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Cooney on song as Clare footballers conclude McGrath Cup campaign

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*Gavin Cooney. Photograph: Raymond O’Mahony

Clare’s footballers picked up their first win of this season’s McGrath Cup in what was their final outing of the competition.

Clare 3-14
Waterford 3-07
Venue: Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay

Gordon Kelly had the distinction of captaining his county in his native Miltown Malbay as Clare got 2020 off to a winning start. There is little consequence to the result as neither side were in contention for a place in the McGrath Cup final.

Colm Collins continued to trial out different players with Nathan Murray, Jack Sheedy, David Lernihan and Jack Morrissey making their debuts for the county seniors.

Waterford started well and built up a 2-03 0-02 advantage with twenty five minutes on the clock with a Cian O’Dea effort cutting the gap somewhat when he raised a green flag having galloped forward from defence. Rathgormack’s Jason Curry added points for the visitors to give them a 2-05 1-04 lead at the interval.

A sharper Clare returned to the field for the second half and struck for goal via Gavin Cooney shortly after the throw in. The Éire Óg attacker would raid for another green flag as the game progressed with the hosts rattling off 2-06 without response.

As a panel in transition, the aim for Colm Collins and his management was to strengthen their squad, the two outings in as many weeks has assisted with this and now preparation is solely on retaining Division 2 status in the Allianz National Football League.

Clare: G Cooney (2-02 2f), C O’Dea (1-00), J Morrissey (0-03 1f), E Cleary (0-03 1f), G O’Brien (0-03), D Masterson (0-01), D Coughlan(0-01), D Tubridy (0-01 1f)

Waterford: D Corcoran (1-02), B Lynch (1-01), M Curry (1-01), J Curry (0-03 2f)

1: Nathan Murray (Éire Óg)

2: Jack Sheedy (St Breckans)
3: Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)
4: Gordon Kelly (St Josephs Miltown)

5: Alan Sweeney (St Breckans)
6: Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)
7: Sean Collins (Cratloe)

8: David Lernihan (Kilmihil)
9: Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)

10: Dale Masterson (St Breckans)
11: Gearoid O’Brien (Kilrush Shamrocks)
12: Dermot Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

13: Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg)
14: Darren O’Neill (Naomh Olaf)
15: Jack Morrissey (Cooraclare)

23: Eoin Cleary (St Josephs Miltown) for Lernihan (HT),
24: David Tubridy (Doonbeg) for Cooney (39),
22: Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare) for O’Dea (39)
20: Emmet McMahon (Kildysart) for O’Neill (56)
18: Kieran O’Brien (Kildysart) for Sweeney (61).

16: Davy Daniels (Gaultier)

22: Aaron Jones (Gaultier)
3: Darach Ó Cathasaigh (An Rinn)
4: Dermot Ryan (The Nire)

5: Mike Kiely (Dungarvan)
6: Seanie O’Donovan (Modeligo)
7: Michael Curry (Rathgormack)

8: Jason Curry (Rathgormack)
9: Brian Lynch (Clashmore)

18: Conor Murray (Rathgormack)
20: Stephen Curry (Rathgormack)
12: Robbie Flynn (Rathgormack)

13: Fergal Ó Cuirrin (An Rinn)
14: Darragh Corcoran (St Saviours)
26: Ciarán Kirwan (Kill)

10: Jason Gleeson (Rathgormack) for Murray (31) (inj)
1: Paudie Hunt (Rathgormack) for Daniels (HT),
17: Niall McSweeney (Gaultier) for O’Donovan (HT),
21: James Beresford (Ballinacourty) for Jones (44) (Inj)
15: Donie Fitzgerald (Kilrossanty) for O’Cuirrin (50).

Referee: James Bermingham (Cork)

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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