Following Erin’s Own’s draw with Graigue Ballycallan earlier on Saturday, there was another game where the points were shared in Group B of the St. Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling as Dicksboro and Clara could not be separated as the early pace setters went up against each other in Gowran.
Dicksboro, fresh off the back of a convincing victory against Erin’s Own last weekend, started faster than their opponents in this much anticipated clash as an unlikely score from corner back Conor Doheny followed by two Shane Stapleton ’65s gave the town side an early 0-03 to 0-00 lead.
Liam Ryan opened the scoring for Clara but that was swiftly followed by an equally excellent point from play from Dicksboro full forward Liam Moore.
Clara free taker Conor O’Shea got on the scoresheet 10 minutes into the game with a finely struck placed ball but a free-flowing game continued to offer up excellent scores from play throughout a first half that was largely controlled by Dicksboro.
Olli Walsh and a second for Moore kept Dicksboro 0-6 to 0-04 ahead at the first half water break as a second for Clara corner forward Ryan and a long-range point from half back John Murphy kept Clara within touching distance.
Aidan Nolan extended the Boro’s lead soon after the resumption of play, but Clara hauled themselves back into the game after a cluster of frees from Stapleton with a brilliant goal from corner forward Jim Kehoe.
The rest of the first half became a free-taking competition between Stapleton and O’Shea as they added a further four and two points to their respective individual tallies. The final score of the first half from Clara’s Paul Cody saw the country club reduce the deficit to three points at half time, Dicksboro 0-14 to 1-08 Clara.
Clara rallied in the second half with points from O’Shea, half back John Murphy and Paul Cody pulling them level just before the first half water break.
However, there was to be one more opportunity for the 2013 and 2015 county champions to take the lead for the first time heading into the final quarter as they were awarded a penalty in the 45th minute. Captain Lester Ryan made no mistake as he powerfully struck past Darragh Holohan to move Clara 2-12 to 0-15 ahead.
The efficient Liam Moore pulled a point back for Dicksboro and a Stapleton free made it a 1-point game. Further frees from Stapleton moved Dicksoboro ahead but Clara’s other wing back Matthew Kenny showed that he was capable of scoring in similar fashion to Clara’s number 5 John Murphy as the sides were level once more, 2-13 to 0-19.
O’Shea moved Clara ahead again with a free before Aidan Nolan and Martin O’Connell exchanged additional time scores and Cillian Buckley found a late equaliser for Dicksboro as both sides add a point to the two points they picked up last weekend thanks to their victories in the opening round.
Dicksboro go head-to-head with O’Loughlin Gaels in a town derby next weekend while Clara take on Graigue Ballycallan.