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Clare captain Gary Brennan scored 0-3 from midfield in their win over Cork in Pairc Uí Rínn on Saturday night. Photograph by John Kelly.

Malone and Brennan drive Clare to win over Cork

Clare 0-14 Cork 0-12

FOR the second successive season, Clare have beaten Cork in NFL division 2. Saturday nights win, in Artic conditions in Pairc Uí Rínn, was Clare’s first away league win in the southern capital for 22 years. It leaves Clare on six points in the division with one game left, at home to bottom of the table Louth, on Sunday.

On an evening when every Clare player contributed, Jamie Malone and Gary Brennan were particularly superb, while Cathal O’Connor was immense around the middle and defended magnificently. Malone was deployed as a sweeper in the absence of the suspended Ciaran Russell and the Corofin man put over 0-3 from play. Aside from one misjudged free, which led directly to a Cork point, he filled that role exceptionally well.

Cork could not cope with the Clare midfield with Brennan producing his best 70 minutes of the current league, while Cooraclare’s Seán O’Donoghue, who played at wing back, excelled in that position. Along with Malone, he could have goaled in the opening half but both shot wide, having cut through a porous Cork defence. The home county could not cope with direct running.

Cork led 0-7 to 0-5 at half-time with Malone and Brennan kicking Clare’s two first half points from play. David Tubridy pointed the other three from frees.

With a helpful wind behind them, Clare looked increasingly confident as the second half wore on. A key move was swapping Pearse Lillis and Seán Collins. Both came into the game much more in the respective half forward and back lines. Eoin Cleary also came alive, kicking 0-2 from play and always making himself available.

Seán Collins was involved in creating the point of the game when, along with Cian O’Dea he held possession, slowed the game down and waited for an opportunity to create an opening. They found Cathal O’Connor who placed Sexton and the Kilmurry man pointed a ‘Hollywood’ score. It was a superbly worked piece of football.

The teams were tied at 0-12 each less than three minutes from time when Colm O’Neill pointed a Cork free. However Malone and Tubridy from a free, won it for Clare, just six days after they had lost to Roscommon by seven points in Ennis.

A more comprehensive report, along with interviews and analysis will be published in Thursday’s print edition of The Clare Champion.

Clare: Eamonn Tubridy; Cian O’Dea, Aaron Fitgerald, Cillian Brennan; Seán O’Donoghue, Eoghan Collins, Pearse Lillis; Gary Brennan, Cathal O’Connor; Kieran Malone, Jamie Malone, Seán Collins; Keelan Sexton, Eoin Cleary, David Tubridy.

Subs: Conor Finucane for Seán Collins (67), Seán Malone for Eoghan Collins, Alan Sweeney for Kieran Malone, Eimhin Courtney for David Tubridy (all 70).

Scorers: David Tubridy 0-4 (3fs), Jamie Malone, Gary Brennan 0-3 each, Eoin Cleary (0-3, 1f), Keelan Sexton 0-1.

Cork: Mark White; Sam Ryan, Jamie O’Sullivan, Kevin Crowley; Matthew Taylor, Kevin Flahive, Tomás Clancy; Ian Maguire, Killian O’Hanlon; Cian Dorgan, Mark Collins, Peter Kelleher; John O’Rourke, Colm O’Neill, Michael Hurley.

Subs: Stephen Sherlock for Kelleher, Donncha O’Connor for Dorgan (both 55), Cian Kiely for Taylor (60), Seán Wilson for Kiely (62, black card), Daniel O’Callaghan for Hurley (69), Micheál McSweeney for Clancy (70, black card).

Scorers: Colm O’Neill 0-4 (1f), Mark Collins 0-3 (2fs), John O’Rourke 0-2, Ian Maguire, Stephen Sherlock, Cian Dorgan 0-1 each.

Referee: Padraig O’Sullivan (Kerry).

About Peter O'Connell

West Clare native Peter O'Connell has worked for The Clare Champion for 12 years and covers everything from sport, especially GAA, news, features and has been even known to branch into the fashion scene on occasion.

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