Clare have maintained their 100% record in the Allianz Hurling League, beating Laois by 0-17 to 0-9 at Cusack Park this afternoon.
The game was played in wet and windy conditions, and all morning, there were questions asked as to whether it would even proceed, as other games fell foul of the weather.
But go ahead it did, and one of those introduced to the Clare starting line-up for the match started well as Aaron Cuningham pointed with his first touch inside two minutes.
A Laois free through Ross King levelled matters, but was met with a strong response by Clare, who were playing with the wind.
Tony Kelly scored two frees, sandwiched by points from play by both the Ballyea man and Aidan McCarthy of Inagh/Kilnamona, to extend Clare’s lead to four after eight minutes.
Laois responded with two more points, but scoring was then at a premium in increasingly difficult conditions.
For Clare, Jack Browne scored from play, before his clubmate Kelly added to Clare’s total with a pair of frees, and then another great score from play.
While not at their best, particularly considering the wind conditions, Clare found themselves in the lead at half-time by 0-9 to 0-4.
There was one notable blow for Clare in the first half, with the withdrawal due to injury of David Fitzgerald. However, his replacement, Domhnall McMahon, opened the Banner’s account in the second half, responding to a Ross King free for Laois. Eibhear Quilligan in the Clare goal also made an impressive save to keep Clare in front.
The game quietened for a while, in terms of scoring, but when it picked up, Clare were always able to keep their opponents at bay.
Sub Aaron Dunphy and Ross King on the frees were to the fore for Laois, but for the Banner another substitute, Aron Shanagher, led the way with three points from play with Clare.
David Reidy also pointed from play, and Tony Kelly continuted to contribute scores, with Clare leading 0-15 to 0-9 as the game entered its final stages.
Inside the last five minutes, Ian Galvin scored for Clare before Tony Kelly converted a 20-metre free with the final score of the game, which – typical of the day – finished under a spell of sunshine, that had immediately followed a deluge of rain.
While the 1,009 spectators in Cusack Park weren’t treated to a classic, the home fans at least left satisfied with the result which marks a third win in three League outings for Clare under Brian Lohan, and a win which moves Clare to the top of the Division 1B table.