Late goal saves Clare
February 19, 2005
The Banner needed Daithi O'Connell's late goal to save them from defeat at the hands of Laois in Ennis. The substitute's score four minutes from time gave the home side a somewhat flattering two point NHL win.
The O'Moore County had suffered an 18-point hammering in the same fixture last year and were expected to act as cannon fodder for Anthony Daly's side, but instead it was the visiting team that made all the running in the first half.
Two early points in as many minutes rattled Clare and when Laois goalkeeper Patrick Mullaney ran the length of the field to convert a penalty, his side led by 1-3 to 0-3 with 15 minutes played.
Mullaney was equally as efficient in goals as he stopped the home side on numerous occasions with some fantastic saves.
The three point difference between the sides remained at the break, as Laois led by 1-6 to 0-6. Tony Carmody had fired three consecutive points for the home side while Damien Walsh and James Walsh (2) were the Laois scorers as the half wore to an end.
The gap could easily have been wider as Philip Russell's shot cannoned off the Clare crossbar.
Daly's side shot into life on the restart and six points in a ten minutes spell catapulted them into a three point lead. Colin Lynch tagged in with a score while Seanie McMahon was imperious from placed balls.
Laois would not lie down and points from Joe Fitzpatrick and Canice Coonan tied the game up at 1-10 to 0-13. Then Cathal Brophy pounced for a second goal for Paudi Mulhare's men and a shock looked on the cards.
Clare chipped away at the lead with points and had the visitors within range when O'Connell goaled to put the Clare fans in better form.
Clare - P Brennan; C Harrison, B O'Connell, G O'Grady; D Hoey, S McMahon 0-4, D Clancy; D McMahon, G Quinn; F Lohan 0-1, C Plunkett 0-1, C Lynch 0-1; T Kearse 0-1, T Griffin, T Carmody 0-5. Subs - D O'Rourke 0-3 for Plunkett, D O'Connell 1-0 for Lohan, B Lynch for Kearse, C Forde for B O'Connell.
Laois - P Mullaney 1-0; B Campion, P Cuddy, L Tynan; J Fitzpatrick 0-1, S Dwyer, M McEvoy; D Doyle, J Walsh 0-2, C Coonan 0-4, D Walsh 0-1, E Browne; D Culleton, R Jones 0-2, P Russell 0-1. Subs - E Jackman for J Walsh, C Brophy 1-0 for Doyle, C Clear for Browne.
Referee - John McDonnell (Tipperary)
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