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Jamie Malone of Clare in action against Niall Loughlin of Derry during their SFC All-Ireland Quarter Final at Croke Park. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare kicked in the Derry-air by goal-hungry Ulster champions

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship QF
Derry 5-13 Clare 2-8


An anti-climactic finish to the Clare footballers memorable All-Ireland Senior Championship adventure as five timely goals eased Ulster champions Derry into the last four.

Despite being Clare’s second outing in Croke Park in the space of three weeks, it was Derry who appeared far more familiar to their new surroundings as the renowned defensive kingpins got to show off their offensive ruthlessness as well.

Two first quarter goals effectively tore up Clare’s gameplan as having frustrated Derry to four early wides, Colm Collins side coughed up two goals in the space of four minutes through Benny Heron and Conor Glass at 2-2 to 0-0 by the 13th minute.

Clare finally got off the mark through an Eoin Cleary free two minutes later but any glimmer of hope flickered out for the Banner just before the break when a Pearse Lillis goal in the 33rd minute was wiped out in injury-time when Paul Cassidy found the net to ease Derry into a 3-6 to 1-3 interval cushion.

The goalfest didn’t stop there however as centre-back Gareth McKinless was allowed to storm up the field and find the net only four minutes into the new half.

Eoin Cleary’s quick feet clawed back a worthy major for a bruised Banner in the 47th minute but much like their first goal, it would be cancelled out almost immediately as from the kick-out man-of-the-match Shane McGuigan raced through for Derry’s fifth goal.

McGuigan would finish with a handsome 1-8 tally while Conor Glass, Conor McCluskey, and Niall Loughlin were others to continuously keep their opponents on the backfoot.

A deflating afternoon in GAA Headquarters for Clare in which they really struggled to contain a rampant Derry was only solaced by captain Eoin Cleary’s 1-5 total as Rory Gallagher’s side march on to meet either Armagh or Galway at the penultimate stage.

Derry: Odhran Lynch (Magherafelt); Conor McCluskey (Magherafelt), Brendan Rogers (Slaughtneil), Chrissy McKaigue (Slaughtneil); Conor Doherty (Newbridge), Gareth McKinless (Ballinderry), Padraig McGrogan (Newbridge); Conor Glass (Newbridge), Shea Downey (Lavey); Niall Loughlin (Greenlough), Paul Cassidy (Bellaghy), Ethan Doherty (Glen); Benny Heron (Ballinascreen), Shane McGuigan (Slaughtneil), Niall Toner (Lavey). Subs: Emmett Bradley (Glen) for Heron (48), Lachlan Murray (Desertmartin) for Loughlin (53), Ben McCarron (Steelstown) for Glass (60), Paul McNeill (Slaughtneil) for Downey (65), Declan Cassidy (Bellaghy) for McGuigan (68) Scorers: Shane McGuigan (1-8, 1f); Conor Glass, Benny Heron, Paul Cassidy (1-1 each); Gareth McKinless (1-0); Niall Loughlin, Conor McClusky (0-1 each)

Clare: Tristan O’Callaghan (St Breckan’s); Cillian Rouine (Ennistymon), Cillian Brennan (Clondegad), Manus Doherty (Éire Óg); Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora), Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg), Jamie Malone (Corofin); Darren O’Neill (Éire Óg), Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen); Podge Collins (Cratloe), Eoin Cleary (St. Joseph’s Miltown), Emmet McMahon (Kildysart); Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare), Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Aaron Griffin (Lissycasey). Subs: Alan Sweeney (St Breckan’s) for Rouine (HT), Brendy Rouine (Ennistymon) for McMahon (42), David Tubridy (Doonbeg) for Griffin (43), Joe McGann (St Breckan’s) for Sexton (52), Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg) for Collins (52). Scorers: Eoin Cleary (1-5, 2f); Pearse Lillis (1-0); David Tubridy (0-2f); Jamie Malone (0-1)

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)

About Eoin Brennan

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