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Keelan Sexton of Clare in action against Niall Daly of Roscommon during their National League game at Cusack Park. Photograph by John Kelly.

Roscommon pull away as discipline costs Clare again

Roscommon 2-19 Clare 2-12

DISCIPLINE is costing the Clare footballers. For the second successive game, Ciaran Russell was sent off, this time on a straight red card, eight minutes into the second half. Russell was also sent off against Down in Newry, on a yellow and black card.

In their last home game, against Tipperary on February 11, Jamie Malone was red carded, while David Tubridy and Eoin Cleary were shown black cards. After that game, Clare manager Colm Collins was suspended for a month, while Gordon Kelly was hit with a three month ban, for apparently squirting water at an umpire.

While a team can be unlucky on a once off, Clare’s disciplinary issues are now costing them. When Russell was red carded, Roscommon were 1-10 to 1-8 ahead and winning it was going to be difficult enough for Clare as it was.

However, Roscommon were able to pick up all of the Clare forwards and deploy Niall Kilroy as their sweeper, a rule that Russell had filled for Clare.

Roscommon, who are now on seven points, led 1-9 to 1-7 at half-time. Clare made the better start with David Tubridy goaling in the third minute, following slick build up play involving Cathal O’Connor and Gary Brennan, who also was deployed at full forward at stages.

Roscommon responded with Conor Devaney kicking 0-2, while Ciaráin Murtagh and Smith also put over crucial first half points.

The pivotal first half score was Diarmuid Murtagh’s goal, 13 minutes before the interval. Roscommon won a Clare kick out and Murtagh played a clever one-two with full back John McManus, before finishing superbly.

Playing in front of a very disappointing attendance of 1,643, Clare showed plenty of spirit at times in the second half and kicked some nice scores. However the fact that Roscommon had an extra player for 35 minutes, including injury time, was significant.

When Cathal Cregg netted Roscommon’s second goal, nine minutes form time, that all but sealed the result. The Kevin McStay managed side now led 2-14 to 1-11. Clare captain Gary Brennan did net a late Clare goal, flicking home a diagonal delivery from Cian O’Dea. Roscommon responded smartly with points from Smith and Cregg to seal the result and keep their promotion prospects intact. Clare now sit on four points with games to come away to Cork at 7pm on Saturday and then at home to Louth.

A more detailed report and post match interviews, will be published in Thursday’s print edition of The Clare Champion.

Roscommon: James Featherston; Seán McDermott, John McManus, Peter Domican; Ronan Daly, David Murray, Niall Daly; Tadgh O’Rourke, Cathal Compton; Ciaráin Murtagh 0-7, 6f, Niall Kilroy, Cathal Devaney (0-2 captain); Donie Smith (0-9, 7f), Ciaran Lennon, Diarmuid Murtagh (1-0).

Subs: Fergal Lennon for John McManus (26 inj), Enda Smith (Boyle) for Niall Daly (36), Brian Stack for David Murray (48), Cathal Cregg (1-1) for Ciaran Lennon (57), Ian Kilbride for Tadhg O’Rourke (63), Shane Killoran for Diarmuid Murtagh (70)

Clare: Killian Roche; Cian O’Dea, Cillian Brennan, Eoghan Collins; Pearse Lillis (0-1),

Aaron Fitzgerald, Ciaran Russell; Gary Brennan (1-0 captain), Cathal O’Connor; Kieran Malone,

Eoin Cleary (0-5, 2f), Seán Collins; Seán O’Donoghue (0-1), Keelan Sexton (0-2), David Tubridy (1-3, 3f)

Subs: Gearóid O’Brien for Eoghan Collins (51 inj), Conor Finucane for David Tubridy (56), Darragh Bohannon for Pearse Lillis (62), Conal O’hÁinféin for Seán Collins (66).

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).


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