*Cian O’Dea. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE’s senior footballers fell to their second league defeat of 2022, they lost by a margin of six points but were level at half-time.

Galway 2-08
Clare 1-05
Venue: St Jarlath’s Park, Tuam

Nothing separated the sides on the scoreboard at half-time and very little was between them in actual proceedings for the opening half. All this changed utterly on the restart with an unanswered tally of 1-05 in the space of seventeen minutes seeing Padraig Joyce’s Galway claim the spoils against their neighbours.

For Colm Collins’ Clare, they handed a first senior start to Tristan O’Callaghan between the posts while they were forced into necessary changes during the contest with Padraic Collins and Alan Sweeney forced to bow out prematurely with hamstring and shoulder injuries respectively.

It was a glorious start for the Banner County with Cillian Rouine raiding for his first goal for the seniors with less than three minutes on the clock. Aaron Griffin lining out at wing-forward found Keelan Sexton with an excellent pass before he offloaded to the on-rushing Ennistymon man who utilised the post to put the ball in the back of the net.

Another well-worked move stemming from a Tristan O’Callaghan kickout ended up with Eoin Cleary kicking Clare’s second score, Griffin combined with Jamie Malone to tee up the captain.

Galway then replied with 1-01 on the bounce, Damien Comer fisted over an effort on twelve minutes. Shane Walsh picked out Robert Finnerty with a precision pass, the Salthill man held off the challenge of Manus Doherty before slotting the ball past O’Callaghan.

It took fifteen minutes for the next score and it was a free from Cleary which he duly obliged on to leave it 1-02 apiece at half-time.

Although the quantity doubled in the second half, the standard and general excitement of the fare certainly did not. Instead, it became a rather damp squid with the hosts gifted scores early on which allowed them create a deficit that their neighbours would not recover from.

David Tubridy kicked the half’s first score but from here Galway racked on 1-05 in succession. Damien Comer’s goal arose straight from a short kickout gone wrong while the preceding score occurred due to a simple turnover when Clare players moving upfield held onto the ball while outnumbered in the tackle.

Back to back defeats and two disappointing performances in a row have ended Clare’s aspirations of promotion to the top tier with the focus now on consolidating their status with ties against Meath and Down to follow. It was a disjointed display from them riddled with mistakes and one in which they certainly failed to hit the mark in the second half.

For Galway, their best players were Johnny Heaney, Dylan McHugh and Damien Comer on a day when for the majority of the contest they were the superior side.

Scores Galway: D Comer (1-01), R Finnerty (1-00), J Heaney (0-02), K Molloy (0-01), D McHugh (0-01), P Conroy (0-01), D Conneely (0-01), M Tierney (0-01),

Scorers Clare: C Rouine (1-00), E Cleary (0-02 1f), D Tubridy (0-01 1M), K Sexton (0-01 1f), J Malone (0-01).

Galway:
1: Conor Flaherty (Claregalway)

2: Kieran Molloy (Corofin)
17: Jack Glynn (Claregalway)
4: Liam Silke (Corofin)

5: Dylan McHugh (Corofin)
6: John Daly (Mountbellew Moylough)
7: Cillian McDaid (Monivea Abbey)

8: Paul Kelly (Maigh Cullinn)
9: Paul Conroy (St James)

10: Matthew Tierney (Oughterard)
15: Owen Gallagher (Maigh Cullinn)
12: Johnny Heaney (Kilannin)

14: Damien Comer (Annaghdown)
13: Robert Flaherty (Salthill Knocknacarra)
11: Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin Clonberne)

Subs:
22: Finnian Ó Laoí (Spiddal) for Gallagher (45)
26: Eoin Finnerty (Mountbellew Moylough) for Walsh (47 (inj)
24: Dessie Conneely (Maigh Cullinn) for Finnerty (54)
23: Dylan Canney (Corofin) for Comer (63)
21: Niall Daly (Kilconly) for Kelly (67)

Clare:
16: Tristan O’Callaghan (St Breckans)

6: Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)
2: Manus Doherty (Éire Óg)
3: Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)

5: Alan Sweeney (St Breckans)
4: Cillian Rouine (Ennistymon)
7: Eoghan Collins (Ballyhaunis)

8: Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg)
9: Darren O’Neill (Éire Óg)

12: Aaron Griffin (Lissycasey)
11: Eoin Cleary (St Josephs Miltown)
10: Padraic Collins (Cratloe)

14: Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
13: Jamie Malone (Corofin)
15: David Tubridy (Doonbeg)

Subs:
23: Emmet McMahon (Kildsyart) for Collins (6) (inj)
22: Joe McGann (St Breckans) for Sweeney (33) (Inj)
17: Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg) for Tubridy (61)
26: Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Griffin (61)
19: Conor Jordan (Austin Stacks) for Rouine (61) (inj)

Referee Conor Lane (Cork)

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