*Clares Kennedy Cup squad and management. Photograph: Joe Buckley

CLARE’S KENNEDY CUP SIDE REACHED the Shield quarter-final of the famed schoolboys soccer competition.

A final round group win over Wicklow saw Clare’s side advance to the Shield quarter-final.

Shannon’s Donnacha Halpin dispatched a stylish free kick to the net in the final fifteen minutes of Clare’s final outing in Group Five of the Kennedy Cup. The strike put them through to the shield quarter-final.

It was a difficult start to the competition for Clare who fell to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Wexford. Daniel Kenna scored a nice volley for the Banner as they were outclassed by a strong outfit from the South-East.

An improved performance in the second game was not enough for Clare to claim victory and although they were level at half-time with South Belfast, the Ulster side pounced for goal just after half-time and that proved to be the difference.

Clare faced Dundalk in the Kennedy Shield quarter-final on Wednesday afternoon at the University of Limerick where they were eliminated with the Louth side grabbing a late goal to take the spoils.

This didn’t end Clare’s action though. They bounced back to defeat North Tipperary with goals from Ryan Mahoney, Salem Otulari and Ryan Thomas. Their final match took place against the Longford League on Friday morning where they were defeated 3-0.

Managed by Tulla Utd’s Fabio Messori, Clare’s management team also included Kevin Bryant of Shannon Hibs, Newmarket Celtic’s Cian Kelly, Ennis Town FC’s Dara Curran with Paul Roche of Avenue Utd as goalkeeper coach. Clare senior footballer, Ronan Lanigan was the team’s physio.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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