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David Tubridy returns from injury for Saturday's game against Longford at Cusack park

Footballers make great start to league campaign

(Peter O’Connell)

Clare 1-16 Wexford 0-5

CLARE made a superb start to their NFL division 3 league campaign, beating Wexford by 14 points in Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown on Sunday afternoon.

Led by Gary Brennan, who dominated midfield and David Tubridy, who kicked 0-10 from play and frees, Clare were much sharper than Wexford who had Ciaran Lyng red carded three minutes into the second half. The David Power managed Wexford men also had midfielder Paddy Byrne and substitute Simon Donohue black carded.

Clare led 0-8 to 0-3 at half largely thanks to five David Tubridy points, four of which the Doonbeg man kicked from frees won by Shane Hickey (two), Pat Burke and Tubridy himself.

In addition Jamie Malone, Shane Brennan and Shane Hickey kicked a point each from play in that opening half.

However two pivotal first half incidents in that opening period, both involved Clare goalkeeper Joe Hayes. The Lissycasey man saved twice inside two minutes. First off he deflected a Kevin O’Grady shot around the post for a 45 while two minutes later, in the 29th minute, Hayes saved from Ben Brosnan. A goal at that stage would have brought Wexford right back into the contest approaching the interval.

Seconds before throw in Clare were hit with a huge blow when Meelick’s Kevin Hartnett sustained an injury in the warm up. He was replaced in the starting 15 by St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield’s Stephen Collins, who started at corner back with Dean Ryan filling in at full back.

Ben Brosnan was the only Wexford man to score from play in the second half while Tubridy added five points to his total with Pat Burke tagging on 1-2 from play on what was the Kilmacud Croke’s players league debut. Gary Brennan also pointed for Clare in the second period.

Tubridy, Brennan, Dean Ryan, Gordon Kelly and Martin McMahon excelled for Clare while Joe Hayes, Jamie Malone and Shane Hickey also had fine games.

Clare travel to Drogheda next Sunday where they will play Louth, who were beaten by Fermanagh in Enniskilleen on Saturday night. Elsewhere in division three, Limerick beat Sligo in Newcastlewest while Armagh had a similarly narrow margin of victory over Tipperary.

Clare: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Stephen Collins (Doora-Barefield), Dean Ryan (Éire óg), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Ciaran Russell (Éire óg), Gordon Kelly (Miltown), Jamie Malone (Corofin); Gary Brennan (Clondegad-captain), Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen); Seán Collins (Cratloe), Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis); David Tubridy (Doonbeg), Shane Brennan (Clondegad), Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes).

Subs: Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Shane McGrath (52), Martin O’Leary (Kilmihil) for Shane Hickey (55), Darren Nagle (Liscannor) for Ciaran Russell (58), Chris Dunning (Wolfe Tones) for Cathal O’Connor, Darragh McDonagh (Miltown) for Dean Ryan (both 62), Seán Haugh (O’Curry’s) for Jamie Malone (65).

Scorers: David Tubridy (0-10, 0-7f), Pat Burke (1-2), Shane Hickey, Jamie Malone, Shane Brennan, Gary Brennan (0-1 each).

Wides: 7
Frees: 17
Yellow cards: Shane Hickey, Pat Burke, Gordon Kelly.

Wexford: Shane Roche; Paraic O’Keeffe, James Breen, Michael Furlong; Joey Wadding, Rob Tierney, Tiernan Rossiter; Paddy Byrne, Colm Kehoe; Declan Murphy, Adrian Flynn, Kevin O’Grady; Dermot Flood, Ciaran Lyng (captain), Ben Brosnan.

Subs: Simon Donohue for Tiernan Rossiter (25), James Holmes for Dermot Flood, Eoghan Walsh for Declan Murphy, Brian Malone (Adrian Flynn, all half-time),Graham Carty for Paddy Byrne (38-black card), Paudie Kelly for Simon Donohue (62-black card).

Scorers: Ben Brosnan (0-2), Kevin O’Grady (0-2, 0-1f), Ciaran Lyng (0-1f).

Wides: 7
Frees: 16
Black cards: Paddy Byrne, Simon Donohue.
Yellow cards: Colm Kehoe, Tiernan Rossiter.
Red card: Ciaran Lyng.

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).

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