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Coughlan & Cooney impress as footballers set up McGrath Cup final with Cork

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A dominant performance from the Clare senior footballers saw them advance to the McGrath Cup Final for the second year in a row on Sunday.

Clare 1-17
Waterford 1-06

Cork await Clare in the McGrath Cup decider following an eleven point win for Colm Collins’ side over Waterford with twelve different players registering on the scoreboard for the men in Saffron and Blue.

A new look Banner outfit with captain Gary Brennan at full-forward and Dean Ryan at centre-back took control from the off and outscored Waterford eight points to nil with twenty five minutes played.

Conall Ó hAiniféin scored Clare’s only goal of the game when he combined with the lively duo of Dermot Coughlan and Gavin Cooney teeing up the UCC student. Two late Waterford points left it 1-08 0-02 at half-time.

With the bulk of the damage already done, Clare kept the scoreboard ticking in the second half with Gearoid O’Brien, Davy O’Halloran, Niall Ellis and Gearoid Cahill all raising white flags. To their credit, the home side kept plugging away and a goal followed from Donie Fitzgerald.

In what was their first outing of the year, Colm Collins will be pleased with the outcome and the displays of some of the younger brigade including Gavin Cooney and Dermot Coughlan while Davy O’Halloran’s return to the county colours was marked by him racking up a tally of two points. Cork will pose a much tougher test on Saturday. Another positive is the amount of players that made their senior inter-county debut.

Clare: Rob Eyres (Kildysart); Kevin Hartnett (Meelick), Cillian Brennan (Clondegad), Jayme O’Sullivan (Wolfe Tones); Conal O hAinifein (Éire Óg) (1-00), Dean Ryan (Éire Óg), Dale Masterson (St Breckans) (0-01); Daragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels) (0-01), Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen); Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora) (0-01), David O’Halloran (Éire Óg) (0-02), Dermot Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) (0-02); Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg) (0-04 1f), Gary Brennan (Clondegad), Kieran Malone (St Josephs Miltown) (0-01).
Subs: Alan Sweeney (St Breckans) for Masterson, Niall Ellis (Shannon Gaels) (0-01) for Coughlan, Gearoid Cahill (Corofin) (0-01 1f) for Cooney, Danny Griffin (Éire Óg) for Gary Brennan, Gearoid O’Brien (Kilrush) (0-01) for Malone
Waterford: Aaron Beresford; Jack Mullaney, Ray O’Ceallaigh, Michael Kiely; Aidan Trihy, Brian Looby, James McGrath (0-1); Dylan Guiry, Michael Curry; Sean Whelan Barrett, Jason Curry, Conor Murray (0-2); Brian Lynch (0-3, two frees), Shane Ahearne, Stephen Curry.

Subs: Sean O Donovan for Kiely, Joe Allen for Guiry, Jay Hurton for Mullaney, Donie Fitzgerald (1-0) for J Curry.

Referee:Conor Lane (Cork).

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