There was a mix of driving rain and wind as well as thunder and lightning in Ennis but it couldn’t prevent Clare from picking up where they left off against Wexford for a routine win that keeps up their 100% record in this year’s National League.
Full league starts were given to Liam Corry and Eibhear Quilligan, with Shane Golden being relocated to full-back and Aaron Cunningham returning to the inter-county fold after a three-year absence.
Despite this experimental mode, the home side were full value for their third win of the campaign against a Laois side that battled away but had little penetration up front.
After leading by 0-9 to 0-4 at half-time when playing with the aid of the breeze, thanks to a six-point haul from midfielder Tony Kelly, the Brian Lohan-managed side then turned around and built on that advantage to record an eight-point win.
Laois stayed in touch thanks to a hat-trick of points from Ross King in the first half and were only three adrift entering the last 15 minutes but when danger threatened it was Clare that went into overdrive to win out in a canter.
Aron Shanagher came off the bench to hit 0-3, while Tony Kelly bagged 0-8 over the course of the contest as Clare moved within touching distance of the knockout stages of the competition.
Scorers for Clare: T Kelly (0-8, 4f), A Shanagher (0-3), A Cunningham (0-1), A McCarthy (0-1), J Browne (0-1), D McMahon (0-1), D Reidy (0-1), I Galvin (0-1).
Scorers for Laois: R King (0-5f), W Dunphy (0-2), A Dunphy (0-1), P Purcell (0-1).
CLARE: E Quilligan; L Corry, S Golden, J Browne; S O Halloran, C Malone, A McCarthy; D McInerney, T Kelly; D Reidy, D Fitzgerald, S Morey, R Taylor, S O Donnell, A Cunningham.
Subs: D McMahon for Fitzgerald (32), A Shanagher for Cunningham (45), I Galvin for Morey (46), P Collins for O’Donnell (56), N Deasy for Taylor (65).
LAOIS: E Rowland; D Conway, F Flanagan, D Hartnett; P Delaney, R Mullaney, C McEvoy; C Stapleton, Fiachra C Fennell; W Dunphy, J Ryan, P Purcell; Ross King, S Bergin, J Keyes.
Subs J Lennon for Stapleton (9), A Dunphy for Mullaney (44), M Whelan for Conway (44), R Broderick for Flanagan (59), C Taylor for Bergin (63).
REFEREE: John Keenan (Wicklow)