clare who found the net following successive points from Tony Kelly and Conlon.
It was a flowing move involving Patrick O’Connor and Colm Galvin to unloose Darach Honan on goal with a cool finish past the onrushing Mark Fanning in the 22nd minute at 1-5 to 0-3.
Wexford wouldn’t panic though and unanswered scores from David Redmond, Paul Morris and Lee Chin as well as a straight red for Clare’s Brendan Bugler ensured they only trailed by two at the break at 1-5 to 0-6 having also had a disallowed goal.
Despite the loss of a player for the second consecutive week, Clare maintained their hold until receiving a second sucker-punch of a second yellow for Jack Browne in the 48th minute. John Conlon eased the blow with a goal but it would be cancelled out immediately by Conor McDonald and it would be an inspirational score for the home side who began to believe that they could win.
Despite a two player advantage however, they were simply unable to break away from a superhuman effort from Clare who regained parity on four more occasions before the 70th minute, the last two of which came from Colin Ryan placed balls to somehow force the additional periods.
Having survived with only 13, the momentum appeared to be shifting towards the Banner once more but Wexford would not be denied, with the full time whistle greeted by a pitch invasion perhaps only saved for All-Ireland wins.
Clare Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona) (0-1f); Jack Browne (Ballyea), David McInerney (Tulla), Cian Dillon (Crusheen); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Conor Ryan (Cratloe), Patrick O’Connor (Tubber); Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge), Colm Galvin (Clonlara) (0-1); Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin), Tony Kelly (Ballyea) (0-3), Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus) (0-5 4f, 1’65); Darach Honan (Clonlara) (1-1), John Conlon (Clonlara) (1-5), Conor McGrath (Cratloe) (0-4)
Subs Patrick Donnellan (O’Callaghan’s Mills) for Duggan (55 mins), Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for Honan (65 mins), Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge) Extra-Time (0-2), Paul Flanagan (Ballyea) Extra-Time
Wexford Mark Fanning (Glynn Barnstown); Keith Rossiter (Oulart-The-Ballagh), Liam Ryan (Rapparees), Matthew O’Hanlon (St James’); Andrew Shore (Parnells, Dublin), Eoin Moore (Oulart-The-Ballagh), Ciarán Kenny (Buffers Alley); David Redmond (Oulart-The-Ballagh) (0-1), Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers) (0-2); Paul Morris (Ferns St Aidan’s) (0-7 4f), Podge Doran (Oylegate/Glenbrien), Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s) (0-1), Garrett Sinnott (Oulart-The-Ballagh), Conor McDonald (Naomh Éanna) (1-1), Liam Óg McGovern (St Anne’s) (0-2)
Subs Jack Guiney (Rathmore) for Doran (27 mins) (0-10 8f), Rory Jacob (Oulart-The-Ballagh) (0-1) for Sinnott (HT), Ian Byrne (Ferns St Aidan’s) for Morris (41 mins), PJ Nolan (Askamore) for Redmond (45 mins), Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) (1-0) for O’Keeffe (59 mins), Richie Kehoe (Faythe Harriers) for Kenny (70 mins), Paul Morris for Byrne (70 mins), Shane Tomkins (Askamore) for Nolan (76 mins), Podge Doran for Jacob (76 mins), Willie Devereux (St Martin’s) for Moore (79 mins)
Referee Johnny Ryan (Tipperary)