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FOOTBALL: Clare curse continues after Meath defeat at death

National Football League Division 2 Round 6 Meath 0-10 Clare 0-9 By Eoin Brennan CLARE’S current rut continued as bogey side Meath inflicted a fifth successive victory over Colm Collins’ side in as many seasons in front of 1,375 in Cusack Park, Ennis. Following back-to-back defeats, Clare looked to have stopped the rot when snatching the whip hand in the second period without ever getting away from the obstinate visitors. However, with a merited share of the spoils being the most likely outcome as the clock ticked inexorably into its final minute of additional time, Clare would be made to stomach their most gut-wrenching reverse to date as a defensive lapse allowed Meath to counter-attack and pop up for a winner at the death. Victory ensured Meath’s Division 2 status for another year but while Clare are virtually safe as well, they still need to finish the league on a positive note in Down next Sunday following their recent glut …

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FOOTBALL: Tribal troubles in Tuam for Clare

National Football League Division 1 Round 5 Galway 2-8 Clare 1-5 THE promotion race is down to just three candidates after Galway eventually eased past the challenge off neighbours Clare in a rare derby in Tuam Stadium, writes Eoin Brennan. With the other Division 1 prospectors Derry and Roscommon sharing the spoils, Padraic Joyce’s side soared to the top to the Division 2 table after preserving their perfect National League start. Backed by two-thirds of the side that started last year’s Connacht Final against Mayo, the Tribesmen were full value for their victory after a 1-5 unanswered second half blitz with the aid of the strong conditions. In contrast, Clare only had seven survivors from their sole 2021 championship outing against Kerry, which became six after only seven minutes when Podge Collins had to retire early through injury followed just before half-time by Alan Sweeney on an all-round disappointing afternoon. An error-strewn display was matched by a lack of ruthlessness …

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Tubs in a league of his own – Doonbeg star becomes NFL all-time top scorer

DAVID Tubridy is no stranger to Man of the Match awards, but his 1-8 haul against Cork on Sunday was certainly distinctive for crowning the Doonbeg and Clare star as the National Football League’s all-time top scorer, reports Eoin Brennan. Trailing Sligo’s first All-Star Mickey Kearins (1971) by just two points heading into Sunday’s tie, Tubridy is now in a league of his own with a remarkable total of 22-412 or 478 points in just 13 seasons. Complements of Padraig Ferguson of ‘GAA lore’ who trawled through the archives of ‘The Irish Independent’ from 1925 onwards, the top ten also includes Mattie Forde (Wexford) with 386, Steven McDonnell (Armagh, 381), Meath’s Brian Stafford (373) and Tubridy’s former manager Mick O’Dwyer (Kerry, 370). “It is [a fair achievement],” admitted Tubridy upon hearing the news at the final whistle in Cusack Park on Sunday. “I didn’t know that now. I don’t keep track, but it’s great that I have that I suppose. …

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Banner fall agonisingly short against visiting Rebels, but secure league semi-final spot

National Football League Division 2 South Round 3 Cork 0-22 Clare 1-18 CLARE enjoyed the rarified air of being victorious in defeat this afternoon after securing a National Football League Division 2 Semi-Final spot on score difference over opponents Cork in Cusack Park, reports Eoin Brennan. Level entering the final minute of additional time, Cork dug deep to obtain a last gasp winning point through John O’Rourke but ultimately it needed to be a goal if the Rebels were to leapfrog their hosts in the table after Clare, Cork and Kildare all finished on four points in the group standings. Essentially, Cork required a three point victory to prevent Clare from setting up a penultimate stage clash with Mayo for a place in Division 1 for 2022. It also meant that Clare’s Division 2 status was secured for a fifth consecutive season whereas last year’s Division 3 champions Cork will have to beat Westmeath to avoid dropping immediately back down …

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Clare footballers get league campaign off to flier with home win over Laois

National Football League Division 2 South Round 1 Clare 1-16 Laois 0-12 THERE was no grandstand finish in the second of Clare’s Cusack Park double-header after Colm Collins’ side eased to a commanding victory over Laois to commence their Division 2 campaign in ideal fashion this afternoon, reports Eoin Brennan. Leading from start to finish, Clare never loosened their grip on proceedings at any stage after wing-back Daniel Walsh completed the perfect debut with a top corner finish in the 27th minute for what was the only goal of the game. Indeed, the Kilmurry Ibrickane clubman finished with 1-2 while captain Eoin Cleary was equally as influential as his double figure tally included points from play, frees, a mark and even a superb lineball from the left wing to close out a comfortable opener. With the wind at their backs, Clare’s bright start of unanswered points through Cleary, Keelan Sexton and Cathal O’Connor was dampened by a hamstring injury for …

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Clare footballers need a new strategy to beat Cork

CLARE’S Division 2 future is entirely in their own hands. If they can somehow pull out a Newry-like performance in Pairc Uí Rínn on Saturday from 7pm, they have every chance of getting a result, beating Louth at home in their final league game on March 25 and assuring themselves of a place in the same division next year. While Jamie Malone will be available again, following his two-game suspension, Clare will have to plan without Ciaran Russell, who was red-carded against Roscommon. Gordon Kelly is still suspended, leaving Clare scarce, particularly defensively. If Clare lose, which is likely given that Cork will be buoyant following Sunday’s win over Meath, their Division 2 status will rest on beating Louth and hoping that they don’t end up in a three-way tie. Clare have a score difference of -19, which is significantly worse than Meath and Down. If Clare finish level on points with Down, they will stay up, given that they …

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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 …

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Footballers draw with Tipperary

Clare 0-11 Tipperary 0-11 IN the aftermath of Clare’s NFL division 2 draw with Tipperary in Ennis on Sunday, the visitors manager, Liam Kearns, expressed concern at the delay in an ambulance arriving at Cusack Park to bring an injured Tipperary mentor to hospital. Shane Stapleton was eventually removed, after a second half incident, during which he fell to the ground. “There is an ambulance about to collect him now. It still hasn’t got here, which is disappointing,” Kearns said. “He’s had a very bad bang to his head and we think he might have had a seizure so he’s going to hospital. Hopefully, he will be alright. It was a belt to his head. He went back and hit his head off the concrete behind him. He said to me after getting back up, ‘I don’t feel very well’. When I turned around again, he was lying on the ground in the foetal position. It is serious enough. Hopefully, …

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