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Eoin Hayes of Clare is congratulated by team mates after scoring Clare's second goal against Roscommon during their Oscar Traynor game at Doora. Photograph by John Kelly.

Clare progress in Oscar Traynor title race

By Seamus Hayes

Clare League 4  Roscommon League 0

Beaten finalists last season, Clare progressed to the knock  out stage of this season’s Oscar Traynor inter league competition with a merited win over Roscommon at Doora on Sunday.

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Two goals in each  half proved too much for the visitors and  the win has given Clare top spot in the group, ahead of Galway on score difference. Both finished on the same points after Galway scored a 3-1 win  over Mayo but Clare’s superior score difference sees them take top spot.

Playing with the aid of the wind, the home side got off to a great start and took the lead after four minutes when Colin  Smith drilled a powerful left foot effort to the net from the edge of the box.

Midway through the half, Roscommon enjoyed their best spell but they could not break down a strong Clare defence in which team captain Pat Purcell led by example from centre half.

Ten minutes from half time Clare doubled their lead when Eoin Hayes, back  in t he side following  injury, hit the target and the  home side went on to lead 2-0 at the break.

With wind advantage to come, Roscommon were determined to get back into contention but the home side struck early in the second half and Dave McCarthy stretched their lead when he finished following an Eoin Hayes cross to make it 3-0.

Clare introduced Stephen Kelly for the second half and his presence strengthened the side. He forced a fine save, at the expense of a corner, from Padraic Maloney five minutes into the new half.

Clare boss Mick Shield was patriculatly pleased that his charges finished strongly. Five minutes from the end, they struck for their fourth goal when Brian McGorrian hit the target with a left footed effort to seal a con vincing and merited win.

Clare;–John Mulready (Bridge United); Daryl Eade(Ennis Town), Darren Cullinan (N ewmarket Celtic) Sean O’Callaghan (Ennis Town) Pat Purcell (Newmarket Celtic) Capt.; Alan Kelly (Newmarket Celtic) Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic) Colin Smith (Newmarket Celtic) Dave McCarthy (Newmarket Celtic); Brian McGorrian (Shannon Olympic) Gary Higgins (Shannon Olympic);

Subs–Stephen Kelly (Newmarket Celtic for A. Kelly; Paddy O’Malley (Avenue United) for Higgins; Darragh Corry (Tulla United) for McCarthy

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