Clara keep good times rolling

By John Knox

Reporter:

By John Knox

All-Ireland intermediate club champions, Clara continue to pile up the silverware. Today they won their first Kilkenny senior hurling league final.

All-Ireland intermediate club champions, Clara continue to pile up the silverware. Today they won their first Kilkenny senior hurling league final.

Clara were trap to line winners over James Stephens at sun-kissed Canon Kearns Park, Castlecomer, in a final that produced fare that was far from championship hot. The winners won’t have minded because they have now stitched the Kilkenny intermediate league and championship, Leinster and All-Ireland club and Kilkenny senior league titles together in a terrific run of victories.

The Village were hit for unanswered points by Keith Hogan, Conor O’Shea and Hogan again before they knew what hit them. They hit back to earn pairty by the eight minutes thanks to a score from Luke Scanlon and three from Eoin Larkin, but when they fell behind to a Liam Ryan point in the 10th minute they were led all the way home.

Liam Ryan landed some wonderful points from all angles and distances as Clara shot 0-15 to 0-7 clear by the break. An early second half goal from Matthew Ruth lifted ’Stephens, and after surviving a penalty save, they twice had the arrears back to three points.

However, a pair of long range point from dynamic midfielder, Lester Ryan (0-21 to 1-13) lifted Clara again and they powered on to victory.

Scorers: Clara - K. Hogan (0-9); Liam Ryan (0-6); Lester Ryan (0-5); C. O’Shea (0-2); A. Murphy, D. Langton (0-1 each). James Stephens - E. Larkin (0-11); M. Ruth (1-1); L. Scanlon (0-1).