By Seamus Hayes
Clare League 2 Desmond League 0
For the second year in succession, Clare have qualified for the play off stages of the Oscar Traynor cup, the inter league soccer competition.
A 2-0 win over the Desmond league at the county grounds in Doora on Saturday evening, confirmed Clare’s position as the group winners and sealed their place in the last eight where they will have home advantage on a date to be announced.
With a win and a draw over the two group favourites, Limerick and Galway under their belts, Clare had already sealed a place in the play offs prior to Saturday’s game.
However, they needed to beat the Desmond league to secure top spot and a home quarter final.
Goals from Stephen Hickey in the first half and team captain Dave McCarthy in the second period sealed the victory on a day when the home side held the upperhand throughout and would not have been flattered had they secured a much greater winning margin .
Debutant Paddy O’Malley from the Avenue club turned in a man of the match performance at full back. Next week, the 17 year old will be hoping to help his club to Munster honours when they travel to play Clonmel in the Munster champions final. Avenue’s protest against the Munster Association’s decision to schedule the game for Clonmel has failed to bring about a chance and the game will go ahead at the Tipperary venue on Sunday next, December 8 at 2p.m.
Incidentally, the Ennis club will also have to travel for their next outing in the FAI junior cup as this week’s draw has paired them away to crack Dublin side, Crumlin United