Galway clawed their way to a second successive All-Ireland final after withstanding a second-half barrage from a wasteful Clare in this afternoon’s replay in Thurles.
A crowd of 44,246 witnessed a scrappy affair, which came to life with two second-half goals from the Banner, the first from Shane O’Donnell in the 43rd minute to cut the margin to four point and the Ennis man
expertly setting up Peter Duggan for their second in the 54th minute to make it a one-point game.
The margin remained that solitary point up to the 68th minute when O’Donnell found Shanagher whose first shot was blocked by James Skehill and follow-up struck the post. In that moment, the game was won and lost, the team exchanging two points in the closing stages.
Clare, in total, registered 18 wides.
Galway weren’t as erratic as they were in this first half as they were last Saturday. Instead, it was Clare who posted double-digit wides (11), the worst of them a feeble Duggan sideline cut towards the end of the half, which finished 1-9 to 0-6 in Galway’s favour.
Their 21st minute goal, inexplicably their last score of the period, was initiated by a long diagonal ball from Joe Cooney, impressing against Duggan at left wing-back, into Jonathan Glynn, who tapped the ball down to himself before finishing one-handed past Donal Tuohy.
It was a richly deserved goal considering how dominant Galway had again been in the first half. They led 0-4 to no score after eight minutes and the goal pushed them into a nine-point lead.
Colm Galvin was sweeping again for Clare but his side weren’t benefitting from the move as much as the first game and he didn’t provide cover when Glynn pounced for the goal. The Munster runners-up looked confused at times with what ball to deliver to their forwards - the high ball towards John Conlon was right up Daithí Burke’s street - and their defence again were disjointed.
Clare had just two points in their account up to the 21st minute, both of them Duggan frees, and the margin could have been more before the break had Tuohy not put his body on the line to prevent Conor Cooney from bulging the net.
Three unanswered points towards the end gave Clare some hope of a revival but they were by far the inferior team going into the interval.
Scorers for Galway: J. Canning (0-8, 4 frees, 1 sideline); C. Whelan (0-3); J. Glynn (1-0); Niall Burke, David Burke (0-2 each); C. Cooney. C. Mannion(0-1 each).
Scorers for Clare: P. Duggan (1-6, 0-6 frees); S. O’Donnell (1-1); I. Galvin (0-2); T. Kelly, P. Collins, A. Shanagher, J. Conlon (0-1 each).
GALWAY: J. Skehill; A. Tuohey, Daithí Burke, J. Hanbury; P. Mannion, A. Harte, J. Cooney; J. Coen, David Burke (c); J. Canning, C. Whelan, C. Mannion; N. Burke, C. Cooney, J. Glynn.
Subs for Galway: P. Killeen for Daithí Burke (blood, 44-45); S. Loftus for J. Hanbury (56); J. Flynn for C. Cooney (59); D. Glennon for J. Glynn (70+2).
CLARE: D. Tuohy; D. McInerney, P. O’Connor (c), J. Browne; C. Galvin; S. Morey, C. Cleary, J. Shanahan; T. Kelly, D. McInerney; P. Duggan, P. Collins, D. Reidy; J. Conlon, S. O’Donnell.
Subs for Clare: I. Galvin for D. Reidy (35); C. Malone for D. Fitzgerald (44); R. Hayes for P, O’Connor (58); M. O’Malley for J Shanahan (60); A. Shanagher for P. Collins (64).
Referee: F. Horgan (Tipperary).