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Lacklustre Clare outclassed



Ger O'Connell of The Clare and District League in action against Graham Howlin of The Wexford League during their Oscar Traynor Final at Doora, Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare 0 Wexford 6

FOR the Clare players, management and their supporters in the crowd of 800 people, this was pure torture. There is no point in pretending that Clare weren’t completely outclassed and subsequently hammered in their attempts to win a second Oscar Traynor Cup in Doora last Sunday.
It must have seemed that surely the most agonising 90 minutes in the Clare players’ careers would never end.
Once they went 2-0 down six minutes into the second half, they were gone and all they craved was the full-time whistle.
Virtually every Clare man hung his head as Wexford sprayed the ball around the county grounds and into the space afforded to them by the home team.
From the off, Wexford dominated and without two good saves from John Healy inside the opening 15 minutes, Clare could have been a lot more than 1-0 down at half-time. In fact, the post saved Clare twice in the opening minutes.
The closest Clare came to testing the Wexford goalkeeper was when Dave McCarthy hit a snapshot wide after linking up with Con Collins.
A minute later, with half an hour having ticked by, Richie Lillis fouled Michael Granger. Man of the match Paul Murphy whipped in the free from the right, which Leighton Gleeson glanced home from about 10 yards.
Clare’s Trevor Maxwell hit half a chance high and wide minutes later, while six minutes before the interval Healy made an excellent double save from Granger, who showed admirable technique for a big man.
Healy saved Clare again three minutes into the second period as a simple long ball deceived his back four.
Three minutes later Clare were caught again when a Lee Chin throw-in was allowed to drift to Kyle Dempsey, with Maxwell ball watching. Dempsey fired home and that was that.
A minute later, Clare right-back Liam Murphy was caught out of position when a Murphy cross was finished by Gleeson, after Granger had laid it off to him. Could it get much worse? It did.
Clare went 4-0 down when Murphy outpaced David ­Russell after Clare were out foxed by a simple ball over the top, although Wexford now had a strong breeze behind them.
Dave McCarthy misjudged the flight of a Lee Chin cross 28 minutes into the second half, allowing Gleeson to slot home his second and Wexford’s fifth.
Ten minutes from full-time Wexford substitute Ricky Fox netted their sixth to complete Clare’s humiliation.
Wexford retained possession impressively, were physically in better condition and outplayed Clare in virtually every sector.
Paul Murphy was unquestionably the best player on the field, while his Wexford colleagues Lee Chin, Leighton Gleeson and Michael Granger also excelled.
John Healy saved Clare from more of a hiding, while centre-half David Russell kept plugging away in the face of an infinite storm.
Elsewhere, Clare never got going and didn’t show sufficient desire to compete with Wexford.

Clare: John Healy (Avenue United); Liam Murphy (Newmarket Celtic), David Russell (Avenue United, capt), Mattie Nugent (Avenue United, yellow), Richie Lillis (Bunratty, yellow), Trevor Maxwell (Bridge United), Con Collins (Bunratty), Mike O’Malley (Newmarket Celtic), Dave McCarthy (Avenue United), Adrian McDonough (Avenue United), Derek Fay (Bridge United).
Subs: Daryl Evade
(Rock Rovers) for Derek
Fay (injured 31); Ger O’Connell (Bridge Celtic) for Adrian McDonough (62); Gary Collins (Newmarket Celtic) for Trevor Maxwell (67).

Wexford: Lee Walker; Lee Chin, Garth Larkin, Graham Howling, Thomas Hawkins, Sean Cullet on, Leighton Gleason, Kyle Dempsey, Michael Wrangell, Paul Murphy, Eugene O’Brien (yellow).
Subs: Ricky Fox for Kyle Dempsey (75); Tom Elmes (yellow) for Michael Wrangell; David Purcell for Eugene O’Brien (80).
Scorers: Paul Murphy (31, 63); Leighton Gleason (52, 73); Kyle Dempsey (51); Ricky Fox (80).

Referee: Damien Kilpatrick.

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