Tony Kelly reacts to "confidence-builder" as Clare defy Kilkenny

They face Waterford in the Allianz League final

Tony Kelly, Clare

Tony Kelly ©INPHO/James Crombie

Clare forward Tony Kelly feels today's victory over Kilkenny is a "confidence-builder" as the Banner build towards the provincial and All-Ireland championships this summer.

Davy Fitzgerald's side defeated the reigning All-Ireland champions 4-22 to 2-19 at Semple Stadium to set up an Allianz Hurling League decider against Waterford - the same opposition they face in their Munster championship semi-final on June 5th.

"We knew coming down here that not many people were giving us a chance and we always knew we had a performance like that in us," he said.

"Not only that, but I don't think it was a perfect performance by us either. There's always areas to improve on and these games are a building block and it gives us a chance to see more lads going into the championship and that's all these are. They're a confidence-builder if you're winning them and we know the 5th of June is the big one ultimately for us."

After a recent injury absence, Kelly was happy to be back in the thick of the action.

"It's great to be back hurling, I suppose. I'm just back hurling this week and it's good to get out and get 20 minutes under the belt and it's always nice to come back in having won a game as well, so it's a good day all-round for us," he said.