Allianz Football League Division 2 South Round 2
Clare 1-13 Kildare 0-13 at Newbridge
ONCE again Newbridge brings drama as Clare with a superb effort over 70 minutes using their substitutes brilliantly and with Eoin Cleary coming up with pressure cooker points Clare maintained a winning record in this year’s Allianz league, reports Michael O’Connor.
Had Clare managed just a share of the spoils they would have made the journey home very disappointed as they were without the better side and face into Cork in Cusack Park with everything to play for.
At the end of the first quarter Clare were (0-6) to (0-3) in arrears after a early positive start by Clare was matched by Kildare capitalising on frees conceded by the Clare rearguard. The Banner men at times in the first 15 minutes met a strong disciplined Kildare rearguard who forced Clare into errors. There was a flurry of scores in the first ten minutes with successful efforts from Kevin Feely, David Tubridy the busy Gavin Cooney, Jimmy Hyland, Neil Flynn and Darragh Bohannon. Kildare finished the last five minutes of the first half in an attack mode but emerged with no scores as they led (0-7) to (0-4). An extremely positive attacking restart by Colm Collins men witnessed four scorable chances including Keelan Sexton missing a clear goal from 5 metres out. Darragh Kirwan and Eoin Cleary exchanged scores in the 41st minute for the opening scores for each side in the new half.
Joe McGann was on the field only moments when a brilliant ball from Cathal O Connor floated in found the Doolin man and he lifted the net which was quickly followed by a stunning point from Eoin Cleary to leave Clare (1-8) to (0-10) at the end of the third quarter. In a direct copy of the opening half Clare defended their goal superbly similar to the lilywhites in the first half. Clare veteran David Tubridy sent Clare two clear in the 58th minute as Kildare were now forced to long range kicking. Finally the home side got it right with a brace of scores in 90 seconds from substitute Shane O Sullivan and the accurate Jimmy Hyland to narrow the Clare lead to the minimum entering the final 8 minutes. Emmet McMahon also just on the pitch scored a stunning effort to restore a vital two point lead. Shane O Sullivan narrowed it once more before as injury time loomed. Up stepped the man in form Eoin Cleary with two vital points that required a Kildare goal to get a draw for the home side. It never happened and Clare moved a step closer to the Division 2 semi-finals and at least making relegation a long shot.
Kildare: Mark Donnellan, Ryan Houlihan, Mick O Grady, Mark Dempsey, Kevin Flynn, Eoin Doyle, Shea Ryan, Aaron Masterson, Kevin Feely, Alex Beirne, Luke Flynn, Paul Cribbin, Neil Flynn , Darragh Kirwan, Jimmy Hyland. Subs: Con Kavanagh for Ryan (HT), Fergal Conway for Beirne, Darragh Malone for Doyle (43min), Paddy Brophy for Houlihan (54 mins), Shane O Sullivan for Kirwan (60min),Brian McLaughlin for Cribbin (70mins)
Scorers: Neil Flynn (0-4f), Jimmy Hyland (0-4), Kevin Feely (0-2), Shane O Sullivan (0-2), Darragh Kirwan (0-1)
Clare: Stephen Ryan, Ciaran Russell, Cillian Brennan, Eoghan Collins, Cian O Dea, Sean Collins, Daniel Walsh. Darren O Neill, Cathal O Connor, Pearse Lillis, Eoin Cleary, Darragh Bohannon, Gavin Cooney, David Tubridy, Keelan Sexton. Subs: Joe McGann for Sexton (44min), Emmet McMahon for Bohannon (51min), Alan Sweeney for Walsh (60min, inj), Kevin Harnett for E Collins (65 min), Aaron Griffin for Cooney (65), Dale Masterson for Lillis (70min), Cormac Murray for O Neill (73 min),
Scorers: Joe McGann (1-0), E Cleary (0-7), David Tubridy (0-3) Gavin Cooney (0-1), Darragh Bohannon (0-1), Emmet McMahon (0-1).
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)