Clare 5-10 London 0-4
Clare just about warmed up for next Sunday’s pivotal league meeting with Roscommon in Cusack Park last Saturday. London competed reasonably ably for 35 minutes but their attack was one of the least dangerous to field in a national football league game.
They didn’t manage to score a single point from play. Only Kilkenny can toast a less successful approach scoring record. If London had deliberately set out to be less threatening in attack they would hardly have succeeded.
Although Clare eventually won by 21 points, they led by a mere 2-3 to 0-3 at half-time. Alan Clohessy picked up a bang in scoring a sixth-minute goal, going in bravely on a dropping ball lobbed in from the right by David Tubridy.
Tubridy and Laurence Healy added Clare’s first-half points while Gary Brennan, who started at full-forward, goaled eight minutes before half-time after good link-up play involving Michael Foran, Rory Donnelly and Clohessy.
London defended manfully and employed Austin Cocannon as a seventh defender. Up front though, they weren’t big on coherence or movement.
Six minutes into the second half Tubridy goaled his first and Clare’s third, picking up a break off Cathal O’Connor after Healy had driven in a high, diagonal ball.
Having kicked 10 first-half wides, Clare cut it down a bit during the second 35 minutes, kicking just seven. Still, a 17-wides haul against London won’t leave Roscommon having to rush from the bus on their way to Ennis next Sunday.
Tubridy added five points, including an excellent one from play, 12 minutes from full time. He also notched his second goal thanks to Foran and Gary Brennan, while Clohessy put away Clare’s fifth.
London’s first notable venture upfield was delayed until the first minute of injury time when Joe Hayes saved smartly from Seán Kelly. A minute later Eoin O’Neill pointed his and London’s fourth score from a close-in free. That was it.
One of the few remaining items of interest pertained to the size of the crowd. About 40 people paid the €10 admittance charge, with approximately 10 of those supporting London.
Both sets of substitutes were also barred from having a having half-time kick around, presumably on the grounds that they would somehow manage to cause irreparable damage during their allotted 10 minutes.
Clare: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Kevin Hartnett (Meelick), Barry Duggan (Cratloe), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Laurence Healy (Ennistymon), Gordon Kelly (Miltown), Shane McNeilis (Kildysart); Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen), Niall Browne (Two Mile House, Kildare); Diarmuid Daly (Corofin), Rory Donnelly (Cooraclare), Michael Foran (O’Curry’s); Alan Clohessy (Liscannor), Gary Brennan (Clondegad), David Tubridy (Doonbeg).
Subs: Shane Brennan (Clondegad) for Rory Donnelly (injured, 28mins); Ger Quinlan (O’Curry’s) for Niall Browne (42mins); Graham Kelly (Miltown) for Barry Duggan (46mins); Conor Ryan (Cratloe) for Cathal O’Connor (53mins); Barry Hartnett (Meelick) for Diarmuid Daly (60).
Scorers: David Tubridy 2-7, (0-4f); Alan Clohessy (2-1); Gary Brennan (1-0); Laurence Healy, Diarmuid Daly (0-1) each.
Wides: 17; Frees: 32; 45s: 2
Yellow cards: Niall Browne
London: Brian McBreaty; Aidan Savage, Barry Comer, David McGreevy; John Scanlon, Kevin O’Leary, Noel Tuohy; Seán McVeigh, Derek Hagan; Ciaran McCallion, Sean Kelly, Conor Conneely; David O’Sullivan, Eoin O’Neill, Austin Concannon.
Subs: Killian Phair for David O’Sullivan; Christopher Eastwood for David McGreevy; Enda Flaherty for Derek Hagan; Thomas Moriarty for Conor Conneely; Cathal O’Sullivan for Kevin O’Leary.
Scorers: Eoin O’Neill (0-4f).
Wides: 6; Frees: 26; 45s: 1
Yellow cards: Kevin O’Leary, Derek Hagan.
Referee: Richard Maloney, Limerick.