Clare 0-18 Galway 1-13
Colin Ryan rifled over eight points as Clare hung on for a deserved 0-18 to 1-13 victory over Galway in Ennis.
Joseph Cooney had a late chance to drag Galway over the finish line, but his shot on goal went wide and the Banner men prevailed by a two-point margin.
Ryan clipped over a succession of frees as wind-backed Clare took a 0-12 to 0-8 lead into the break, benefiting from a five-point run between the 11th and 20th minutes.
Early scores from Ryan and Shane O’Donnell got the home side off the mark in wet conditions at Cusack Park. Joe Canning’s reply was followed by Ryan’s second of the afternoon and Padraic Collins’ first.
Galway got back on terms through Canning (0-2) and the lively Davy Glennon, but Davy Fitzgerald’s men hit the next gear with Ryan driving them towards a 0-7 to 0-4 advantage.
They were 0-9 to 0-5 to the good when Niall Healy flashed a gilt-edged goal chance wide. Two points from Tony Kelly widened the gap to four by the interval.
Galway did end the first half strongly with Glennon the stand-out player in attack. His movement and sharpness on the ball earned some well placed frees which Canning converted.
Full-forward John Conlon stepped up for Clare on the restart, scoring three encouraging points as Fitzgerald’s charges led by 0-16 to 0-9 facing into the elements.
The game was right back in the melting pot though when the increasingly influential Canning powered a 21-yard free to the top right corner of the net for the only goal of the encounter. Suddenly, Clare were only 0-16 to 1-11 to the good.
The pressure was back on the home side who endured a 16-minute scoreless period, but they rose to the challenge and took a tight verdict thanks to late points from Kelly and substitute Fergal Lynch.
Anthony Cunningham’s side might have sneaked it late on with Cooney firing wide when a goal looked on the cards. Before that, Canning had pointed a close range free when most of the crowd expected an attempt on goal.
Scorers - Clare: Colin Ryan 0-8 (0-7f), T Kelly, J Conlon 0-3 each, P Collins 0-2, S O'Donnell, F Lynch 0-1 each
Galway: J Canning 1-9 (1-8f), D Glennon, A Harte, A Smith, N Donoghue 0-1 each
CLARE: P Kelly; D O'Donovan, D McInerney, S Morey; B Bugler, P Donnellan, P O'Connor; N O'Connell, Conor Ryan; Colin Ryan, T Kelly, E Barrett; S O'Donnell, J Conlon, P Collins.
Subs used: F Lynch for Barrett (53 mins), C Galvin for Conor Ryan (57), D Honan for O'Donnell, J Clancy for Collins (both 62).
GALWAY: C Callanan; F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen; D Collins, J Cooney, N Donoghue; I Tannian, A Smith; D Hayes, J Canning, T Haran; N Healy, J Glynn, D Glennon.
Subs used: A Harte for Haran (42 mins), B Flaherty for Smith (52), S Moloney for Healy (57), T Og Regan for Donoghue (62-66 mins, temp sub).
Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)