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David Tubridy returns from injury for Saturday's game against Longford at Cusack park

Superb defence inspires important win

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Clare 1-14 Limerick 0-11

Inspired by a superb defence, Clare scored a merited win over Limerick in this round 3 tie Allianz football league tie at NewcastleWest this afternoon.

A particularly strong first half display saw the visitors open a six point lead by half time when the score was 0-9 to 0-3 and when the scored the first three points of the second half to go nine clear, Limerick had a mountain to climb.

The margin was still nine with a quarter of an hour remaining but Limerick piled on the pressure and landed four unanswered points to cut Clare’s lead to five with as many minutes remaining.

The visitors killed off the home side’s mini revival two minutes from time when captain Gary Brennan flicked a Shane McGrath delivery to the net. IanRyan landed two frees in injury time for the home side but Clare had sealed victory by then.

The visitors were dealt a huge blow ahead of this tie when midfielder Cathal O’Connor was ruled out of the tie due to an ankle injury. In the resultant reshuffle Pearse Lillis moved to midfield while Seanie Malone came into the team at corner back with Cian O’Dea switching to wing back.

Two David Tubridy points and one from Shane McGrath had the visitors 00-3 to 0-0 in front by the seventh minute. Further points from EoinCleary (2), Sean Collins, McGrath and Tubridy(3) had Clare 0-9 to 0-2 in front as the half time whistle approached.

Cleary, McGrath and Tubridy landed points in the opening seven minutes of the second half as Clare continued to dominate. In the remaining time Clare gave game time to Keelan Sexton, Dean Ryan, Sean Haugh, Sean O’Donoghue, Manus Malone and Graham Kelly.

Clare; Joe Hayes; Seanie Malone, Kevin Harnett, Martin McMahon; Jamie Malone, Gordon Kelly, Cian O’Dea: Gary Brennan (1-0), Pearse Lillis: Sean Collins (0-2), David Tubridy (0-6), 3 frees, Shane McGrath (0-3): Eoin Cleary (0-3), Enda Coughlan, Pat Burke;

Subs; Keelan Sexton for Burke; Dean Ryan for Malone: Sean Haugh for Coughlan: Sean O’Donoghue for Tubridy; Manus Malone for McGrath; Graham Kelly for Collins.

Limerick: Brian Scanlan(0-1); Johnny McCarthy, Paudie Browne, Sean O’Dea; Michael Donovan, Ian Corbett, Brian Fanning; Tom Lee, Seanie Buckley (0-1):

Cian Sheehan, Darragh Tracey, Danny Neville (0-1): Ian Ryan (0-5), Brian Donovan, Peter Nash

Subs; Stephen Cahill (0-1) for Fanning: Sean McSweeney (0-2) for B. Donovan; Pa Ranahan for Lee: Paul White for Nash:

Referee; John Hickey, Carlow

By Seamus Hayes

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