Weather conditions played havoc as a strong wind and heavy rain made life miserable for both sides.
The students, backed by the elements in the opening half, enjoyed a two point lead (0-8 to 0-6) at the break but things changed rapidly on the restart with Clare hitting 1-5 without reply to take charge. However some of their good work was undone when corner-forward Kieran Morris punished some slack defending for UL’s first score of the second half in the 55th minute.
Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald admitted the elements were a major factor in the game: “In the first-half we played into an absolute storm. It died down a bit in the second-half. In the first, we missed a goal or two but at least we created the opportunities. We were coasting in the second-half until we made a stupid mistake that gave them the momentum to get back into the game. UL are a decent team but we got the win.”
The UL goal reduced the deficit to three points (1-11 to 1-8) and further points from Morris and sub Geoff Brennan left a score between them with ten minutes remaining.
But Clare finished in style with goals from Seadna Morey and Alan O’Neill, to secure a deserved victory and a date with Cork next weekend.
Former Clare All Star full-back Brian Lohan was amongst the UL mentors and was impressed with the performance ahead of Thursday’s Fitzgibbon Cup clash with St Patrick’s.
“We came up here trying to win the game. It was a good competitive game and we were there or thereabouts until close to the finish. We are conscious that our big game is on next Thursday.
Scorers for Clare: N O’Connell (1-3) 0-1 ‘65, 0-1 f, S Morey (1-0), A O’Neill (1-0), C O’Connell (0-3) f’s, F Lynch (0-2), D OHalloran (0-2), C Ryan, E Barrett, T Kelly (0-1) each.
Scorers for UL: K Morris (1-6) 0-6 f’s, A Ryan (0-2), D Butler, C Malone, S Golden, P Walsh, G Brennan (0-1) each.
CLARE: P Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona), D McInerney, J McInerney, C Cooney, B Bugler, P Donnellan, P Kelly (Clarecastle), N O’Connell, C Ryan, F Lynch, T Kelly, E Barrett, D O’Halloran, A O’Neill, C O’Connell.
Subs: S O’Donnell for C O’Connell (46), P O’Connor for P Kelly (Clarecastle) (58), S Morey for Lynch (58), J Clancy for O’Halloran (60).
UL: N McGrath (Tipperary), P Flanagan (Clare), D Morrissey (Limerick), P Ryan (Tipperary), T Ryan (Limerick), C Ryan (Clare), P Stapleton (Tipperary), M Fennelly (Kilkenny), S Golden (Clare), P Walsh (Kilkenny), A Ryan (Tipperary), C Malone (Clare), K Morris (Tipperary), D Butler (Tipperary), E Murphy (Waterford).
Subs: B Stapleton (Tipperary) for Butler (44), P Kelly (Tipperary) for Malone (46), G Brennan (Kilkenny) for Fennelly (46), E Murray (Tipperary) for Murphy (46), M Boran (Kilkenny) for Walsh (61).
Referee: J Sexton (Cork).