CLARE’S YOUTHS had to settle for a share of the spoils in their first outing of the Inter-League Youths Cup.

Clare District Soccer League 0
Limerick District League 0
Venue: Jackman Park, Limerick

Reigning champions Cork had representatives of their management in Jackman Park on Thursday night, their summation heading back Leeside is likely that they will be confident of beating either Clare or Limerick.

Movement on and off the ball plus passing were well executed by both sides but in terms of creating chances and finishing them, this is the sector that needs the most improvement.

Limerick drew with Kerry in their first outing so Clare are in the stronger position and can aim to collect further points in their upcoming clashes with Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

Decent football was played by Clare in the opening half but it was Limerick that looked the more threatening of breaking the deadlock. Dara McNamara’s twelfth minute free drew a brilliant save from Leon Whyte and the Clare netminder managed to catch a header from Alex Keating off the subsequent corner.

Whyte was called on moments later to parry away a cross from Cathal Downes and he denied the same shooter towards the end of the half.

At the other end, Charlie Lane was never sweating as while Clare were able to string passes together, they didn’t make sufficient moves to put a meaningful opportunity on goal.

That changed on the restart with an early chance falling to Darragh Hayes but his movement was not quick enough to force a shot and his appeals to win a penalty fell on deaf ears. Darragh White had Clare’s next best chance on forty nine minutes but his effort went to the wrong side of the post.

Hayes was in the danger area again on fifty five minutes but Limerick’s defence were alert to clear the ball when the tall striker hesitated. Dylan Howard had another chance for Clare but his shot from a corner sailed over the cross bar.

Whyte’s last save would be an important one, pulling off an excellent stop from Nathan Cross. Moments later while jumping to catch the ball, he was tackled late which resulted in an injury that forced him off the field.

Further chances for Clare to snatch a winner fell to Ché Burke and Darragh White.

At the death, it looked like Limerick were going to raid for goal but Alex Keating’s shot was well stopped before full-back Cronin Tierney produced a vital shoulder to push his opponent from the ball and with it save Clare from conceding a ninety second minute goal.

Sixmilebridge’s Jack O’Halloran was a standout player for Clare, his composure on the ball and decision making a key strength. Ché Burke’s pace is potentially what could open the padlock in Clare’s quest to score goals the next day out while full-back Luc Fitzpatrick was very impressive at full-back. Seanie McMahon made an impact when introduced, a starting spot for him and Avenue’s Zak Kebayli could also assist Clare in securing three points the next day out.

Clare: Leon Whyte; Cronin Tierney, Dylan Howard, Conor Daly, Luc Fitzpatrick; Dominic Griffin, Ché Burke, Jack O’Halloran, Darragh White, Darragh Hayes, Lee Maguire.

Subs: Seanie McMahon for Maguire (49), Adam Kilker for Griffin (59), Ruan Courtney for Whyte (77) (inj),

Limerick: Charlie Lane; Andrew Kearney, AJ Gray, Conner Egalam, Callum Kiely; Dara McNamara, Paul Canny, Colm Kinehan, Louis Del Neil, Alex Keating, Cathal Downes.

Subs: Nathan Cross for Del Neil (HT), Luke Jordan for Canny (65), TJ McDonnell for Kinehan (73), Darren Ekoua for McNamara (87)

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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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