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Podge Collins has returned to the Clare footballers starting team for Sunday's Munster semi-final. Photograph by John Kelly.

Very poor second half spells defeat for Clare

Limerick 2-10 Clare 1-5

CLARE produced their worst display of their 2015 NFL division 3 campaign when falling to Limerick by double scores in Newcastlewest on Sunday afternoon. It was Clare’s third successive league defeat.

Limerick won simply because they were significantly more committed than Clare and completely dominated the last 25 minutes. Although Clare played with a very strong breeze in that second half they failed to score in the last 26 minutes.

They were 1-4 to 0-2 behind at half time but just nine minutes into the second half the teams were tied at 1-5 each. It looked inevitable that Clare would go on and record a badly needed win.

The Clare goal was scored by Pat Burke from the penalty spot afte pSeanie Buckley, under pressure from Podge Collins, picked the ball off the ground in the small square.

Points from play, put over by Gary Brennan and Dean Ryan, tied the game and put Clare into a great position.

Limerick however showed that they wanted it much more and inspired by some excellent displays from Johnny McCarthy, Pa Ranahan, playing his first game of 2015, Peter Nash and substitute Danny Neville, they ran at and picked off Clare.

Limerick didn’t score their second goal until four minutes from time when Peter Nash finished superbly. Seanie Buckley scored the winners first half goal in the 14th minute when he finished calmly after Gearóid Hegarty cleverly broke a line ball into his path.

Martin McMahon, Cathal O’Connor and Jamie Malone were among the few Clare players to play well.

Clare are still on four points from six games. They play Fermanagh at home next Sunday. A Clare win would seal third division football for 2016. However even if they are beaten, Clare are likely to retain their league status unless Sligo either beat or draw with Armagh and the Louth v Limerick game finishes in a draw.

Clare: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Dean Ryan (Éire óg), Kevin Hartnett (Meelick), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Gordon Kelly (Miltown), Jamie Malone (Corofin); Gary Brennan (Clondgead-captain), Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen); Seán Collins (Cratloe), Podge Collins (Cratloe), Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis); Martin O’Leary (Kilmihil), Shane Brennan (Clondegad), Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes).

Subs: Keelan Sexton (Kilmihil) for Martin O’Leary (half-time), Seán Haugh (O’Curry’s) for Seán Collins (63), Darren Nagle (Liscannor) for Shane McGrath (69).

Scorers: Pat Burke (1-0), Gary Brennan (0-3, 0-1f), Cathal O’Connor, Dean Ryan (0-1 each).

Wides: 10

Frees: 20

Limerick: Brian Scanlon; Stephen Cahill, Johnny McCarthy, Robert Browne; Iain Corbett; Paudie Browne, Pa Ranahan; Tom Lee, Gearóid Hegarty; John Riordan, Darragh Tracey, Cillian Fahy; Peter Nash, Seánie Buckley (captain), Ian Ryan.

Subs: Ian Ryan for Kevin Moore (23), Cian Sheehan for John Riordan, Danny Neville for Iain Corbett (both half-time), Jamie Lee for Cillian Fahy (66), Mickey Lyons for Ian Ryan (69).

Scorers: Seanie Buckley (1-2, 0-2f), Peter Nash (1-1), Danny Neville (0-2), Darragh Tracey, Robert Browne, Cian Sheehan, Ian Ryan (f), Kevin Moore (f) (0-1 each.

Wides: 6

Frees: 15

Referee: Seán Joy (Kerry).

(Peter O’Connell)

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