Clare 1-30 Galway 1-30
In front of a crowd of 54,191 in Croke Park, Galway and Clare dug deep to force a replay. The game was level to the last few minutes but a late Johnny Coen point looked to have sealed the win for the All Ireland champions only for substitute, Jason McCarthy to hit a point with the last puck of the game.
The Banner got off to the worst possible start. Donal Tuohy hit a puck-out to Joe Canning who immediately punished the mistake. The Clare goalkeeper was caught out again when Padraic Mannion intercepted his puck-out to Seadna Morey and quickly fed Jonathan Glynn whose shot blazed wide. Clare’s passes failed to reach their intended targets as Galway read the play brilliantly and crowded every Clare opportunity. The nightmare continued for Tuohy when Whelan managed to score off his puck-out once again.
Both sides were guilty of silly mistakes in the first half, with the two sides hitting numerous wides. Clare tried pushing up on Galway defence but it left a gaping hole in their own defence which the power of the Galway forwards exploited. As Clare were scrambling to stay within touching distance of the All Ireland champions, Galway hit a killer blow. Conor Cooney, although outnumbered, gathered the ball among an unsure full-back line and coolly dispatched past Tuohy. Joe Canning added another monster point to stretch their lead to nine points.
Colm Galvin dropped back into a sweeper role to try and prevent further Galway attacks but he had his work cut out for him. The Clare forwards eventually settled and hit three points in a row in response to Galway’s scoring spree before Galvin began roaming up the pitch in his familiar role and found Tony Kelly who hit his first point. As Galway went 10 minutes without a score, the Ballyea man hit a spectacular point for the Banner from well inside his own half of the field. Clare’s luck continued as Canning hit Galway’s tenth wide before Peter Duggan got his third point in a row to reduce the deficit to just three points. Glynn managed to add another point to give the All Ireland champions breathing space at half-time.
Clare took an extended break in the dressing room but it did little to put Galway off their game as Morey was bundled across the sideline with Canning pointing beautifully as a result. But Clare came roaring back into the game as John Conlon made his mark, scoring two points in a row before Shane O’Donnell added a wonderful effort. A rattled Galway looked to extend their lead once more as Joseph Cooney travelled up the field before dispatching to Conor Cooney but Donal Tuohy superbly denied him his second goal. David Burke managed to point the recycled ball.
Clare were guilty of a number of poor errors as David Reidy tried to float a pass over Whelan who easily intercepted and dispatched over the bar. But the Banner roar wasn’t quietened for long as substitute David Fitzgerald and Galvin pointed before Conlon hit a brilliant shot to level the game with 15 minutes remaining. Galway were dealt a further blow when Gearoid McInerney departed the field through injury with Paul Killeen replacing him. Canning hit another free to stretch their lead to two points but Duggan cancelled out the score less than a minute later with one of the points of the year. Clare’s substitutes Fitzgerald and Ian Galvin combined to level the game for the third time.
Peter Duggan with a lovely skilful point. pic.twitter.com/gOME4yoYJU
— The GAA (@officialgaa) July 28, 2018
As the game ticked into the final minutes, Galway’s experience began to show. Canning added a calming point before substitute, Niall Burke punished another passing error by Clare. But the drama was far from over. Kelly added a beautiful sideline point before Duggan fed Conlon who reduced the gap to just one. Aidan Harte hit his side’s 16th wide to add to the Galway fans’ woes. Aron Shanagher who returned from a lengthy injury, mishit a chance on goal and Galway cleared. With 30 seconds left in the additional times, the heroic Duggan pointed a free to level the game and send it to extra-time.
The opening minutes of extra-time was marred with wides as both teams desperately tried to get an early foot-hold. Canning eventually settled Galway down with yet another brilliant sideline cut. The Banner hit four wides before the younger Galvin grabbed a point for them. As Clare hit their seventh wide of the first period, Canning added another free to extend the lead to two at half-time.
From the throw-in, Colm Galvin hit a monster pass into the box which Shanagher gathered before burying it past James Skehill. Galway substitute Jason Flynn immediately levelled again. Duggan and the rejuvenated O’Donnell added further points but again, Flynn pointed to reduce the gap to one yet again. Jonathan Glynn powered through the Clare defence before passing to Flynn who had to settle for just a point when it looked like a goal was certain. In scenes reminiscent to John ‘Bubbles’ Dwyer effort in 2014, Flynn had a chance to win the game with a free but was denied by HawkEye. But to the roar of the Galway fans, Johnny Coen excellently pointed seconds later. But there was more to come as Clare calmly worked the ball up the field to McCarthy who brilliantly pointed under pressure.
Clare: Donal Tuohy; Patrick O’Connor, David McInerney, Jack Browne; Seadna Morey, Conor Cleary, Jamie Shanahan; Colm Galvin (0-1), Cathal Malone; Peter Duggan (0-14, 11f), Tony Kelly (0-3, 1sl), David Reidy (0-1); Podge Collins, John Conlon (0-4), Shane O’Donnell (0-3).
Substitutions: David Fitzgerald (0-1) for Malone (47) Conor McGrath for Collins (57) Ian Galvin (0-2) for Reidy (59) Aron Shanagher (1-0) for O’Donnell (66) Shane O’Donnell for McGrath (13 ET) Jason McCarthy (0-1)
Galway: James Skehill; Adrian Tuohy, Daithi Burke, John Hanbury; Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney, Aidan Harte; Johnny Coen (0-2), David Burke (0-3); Joseph Cooney, Joe Canning (0-11, 4f, 2sl), Jonathon Glynn (0-1); Conor Whelan (0-3), Conor Cooney (1-1), Cathal Mannion (0-4).
Substitutions: Niall Burke (0-1) for J Cooney (52) Paul Killeen for McInerney (53) Jason Flynn (0-3) for C Cooney (61) Sean Loftus for Tuohy (1 ET) Joseph Cooney for David Burke (12 ET) Davy Glennon for Canning (16 ET)