Clara crown senior return with league win

All-Ireland intermediate club champions Clara have marked their return to the Kilkenny senior hurling grade in spectacular fashion by winning the league.

Clara won the title for the first time on Saturday when the outscored and outclassed James Stephens by 0-24 to 1-13. The season thus far has been one of virtually all highs for Clara, who included championship kings Ballyhale Shamrocks among the team they have beaten.

The Village shared parity at 0-4 each after eight minutes, but once the flying Liam Ryan pointed Clara back in front moments later they led all the way home. The winners were 0-15 to 0-7 in front at half-time after playing with the fresh breeze.

James Stephens, who were overly-reliant on county star Eoin Larkin for scores – he shot 0-10 – got back to within three points of the opposition with ten minutes left, 0-19 to 1-13, but Clara simply slipped through the gears again.

Lester Ryan, who was brilliant in midfield, lashed over two long-range points and then Liam Ryan, who shot six points from play, added third to up the divide to a match winning 0-22 to 1-13.

Both teams are already through to the championship quarter-finals by virtue of the fact they qualified for the league final. These games will be played the weekend after next.

They were joined by Ballyhale Shamrocks, Carrickshock, St Martin’s (Muckalee), Erin’s Own (Castlecomer) and Dicksboro. The final places will be taken by O’Loughlin Gaels or Tullaroan, who played a 1-11 (O’L G) to 0-14 draw in their first round game, with the former needing a late equaliser.

The relegation final will be between JJ Delaney’s Fenians (Johnstown) and Eddie Brennan’s Graigue-Ballycallan, who were beaten by Dicksboro and Erin’s Own respectively in the crucial first round, relegation semi-final games.

The quarter-final draws will be made this evening.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Michael Ryan ‘gobsmacked’ by amazing skills of Tipp players in training

Ex-Tipperary star James Woodlock wants ‘fairness’ from Brian Gavin

Richie Power reflects on agonising year

Ken McGrath autobiography out in October


Breaking Stories

Jack Wilshere completes loan move to Bournemouth

Aiden McGeady makes Preston move on deadline day

Robbie Keane scores in fitting Ireland send-off

Liverpool cut losses as Mario Balotelli joins Nice on free transfer

Lifestyle

James Nesbitt and Hermione Norris on why the time is right for the return of Cold Feet

Get a Fair Deal with costs of care homes for elderly

Pablo Escobar’s life on the line in Narcos season two

How to buy the perfect laptop for college

More From The Irish Examiner