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Clare U21s win All-Ireland

 John Conlon celebrates Clare's triumph

Clare won the Bord Gáis Energy GAA All-Ireland Under-21 title for the first time in their history with a dramatic 0-15 0-14 victory over Kilkenny in Croke Park.

The Banner county were on the ropes with 15 minutes left on the clock as Kilkenny stretched into a 0-12 0-10 lead.

However Clare dug deep to rally late on, outscoring the Cats by five points to two with the brilliant John Conlon claiming two superb points to help his side to their first major silverware since winning the minor and senior All-Ireland double in 1997.

Kilkenny started the brighter and drew first blood through Mark Kelly who tapped over with just a minute on the clock.

However, Clare signalled their intent from that point on and raced into a 0-03 to 0-02 lead with Colin Ryan and Caimin Morey both finding their range early on.

Clare built on that early lead and were in control for most of the opening half, with the influential Ryan claim four further points before the interval to help his side to a 0-08 0-06 half-time lead.

Kilkenny, unused to being on the backfoot, charged out of the blocks in the second half, putting real pressure on Clare by hitting three points without answer from Richie Hogan, James Nolan and Colin Fennelly.

Many teams would have wilted in the face of the Kilkenny onslaught, but this Clare team is made of sterner stuff and with Ryan’s ever increasing points tally cancelling out the scores of Richie Hogan and Mark Kelly, the Banner pulled away in the final 15 minutes for a thoroughly deserved victory.

The staff at McDonald’s Shannon were particularly excited, as one of their colleagues, Kevin Moynihan, was a member of the sucessful panel, and is U21 for the next 2 years!!!