*Gary Brennan. Photograph: Martin Connolly

2012 All-Ireland football champions, Donegal clung on for victory in the opening round of the Allianz National Football League Division 2 against Clare on Sunday afternoon.

Donegal 0-16
Clare 0-13
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

Donegal were made sweat till the end by Clare to put two points on the board and make the long journey home that bit shorter.

It was tit for tat inside the opening exchanges with Declan Bonner’s man taking the lead first. Dermot Coughlan in his debut answered back as did his clubmate Keelan Sexton to put Clare ahead on five minutes. Donegal increased their lead to three points eleven minutes in but the Banner kept coming back for more with David Tubridy equalising on thirty three minutes. Two quick scores via Jason McGee and Niall O’Donnell put the visitors two clear at half-time.

Three scores on the trot from David Tubridy (x2) and Gary Brennan put Clare in the driving seat with forty one minutes on the clock. Donegal picked up their first score of the half five minutes later and three unanswered white flags.

A twenty three minute scoring drought in the second half for Colm Collins’ side was ended by Doonbeg’s David Tubridy, substitute Gavin Cooney put his name on the scoresheet shortly after to reduce the deficit to one. However, further scores including a Hugh McFadden effort from distance was enough to secure a three point win for Donegal.

Next Sunday, Clare face Armagh in the ‘neutral’ venue of Newry while Donegal host Meath on Saturday.

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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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