Joe Canning stars as Galway beat Clare to progress to All-Ireland semi-final

Goals proved vital today as they beat Clare by 2-17 to 17 points

Galway 2-17

Clare 0-17

Joe Canning's wonderfully taken goal at the start of the second half ensured Galway booked their place in the All Ireland semi-final against Tipperary for a second consecutive year.

The Galway forward notched 1-8 this afternoon and put on a free-taking clinic to help the Tribesmen overcome Clare at Semple Stadium.

Galway opened the game with points from Johnny Coen and Joseph Cooney, to give them the lead after Tony Kelly scored the first point of the match for Clare.

Kelly slotted over once again before Colm Galvin drew the sides level. Joe Canning stepped up to hit his first dead ball of the day before Conor Cooney landed the first hammer blow for the Tribesmen.

He collected a long ball into his feet from Canning and kept his shot low to beat Andrew Fahy at his near post.

Podge Collins and Conor Cooney contest possession. Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson 

Galway began to assert their dominance from here and after Colm Galvin responded to the goal with a point for Clare,  Micheál Donoghue's side began to build a commanding first half lead.

Joseph Cooney and Canning scored back-to-back scores before Adrian Tuohy produced a fine hook to disrupt Kelly as he charged toward the Galway penalty area. Kelly was winding up for an effort on goal with Tuohy doing just enough to get his block in.

Galway added another three points to give them a seven point lead at the break.

The goal, just 22 seconds after the restart, was uniquely Canning.

Galway picked up possession just as the ball was thrown in and drove straight at the Clare defence. Canning received a handpass to feet, so flicked it up with his hurl and in one fluid movement buried it into the top of the net.

Clare continued to chip away and both Colm Galvin and Tony Kelly kept them within reach, splitting the posts throughout the second period.

Davy Fitzergald looked on from the sideline this afternoon and saw his side cut the gap to five points with less than 15 minutes to go. Unlike their Leinster final performance against Kilkenny, however, Galway remained composed.

Despite a couple of late wides, they continued to match Clare and both sides exchanged points right up until the final whistle - the goal Clare needed to re-energise their challenge never materialised.