Clara were knocked out of this year’s senior hurling championship by Graigue Ballycallan on Sunday last in UPMC Nowlan Park
Clara and Graigue Ballycallan met in the first round of the St Canices Credit Union senior hurling championship on Sunday last. Clara was without their captain and wing forward Liam Ryan from the start as he had to sit out the game due to an injury picked up in training. Clara struggled early on with the pace of the GBC forwards in particular Aaron McEvoy and Ryan Corcoran. Despite their dominance in the opening half, GBC couldn’t put Clara away and at the break, there was just one score between the teams 1-6 to 0-6. The weather conditions had a bearing on the scores in the first half, the ball was slippy and the continuous rain meant players found it difficult to hold onto the ball or to make that perfect pass.
See also: Get all the reaction from this weekends games
Clara started the second half much brighter, and Martin O’Donnell in midfield was instrumental in Clara’s fightback in the early exchanges. The margin was reduced down to a single point and eventually, the teams would be level on a couple of occasions. By the end of the third quarter, GBC had scored four unanswered points to leave them with a comfortable lead and then Clara was given a lifeline when Richie Keoghan put the ball into his own net to leave just one point in the game again. As much as they tried, Clara just couldn’t push on and in the end, it was bitterly disappointing as GBC went on to win by four points, the result meant it was the end of the road for Clara. Their manager Mick Purcell spoke with Martin Quilty after the game, he said:
“I can’t have any complainants, we really didn’t get going in the first half, Graigue Ballycallan was better, they talk about managers and tactics but I think hurling is a simple game, it usually comes down to the best team winning most days, today Ballycallan were better, if we robbed it we would have been delighted but that’s what it would have been on the day, a rob”
See also: Kilkenny Senior League/Shield Finals, and Championship First Round/Relegation Semi-Finals
Speaking on Liam Ryans’s absence “he got concussed in training about ten days ago and he had a bad concussion early in the year so we just couldn’t risk it, Liam wanted to play but you couldn’t risk it, your health is more important, you’d have that for a lot of years you’d hope”
“I wouldn’t say happy, but you’re absolutely accurate in your description, we were kind of relieved to be that down than going than we’d get going which we appeared to do early in the second half, to be fair we were lucky with the goal that we got, Ballycallan had the answers when it was put up to them again. It is disappointing, we can analyze it in the next few days, when your out of the championship you still have time to analyze it.”
Check out KCLR’s The Kilkenny Hurling Podcast.
Each week Robbie Dowling and former Blacks and Whites manager Eddie Scally cast their eye over all the action from the weekend’s senior, intermediate, and junior league and championship games as well as looking ahead to the next round of action.
In the eight-episode, we look back at a bumper weekend of championship action that included Tullaroan’s exit in the first round.
We also give our take on the upcoming senior quarter-finals including the mouth-watering clash of Ballyhale Shamrocks v Dicksboro and the scheduling of this weekend’s minor finals is debated.