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*Keelan Sexton on the attack. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Contrasting performances have marked Clare’s start in the Allianz National Football League and varying reactions have accompanied manager Colm Collins to each outing.

Collins was beaming in the aftermath of their impressive one point win over Kildare in Cusack Park on Sunday. They took the lead for the first time on fifty one minutes with the Cratloe man blaming the conditions for their delay in going ahead. “It was quite a strong breeze, we were a bit reticent against the breeze but I thought we played really well after that”.

Scores are most important when the final whistle sounds. The reaction and celebrations of those involved with the Clare setup showcased that this win was a special one. “It’s the reasons you’re involved with teams is to see this. We as a management had a meeting when we know who wouldn’t be available this year and they all to a man wanted to stay, it is a compliment to the players and the type of players we have, they are all fellas that would die for you and that display typifies them, hopefully we can bring it to the Hyde at the weekend”.

Following their one point loss to Westmeath seven days previous, Colm was downbeat when assessing the wide count of his players with The Clare Echo. He was more than pleased to be told of their improvement in this sector, finishing the encounter with four wides. “The last day we had so many wides, we worked on it and the match on the telly last night reminded them, the shot selection was very good today”.

“Results are going to go all over the place here, you just have to take it one game at a time and see what you can get out of each game. Unfortunately we got nothing out of last week but it’s great to get two points at home and we’re looking forward to Roscommon next weekend,” he added.

Colm Collins. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Regardless of the result, pride was the over-riding feeling as the Kilmihil native revelled in their first League win of 2020. “We said going out that in this Division that we need to put in serious performances and by God you would have to admire that performance. Even if it had gone the other way, the performance was excellent, the workrate across the pitch was excellent and you would be proud to be associated with a team like that”.

One late turnover from Ciarán Russell drew special praise from the Banner boss. “That is Ciarán, it’s what he brings to the party, if you’re in a hole he is the man you want there with you and he proved it again”.

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