Clare’s senior footballers have defeated Kildare to secure their Division 2 status for next year.
Venue: St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge
In what was the tenth meeting between Clare and Kildare in Newbridge, it is the first time that the Banner County have recorded a win at the venue.
It comes following a powerful second half display where Clare outscored Kildare 1-09 0-04.
Kildare amassed over 70 percent of their first half scores and just under 40 percent of their total tally in the opening quarter and for the remainder of the first half focused on limiting the attacking space on offer to their opponents.
This saw Clare find it difficult to break past Kildare’s half-back line and their endeavours sucked energy out of the Banner tanks.
Scoring opportunities did present themselves to Clare, David Tubridy, Gavin Cooney and Darragh Bohannon found the target while four chances were passed up on.
At the other end, Kildare’s return in the first half was seven from thirteen, the lively Jimmy Hyland racking up three from play to see Jack O’Connor’s men lead 0-07 0-04 at the break.
On the restart, more space was exploited by the Banner and they reaped the rewards for such an approach.
Eoin Cleary kicked his first score of the afternoon on forty one minutes but his involvement in the contest grew from here. The captain would finish with seven points to his name.
An excellent goal chance created by Gavin Cooney was not capitalised on by Keelan Sexton early on but it was a sign of how Clare were beginning to cause problems.
Joe McGann’s introduction really added to this and within six minutes of being on the field, he had the ball in the back of the net when he calmly caught a dropped effort by Cathal O’Connor and slotted home.
McGann’s strike put Clare on level terms, Cleary put them in front for the first time on fifty one minutes and they would not relinquish this advantage for the remainder of the tie.
Cleary, Tubridy and Emmet McMahon fired further white flags to seal a hard-fought win for Clare. On the day, Cillian Brennan, David Tubridy, Pearse Lillis, Eoin Cleary and Cian O’Dea stood out for the winners who guaranteed their place in Division 2 next year before their final group clash with Cork.
Scorers Clare: E Cleary (0-07 4f 1’45), D Tubridy (0-03 2f), J McGann (1-00), G Cooney (0-01), D Bohannon (0-01), E McMahon (0-01)
Scorers Kildare: N Flynn (0-04 2f), J Hyland (0-04), K Feely (0-02), S O’Sullivan (0-02), F Kirwan (0-01)
1: Stephen Ryan (Kilrush Shamrocks)
4: Eoghan Collins (Ballyhaunis)
3: Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)
2: Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg)
5: Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)
6: Sean Collins (Cratloe)
7: Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
9: Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)
8: Darren O’Neill (Éire Óg)
12: Darragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels)
11: Eoin Cleary (St Josephs Miltown)
10: Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare)
13: Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg)
14: David Tubridy (Doonbeg)
15: Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
21: Joe McGann (St Breckans) for Sexton (44)
22: Emmet McMahon (Kildysart) for Bohannon (51)
17: Alan Sweeney (St Breckans) for Walsh (60)
19: Kevin Harnett (Newmarket-on-Fergus) for E Collins (64)
18:Aaron Griffin (Lissycasey) for Cooney (65)
20:Dale Masterson (St Breckans) for Lillis (70)
24: Cormac Murray (St Josephs Miltown) for O’Neill (70)
1: Mark Donnellan (Maigh Nuad)
7: Ryan Houlihan (Achadh Mhordha)
3: Mick O’Grady (Cill Droichid)
2: Mark Dempsey (Achadh Mhordha)
5: Kevin Flynn (Cill Droichid)
4: Eoin Doyle (Nás na Ríogh)
6: Shea Ryan (Na Sáirséalaigh)
14: Kevin Feely (Athí)
9: Aaron Masterson (Achadh Mhordha)
10: Alex Beirne (Nás na Riogh)
8: Luke Flynn (Droichead Baile Sheáin)
12: Paul Cribbin (Droichead Baile Sheáin)
11: Neil Flynn (Maigh Nuad)
15: Darragh Kirwan (Nás na Riogh)
13: Jimmy Hyland (Baile Thaidhg)
18: Con Kavanagh (Na Sáirséalaigh) for Ryan (HT)
19: Fergal Conway (Cill Droichid) for Beirne (HT)
17: Darragh Malone (Fiodh Aluine) for Doyle (43) (Inj)
21: Paddy Brophy (Cill Droichid) for Masterson (54)
24: Shane O’Sullivan (Claonadh) for Kirwan (60)
23: Brian McLoughlin (Claonadh) for Cribin (69)
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)