All-Ireland SHC semi-final: Stalemate in Croker (AET)

July 28, 2018

Galway's Jonathan Glynn and Conor Cleary of Clare

Clare substitute Jason McCarthy is the toast of the Banner County as his late score secured a 1-30 to 1-30 draw against Galway in a pulsating SHC semi-final at Croke Park this evening.

This game had it all, passion, pride, determination and commitment in abundance as both sides gave it their all throughout, but they will have to do it all again next Saturday.

Galway made running in the first half as they didn't let Clare settle and they led by 1-06 to 0-01 after just fifteen minutes, the goal coming from Conor Cooney.

Galway pushed up on Clare's puckouts forcing Donal Tuohy into a couple of errors, but he like his team mates did settle as the half went on.

To their credit, Clare battled back and once they did, they grew in confidence hitting five unanswered points. 

From the 29th minute to the end of the half, Clare outscored Galway by 0-03 to 0-2, but more importantly, Galway still had a four point lead at the break, 1-10 to 0-09.

Galway hit eleven wides during the opening half with Hawkeye ruling out three of their efforts as the umpires struggled to see into the sun.

The second half was close throughout, although Galway did go five points clear midway through the half, but led by Duggan and Conlon, they fought their way back into the game to force extra time.

Galway outscored Clare by 0-03 to 0-01 in the first half of extra time, but the Banner will be cursing the fact that they hit five wides during that opening ten minutes.

An Aaron Shanagher goal at the start of the second period of extra time was just what every neutral wanted to see as the Clare forward who was returning to the field after a cruciate injury, fielded a high ball and fired to the net.

Clare got two of the next three scores to take a two point lead as we entered the final three minutes, but Galway hit back with three of their, the last of which coming from Johnny Coen before Clare substitute Jason McCarthy was the hero of the hour with a late point after good work from fellow sub David Fitzgerald.

Clare started the game as underdogs and they looked every bit of it in the opening minutes as Galway settled quickly with a Joe Canning point in the first minute after Donal Tuohy had pucked the ball straight to him.

Two minutes later and Clare were level as Duggan pointed a straight forward free, but Galway totally took over for the next few minutes. A Canning free was followed by a great catch, turn and shot by Conor Cooney as the Clare defence looked all over the place.

The first goal chance came in the sixth minute when Glynn was played in by Cathal Mannion, but the big full forward rushed his shot and his shot went well wide.

Another poor puck out by Tuohy led to Galway's next score and Conor Whelan was the beneficiary on this occasion. A fine effort by Johnny Coen from out the field made it 0-05 to 0-01 by the eleventh minute and Clare looked to be in real trouble.

A Cathal Mannion point stretched their lead, but then Galway went eight points clear when Cooney dashed in to flick a loose ball to the back of the net. Canning added a point and it was 1-07 to 0-01 after 16 minutes.

Clare dropped Colm Galvin into defence as a sweeper and this seemed to work for them as first David Reidy pointed from play and then Shane O'Donnell fired over a great effort to begin the Banner's resurgence.

A Duggan free led the way for Tony Kelly to hit the next two points although there was five minutes of play between the two scores.

Cathal Mannion finally stopped the run with his second point of the game, but Duggan hit three in a row for Clare, two frees sandwiching a point from play.

Mannion who had a fine first effort splits the posts once again, before Glynn closed out the first half scoring.

The second half saw Canning score from a line ball and Conlon score. Then Clare hit the next three scores through Duggan (free), Conlon and O'Donnell to make it a one-point game, 1-11 to 0-13.

Galway hit back to lead by 1-16 to 0-14 by the 48th minute and it looked as if they would push on from here. That wasn't the case as the impressive Duggan was the scorer of the first of five unanswered points to draw level by the 53rd minute.

Enthralling stuff at this stage as Galway edged back in front with a Whelan score before Duggan was on target from another placed ball. Two Canning points saw the Tribesmen go two in front in the 58th minute.

Duggan and Ian Galvin raised further white flags, the impressive Mannion got his fourth as the scores were in full flow. An inspirational score by Duggan from play had the sides level again, but Canning, Niall Burke and David Burke made it 1-23 to 0-23 by the 66th minute.

Clare battled away and Kelly, Conlon and Duggan secured the draw and sent the game into extra time.

Canning got the opening two scores of extra time, a free and an exceptional line ball, while at the other end Clare hit four wides before Ian Galvin finally opened their account for extra time

A foul on David Burke saw Canning make it 1-26 to 0-27 at the break, but it was still all to play for.

Shanagher's goal almost lifted the roof in Croker, Mannion responded for Galway before Duggan and O'Donnell who returned to the field in extra time both pointed.

Galway looked to have sealed it as Jason Flynn hit two points, one from a free and another from play before Johnny Coen looked to have sealed it with a well taken point, but it was left to McCarthy to send over the last score of the game.

The Tribesmen will be counting the cost of the draw as Canning and Gearoid McInerney both went off injured, but for the rest of us, next weekend can't come around quick enough.

Galway - J Skehill; J Hanbury, Daithi Burke, A Tuohy; P Mannion, G McInerney, A Harte; J Coen (0-2), David Burke (0-3); J Cooney, J Canning (0-12, 6f, 2sl), C Mannion (0-4); C Whelan (0-3), J Glynn (0-1), C Cooney (1-1). Subs: N Burke (0-1) for J Cooney, J Flynn (0-3, 1f) for C Cooney, P Killeen for G McInerney, S Loftus for A Tuohy, J Cooney for David Burke, D Glennon for J Canning.

Clare - D Tuohy; P O'Connor, D McInerney, J Browne; S Morey, C Cleary, J Shanahan; C Galvin (0-1), C Malone; P Duggan (0-14, 11f), T Kelly (0-3), D Reidy (0-1); P Collins, J Conlon (0-4), S O'Donnell (0-3). Subs: D Fitzgerald (0-1) for C Malone, C McGrath for P Collins, I Galvin (0-2) for D Reidy, A Shanagher (1-0) for S O'Donnell, S O'Donnell for C McGrath, J McCarthy (0-1) for J Shanahan.

Referee - J Owens.

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