Clare 3 Roscommon 1
CLARE youths got their inter-youths league campaign off to a great start on Saturday when they accounted for Roscommon in a tie played at McDonough Park in Newmarket.
Three second-half goals helped Clare to this impressive result and they will travel to play Galway in a confident mood next week in round two of the competition. Galway were beaten finalists last year, losing out narrowly in the decider.
Clare had the better of the first half exchanges, yet they found themselves in arrears at the break. In a rare attack, just on the stroke of half time, Roscommon scored having played against the wind.
Playing with the aid of a strong wind in the first half, Clare found it difficult to control the ball and when they turned over to play against the elements, they were able to control matters much better. Early in the second half, they got back on terms when Avenue’s Graham Glynn punished a defensive error on the Connacht side’s part.
Clare made a couple of changes at the interval and these helped them to take a firm grip on proceedings. Liam Meaney went from midfield to right full while Thomas Cronin came into the action at midfield.
Midway through the half Clare took the lead. Following a quickly taken corner, Davy Smith’s cross was powerfully headed to the net by Thomas Clair.
Clare’s third goal came from substitute Thomas Cronin who found the target with a powerful strike from 25 metres.
“This was a great start to the campaign. We consider this to be one of the most talented bunch of players available at this level for some time and we believe that they have the ability to qualify from the group,” said mentor Michael Clair this week.
“Next week we travel to play Galway and we know that this will be a really tough assignment. They were beaten in the final last season and they beat Combined Counties in the first round of this season’s campaign,” Clair went on.
Clare: Colin Burke (Lifford); Gary Hogan (Lifford), Darren O’Neill (Lifford), Thomas Clair (Lifford), Paudie Hayes (Newmarket Celtic); Ryan Boyle (Lifford), Liam Meaney (Lifford), Conor Ryan (Newmarket Celtic); David Smith (Avenue Utd); Graham Glynn (Avenue Utd), Cathal Nolan (Avenue Utd).
Subs: Thomas Cronin (Lifford) for C Ryan; Colin Ryan (Avenue Utd) for Hogan; Jamie O’Gorman (Bridge Utd) for Nolan.