RICHIE POWER AND his Kilkenny teammates did not take the Banner County lightly in the semi-final clash but entered the contest as favourites.
Kilkenny 1-20 Clare 0-14
13.51 – Here are the teams for today’s clash:
Kilkenny first …
Kilkenny: David Herity; Paul Murphy, J.J. Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell, Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan, Richie Doyle; Michael Fennelly, Cillian Buckley; T.J. Reid, Richie Power, John Mulhall, Colin Fennelly, Eoin Larkin (capt), Matthew Ruth.
Replacements: Eoin Murphy, Kieran Joyce, Conor Fogarty, Willie Phelan, John Tennyson, Mark Bergin, Tomás Breen, Padraig Walsh.
14.04 – Traffic delays are being blamed for the hold-up. 2.15pm is the new starting time.
Clare starting with Nicky O’Connell at 8 and Conor McGrath is in at 14. Davy Fitzgerald on the pitch giving his players a final motivational talk.
14.10 – Here is the starting line-up for the Banner:
Clare: P Kelly; D O’Donovan, C Dillon, C Cooney, B Bulger, P O’Connor, L Markham; N O’Connell, P Donnellan (capt); F Lynch, S Collins, E Barret, C Ryan, C McGrath, J Conlon.
14.13 – Referee Alan Kelly gets us underway. Charcoal clouds hang overhead.
14.26 – Sean Collins takes on Brian McEvoy and shows him a clean pair of heels before slotting over from 30 metres out. Fine score.
Nicky O’Connell then levels things up with a huge free, taken from his own half.
14.31 – John Mulhall runs into Cian Dillon and is upended. Blood spills from his forehead and the Clare defender needs treatment too. Richie Power has the relatively simple task of knocking the ball over from 25 metres out.
15.47 – Full-time and Kilkenny emerge as comfortable winners.
Eoin Larkin says the team were delighted to pull away with early scores in the second-half. He added:
The shower was bad enough but once that ended the wind dried it up … Hopefully we can stay around to watch the second match.
TG4 have given the man-of-the-match to Cillian Buckley, who imposed himself on the midfield in the second half. Kilkenny get a good work-out but were never in any real danger.