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Former Clare goalkeeper Joe Hayes. Photograph by John Kelly.

Footballers pick up a point in Derry

Clare 1-8 Derry 0-11

A James Kielt point, kicked from 40 yards, five minutes into injury time, snatched a late equaliser for Derry in the opening game of the NFL division 2 in Celtic Park on Sunday. This was a game that Clare created sufficient chances to win and in fact they kicked 15 wides and missed at least two goal chances. However Clare goalkeeper Joe Hayes made two excellent saves while three Clare players were black carded in the second half. Clare had no substitute left to replace black carded Dean Ryan in the closing minutes.

Derry led 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time. Clare kicked eight first half wides and spurned great goal scoring chances when Seán Collins and Jamie Malone failed to capitalise on excellent opportunities. Gary Brennan, playing his second game inside 19 hours, made several energetic runs from midfield and was involved in creating some of Clare’s first half points.

Midfielder Ciaran Russell put over Clare’s first point, following a brace of Enda Lynn scores, which put Derry into an early lead. Eoin Cleary with two frees, Liam Markham and Seán Collins completed Clare’s first half tally, while James Kielt and Carlus McWilliams (0-2 each) added to Lynn’s early scores for the home county.

Jamie Malone put away Clare’s goal, eight minutes into the second half. It was the first score of that half and put them into a 1-5 to 0-6 lead. It followed an excellent move involving Ciaran Russell, Gary Brennan, Keelan Sexton and Seán Collins. Eoin Cleary and David Tubridy added points before Ciaran Russell kicked Clare a point up, four minutes into injury time. That was Russell’s second score from play and it looked as if Clare would close out the win.

However they spilled possession, when emerging from their own goals and eventually Kielt banged over a superb equaliser. Clare will play Down in Ennis next Sunday in their second league fixture.

A more comprehensive report in addition to interviews and analysis will be published in Thursday’s Clare Champion.

Clare: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Dean Ryan (Éire Óg), Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s, Miltown), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Liam Markham (Cratloe), John Hayes (Kilrush), Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora); Gary Brennan (Clondegad-captain), Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg); Seán Collins (Cratloe), David Tubridy (Doonbeg), Shane Brennan (Clondegad); Jamie Malone (Corofin), Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s, Miltown) and Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane).

Subs: Darren Nagle (Liscannor) for Cian O’Dea (49), Eoghan Collins (Ballyhaunis) for Darren Nagle (Black card – 54), Seanie Malone (St Joseph’s, Miltown) for Keelan Sexton (59), Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis) for Seán Collins (59), Gearóid O’Brien (Kilrush) for Martin McMahon (63-black card), David Egan (Kilmihil) for Shane Brennan (68).

Scorers: Eoin Cleary (0-3f), Jamie Malone (1-0), Ciaran Russell (0-2), Liam Markham, Seán Collins and David Tubridy (0-1 each).

Black cards: Darren Nagle, Martin McMahon, Dean Ryan.

Derry: Tomás Mallon; Niall Keenan, Conor Nevin, Ronan Murphy; Neil Forrestor, Michael McEvoy, Peter Hagan; Conor McAtamney, James Kielt; Enda Lynn (captain), Niall Loughlin, Carlus McWilliams; Mark Lynch, Emmett McGuckin and Benny Heron.

Subs: Danny Tallon for Benny Heron ((27).

Scorers: James Kielt (0-4), Enda Lynn, Carlus McWilliams, Niall McLoughlin (0-2 each), Mark Lynch (0-1f)

Yellow cards: Mark Lynch, Enda Lynn, Peter Hagan, Emmett McGuckian.

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).

Peter O’Connell

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