HL1A: brilliant Banner banish tame Cats

19 February 2017

Clare's Shane O'Donnell with Padraig Walsh of Kilkenny.
©INPHO/Donall Farmer.

Clare produced a stunning display at Ennis to inflict a humbling 2-19 to 0-12 defeat on Kilkenny.

The result leaves Brian Cody’s shell-shocked side marooned at the foot of the 1A table, while the rampant victors have bounced back in considerable style from last weekend’s defeat to Cork.

In the absence of Tony Kelly, Aron Shanagher was influential for the Banner County today, bagging 1-4, while David Reidy stroked over seven points from placed balls and Aaron Cunningham supplied the winners’ first-half goal.

The hosts led by four at the break, with the Noresiders managing just three first-half points from play – two from Conor Fogarty and one from TJ Reid.

Roared on by the boisterous home support amongst the attendance of 7,395, the Banner County flew into a six-point lead inside four minutes thanks to a second-minute Cunninghan major and points from Shanagher (2) and Reidy (free) – 1-3 to no score. The next six points were shared, with Reid slotting a 19th-minute free in response to a brace of Reidy frees.

Cats goalkeeper Eoin Murphy got in on the action with a superb save followed by a converted free from deep inside his own half, but the Banner still led by double scores, 1-9 to 0-6, with less than two minutes left before the break. A late Reid brace meant the Black & Amber remained in contention at the short whistle.

Reidy fired over another Clare free within 60 seconds of the restart only for Reid to reply in the 40th minute; Shanagher then cancelled out a Cillian Buckley score. Approaching the three-quarters stage, Richie Leahy reduced Kilkenny’s arrears to just the goal…

But the hosts were not prepared to roll over and points from Podge Collins, substitute Cathal McInerney (2) and Reidy (free) had them home and hosed with 13 minutes left – 1-15 to 0-11. Clare goalkeeper Donal Tuohy saved Reid’s penalty ten minutes from the end and the Cats failed to score again after Reid converted the resultant ‘65’.

Meanwhile, the Banner followed up with points from John Conlon and Shanagher (free) before the latter left eleven between the teams with a second goal for the fired-up hosts six minutes from the end, 2-17 to 0-12. On a weekend of surprise results in the league, Clare powered across the line to win by 13.

Clare - D Tuohy; S Morey, C Dillon, O O’Brien; B Bugler, C Cleary, D Fitzgerald (0-1); J Shanahan, D Reidy (0-7, 6f, 1'65); J Conlon (0-1), P Collins (0-2), C Malone; S O’Donnell, A Cunningham (1-0), A Shanagher (1-4, 0-1f). Subs: C McInerney (0-2) for A Cunningham, J McCarthy (0-1) for D Reidy, S Golden for J Shanahan, P Duggan (0-1'65) for C Malone, P Donnellan for B Bugler.

Kilkenny - E Murphy (0-1f); E Cody, P Walsh, C O’Shea; J Holden, P Murphy, K Joyce; C Fogarty (0-2), C Buckley (0-1); L Blanchfield, TJ Reid (0-7, 4f, 2'65), R Leahy (0-1); R Hogan, W Walsh, K Kelly. Subs: S Prendergast for E Cody, J Farrell for W Walsh, J Maher for R Hogan, O Walsh for K Kelly, S Morrissey for L Blanchfield.

Referee - J Owens.

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