HARD earned points from Christopher Bolger and free taker, Keith Nolan in the 72nd and 75th minutes respectively earned Clara (Kilkenny) a wonderful win over Silvermines (Tipperary) in a terrifically contested All-Ireland club intermediate hurling semi-final in bitterly cold Portlaois yesterday, winning by 0-19 to 1-14 after extra-time.
Despite the terrible day and conditions, the teams produced a contest of the highest order. In the end Clara enjoyed a bit of luck when they won
through to the February 10 All-Ireland final in Croke Park and a clash with St Gabriel’s of London.
Silvermines went within seconds of winning in ordinary time after Jason Forde pointed them in front nearing the end. However, an extra late point
from a free by Hogan levelled it at 0-15 to 1-12 to send the tie to extra time.
Clara had the stronger legs and lungs here, but the opposition refused to die. At the next rest the Kilkenny champions showed 0-17 to 0-13 in front after scores from Hogan (2) and one from Willie Keogh in reply.
A foul on the same Keogh saw Jason Forde level with a free after the change, but the pair of scores mentioned above decided it in the end.
The losers opened back by the strong wind, but they needed a 13th minute goal from Daniel Keogh to get in front (1-1 to 0-3). Twice
subsequently the sides were level before a 33rd minute minor from Forde gave Silvermines a 1-5 to 0-7 advantage at half-time.
Within 90 seconds Clara drew level through Conor Phelan to set the tone for a tight second half. Four times the sides were level before
Hogan saved Clara at the death in normal time, before winning the match for them later.
Scorers - Clara: K. Hogan (0-10, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65), Liam Ryan (0-3), A. Murphy (0-2); Lester Ryan, C. Phelan, C. Prendergast, C. Bolger (0-1 each). Silevermines: J. Forde (0-8, 0-6 frees), D. Keogh (1-0); O. Quirk, D. Boland (0-2 each); W. Keogh, D. Keogh (0-1 each).
Clara - K. Nolan, T. Ryan, J. Phelan, S. O’Shea, N. Prendergast, S. Prendergast, D. Langton, J. Langton, Lester Ryan, C. Phelan, A. Murphy,
Liam Ryan, B. O’Shea, J. Nolan, K. Hogan. Subs: C. Prendergast for B. O’Shea (ht); C. Bolger for J. Nolan 48th min; K. Phelan for A Murphy
55th min; J. Nolan for C Prendergast 70th min; D. Nolan for S. O’Shea 72nd min; C. O’Shea for K. Phelan 76th min.
Silvermines: C. Sherlock, M. Leamy, B. Timmons, D. Boland, D. Keogh, R. Sherlock, N. Quirke, C. Gleeson, O. Quirke, W. Keogh, D. Boland, S. Quirke, D. Keogh, J. Forde, D. Keogh. Subs: P. Fogarty for D. Keogh 47th min; G. Toohey for S. Quirke 69th min; D. Keogh for P. Fogarty 75th min.
Referee - O. Elliott (Antrim).