CLARE ARE INTO the last four of the All-Ireland senior hurling championship after six-point win over Galway in Thurles.
The Banner will face Limerick in the semi-finals after defeating the beaten Leinster finalists despite a second half comeback from the Tribesman.
Davy Fitzgerald named Tony Kelly in his starting line-up after the forward recovered from an eye injury picked up against Waterford, while Conor Ryan and Darach Honan were late additions.
The Tribesmen team saw six changes from the one which lost out to Dublin the Leinster final earlier this month. Colm Callanan came in for James Skehill in goal, Jason Grealish got the nod at left-back in his championship debut, Aidan Harte and Andy Smith formed a new midfield pairing whil Jonathan Glynn and Damien Hayes were preferred to Cyril Donnellan and Davy Glennon in attack.
Hayes was the first name on the scoresheet when he sent over a point in the opening seconds and Galway went 0-4 to 0-2 ahead after five minutes.
Clare drew level thanks to John Conlan and from there began to take control. Two points from Padraic Collins was added to by a Conor McGrath goal – the Cratloe man shot low to send the sliotar past Callanan and out the back of the net.
Galway allowed their opponents too much space and Darach Honan, Conor McGrath, Colin Ryan and Patrick O’Connor were all on target. Joe Canning responded with a couple of frees but at half-time there was a seven-point gap between them.
Galway’s David Burke with Tony Kelly of Clare. Credit: INPHO/Donall Farmer
Anthony Cunningham made three substitutions at the break by introducing Joseph Cooney, Iarla Tannian and David Glennon. When play did resume, it was Colin Ryan who hit the opening point of the second half.
On 44 minutes, Galway were boosted by goal. Jonathan Glynn found space on the left wing and fired in for just his second ever championship goal to make it 1-13 to 1-09.
Niall Healy was sent on with ten minutes remaining and the switch paid off seconds later when he collected a pass from Canning and blasted home a second goal.
Galway then narrowed the deficit to just two points but Collins got one back for Clare and further scores by Fergal Lynch, Nicky O’Connell, Damien Hayes and Colin Ryan ensured the victory.
Scorers for Clare: Colin Ryan 0-10 (0-8f), Conor McGrath 1-2, Padraic Collins 0-4, John Conlon, Darach Honan, Patrick O’Connor, Brendan Bugler, Tony Kelly, Fergal Lynch, Nicky O’Connell 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-9 (0-6f, 0-2 ’65), Niall Healy, Jonathan Glynn 1-0 each, Damien Hayes 0-3, Aidan Harte, Joseph Cooney 0-1 each.
CLARE: Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona); Domhnall O’Donovan (Clonlara), David McInerney (Tulla), Cian Dillon (Crusheen); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Patrick Donnellan (O’Callaghan Mills), Patrick O’Connor (Tubber); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus); John Conlon (Clonlara), Tony Kelly (Ballyea), Conor Ryan (Cratloe); Pádraic Collins (Cratloe), Darach Honan (Clonlara), Conor McGrath (Cratloe).
Subs: Fergal Lynch (Clooney-Quin) for Conlon (56), Nicky O’Connell (Clonlara) for Kelly (64), Shane O’Donnell (Eire Og) for Honan (64), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge) for Galvin (70).
GALWAY: Colm Callanan (Kinvara); Kevin Hynes (Sarsfields), Fergal Moore (Turloughmore), Johnny Coen (Loughrea); Shane Kavanagh (Kinvara), David Collins (Liam Mellows), Jason Grealish (Gort); Aidan Harte (Gort), Andy Smith (Portumna); David Burke (St Thomas’s), Conor Cooney (St Thomas’s), Jonathan Glynn (Ardrahan); Damien Hayes (Portumna), Joe Canning (Portumna), Niall Burke (Oranmore-Maree).
Subs: Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields) for Coen (half-time), Iarla Tannian (Ardrahan) for Smith (half-time), David Glennon (Mullagh) for Cooney (half-time), Cyril Donnellan (Padraig Pearses) for Niall Burke (46), Niall Healy (Craughwell) for Harte (60).
Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly)