Clare hurlers receive hero’s welcome at homecoming


Davy Fitz celebrates with man of the match Shane O’Donnell (Clare county board)

3,000 descended on Ennis for the homecoming of Clare’s senior and under 21 All Ireland winning sides.

In what was a rare double for the Banner; a first half hat-trick from 19 year old Shane O’Donnell, one of 14 under 21s in the Clare side, was the telling difference in Sunday’s replay against Cork.

With an incredible score of 5-16 to 3-16 the 2013 hurling championship got the conclusion it deserved after what has been one of the most open championships for years.

Just like in the initial fixture Clare started off on the front foot and soon found themselves 1-4 to 0-2 ahead in the opening minutes. After O’Donnell netted his second after 13 minutes, his side now had a seven point lead.

Cork were in desperate need off inspiration and they got it five minutes later when Anthony Nash came forward from his goals to take a close range free, despite Clare putting 13 on the line they were powerless to stop Nash’s shot. After twenty minutes O’Donnell completed his hat-trick in what was an incredible performance for a man only named to start just before the game.

Clare continued to pile on the pressure and with five minutes to go before half time found themselves 3-9 to 1-7 in front. However, just as they had numerous times in the first game, Cork responded rattling off four points in a row cutting the deficit to 3-9 to 1-11 at half time.

After a free flowing first half, the second half was a much tenser affair as Cork drew level after fifteen minutes 3-10 to 1-16; with Clare only adding one point to their first half score. The teams drew level again after Seamus Harnady’s goal 3-13 to 2-16.

This sparked a reaction from Clare as they rattled off 1-2 in a row, the highlight of which was a goal from Connor McGrath, Clare’s fourth of the day. With two goals between the sides Cork’s Stephen Moylan scored the seventh goal of the game dragging Cork back into it with two minutes of injury time to go.

Clare’s Darach Honan who gave way to Shane O’Donnell before the game got the last score of the game another goal as Clare became 2013 All Ireland Champions.

Photo: Clare County Board


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