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Published: 17:18 | 17/4/16

Clare stun Kilkenny to reach final

Division 1B winners beat the Cats by nine points in Thurles

Clare will meet Waterford in the 2016 Allianz Leagues hurling final on 1 May after Davy Fitzgerald's side thrashed Kilkenny 4-22 to 2-19 at Semple Stadium.

Clare recorded their 11th straight win of 2016 with an emphatic performance against the All-Ireland champions to reach their first league final since 2005.

The Banner netted their first goal on 17 minutes, when Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy failed to deal with a high ball and John Conlon swooped to sweep the ball into the net to give Clare a 1-07 to 0-03 lead.

Clare's second came just four minutes later, as Aaron Cunningham again took advantage of some unconvincing Murphy positioning to give his side a 2-07 to 0-05 lead.

And yet another error from the Glenmore goalkeeper gifted Clare their third goal on 27 minutes, as man-of-the-match Cunningham pounced on the loose ball to net his second of the afternoon and give Clare a 3-12 to 0-9 lead.

Clare went into the break with a seemingly unassailable 11-point 3-12 to 0-10 lead, following Kevin Kelly's last first-half point for Brian Cody's side, but TJ Reid netted from a free seven minutes into the second half to make it Clare 3-14 to Kilkenny 1-11.

But any hopes of a Kilkenny fightback soon vanished as Clare scored their fourth goal of the afternoon through Conor McGrath's strike 15 minutes into the second half.

Jonjo Farrell fired home a second goal for Kilkenny four minutes later, but there was too much for the Cats to do, and the Division 1B winners duly wrapped up a nine-point victory in front of a crowd of 20, 481 in Thurles.

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