Clare League 1 Inisowen league 0
An Eoin Hayes strike in the third minute of the second half helped Clare to soccer history at Maginn park in Buncrana this afternoon.
In winning, Clare retained this inter league title for the first time in their history on a day when Hayes’ fellow Irish international Stephen Kelly was named as the team manager. Kelly was outstanding in a magnificent defence which dominated, particularly in the final ten minutes when they were under huge pressure as the home side piled on pressure in search of an equaliser
The second half was particularly entertaining with chances at both ends. Three minutes after the resumption Dave McCarthy created the opening and Eoin Hayes, as he has done so often in recent seasons, applied the finish, shooting low to the corner.
Defending champions Clare received a timely boost to their chances of retaining the title when Avenue United’s Colin Smyth passed a late fitness test which cleared the way for his inclusion in the team
The early exchanges were evenly contested but as the half wore on Clare began to dominate and Eoin Hayes caused problems for the home side’s defence and won a number of frees on the edge of the area. That said, it was the Clare goalie Barry Ryan who was called on to make the only save of the half when he went full stretch to save from Terence Doherty after Stephen Kelly’s attempted clearance had been intercepted on the half hour mark.
That break apart, the Clare defence dominated and it was the home sides back four who were kept busiest as Hayes, in particular, caused them problems
Clare; Barry Ryan (Avenue United); Conor Mullen (Avenue United), Eoin O’Brien (Newmarket Celtic), Stephen Kelly (Newmarket Celtic), Darragh Corry (Tulla United);
Niall Whelan (Tulla United), Colin Wmyth (Avenue United), Colin Ryanb(Newmarket Celtic), Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic) Dave McCarthy (Newmarket Celtic), Paddy O’Malley(Avenue United).
Subs; Ian Collins (Newmarket Celtic) for Smyth (half time); Eoin Whelan (Tulla United) for O’Malley; Tommy McKeown (Tulla United) for McCarthy; Joe Collins (Ennis Town) for C,. Ryan;
Inisowen league; Kevin McLaughlin; Michael Barr, Matthew Byrne, Michael Byrne, John G. McLaughlin, Shane Canning, Anthony Doherty, Dillon Ruddy, Terence Doherty,
Brendan McLaughlin, nigel McMonagle.
Referee; Paul Duddy; Linesmen; John Coll and Marty Quinn