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.[doptg id=”43″]
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