Allianz FL D2: Brennan inspires Clare
Allianz Football League Division Two
CLARE 0-14 CORK 0-12
By Denis Hurley at Pairc Ui Rinn
Clare earned their second win of the Allianz FL Division 2 campaign as late points from Jamie Malone and David Tubridy saw them past hosts Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday night.
Having gone in at half-time trailing by 0-7 to 0-5, the Banner were very impressive in the second half, led by captain Gary Brennan at midfield while Malone excelled in a floating centre-forward role and they outscored Cork by seven points to three between the 38th and 63rd minutes.
However, despite having been on the back foot for much of the second period, Cork suggested that they might have a late surge in them as sub Stephen Sherlock halved the deficit before Colm O’Neill got his fourth of the game.
A chance of a lead score didn’t present itself for the Rebels though and Clare, who triumphed by eight points when the sides met in Ennis last year, had the strong finish. The win moves them to six points, leaving them in a good position to avoid relegation. Cork, who went into the game on six after three away wins, look to have missed their chance of promotion.
They can’t have any real complaints about the outcome either, especially as Clare had the game’s best two goal chances. Both came early in the first half and there was a similarity to them as Malone and Seán O’Donoghue were both clear on goal but neither could work Cork goalkeeper Mark White.
While Clare did briefly lead after two David Tubridy frees, Cork came back well with Ian Maguire and O’Neill to the fore as they moved 0-4 to 0-2 in front. Clare did come back again through Tubridy and Malone, but Cork ensured that they led by two at the break with Cian Dorgan, Mark Collins and John O’Rourke all pointing, with Brennan having Clare’s only response.
Brennan scored again on the resumption and though O’Neill answered it to make it 0-8 to 0-6 for Cork, Clare had five of the next six scores, three by Eoin Cleary. Malone’s second had put them 0-10 to 0-9 in front, Cleary doubling the lead.
Cork brought on Donncha O’Connor and he forced a free which Collins converted, but Brennan rounded off a good Clare move which began deep in defence to put them two in front ahead. It was to be Clare’s night.
Scorers for Clare: David Tubridy 0-4 (3fs), Eoin Cleary (1f), Jamie Malone, Gary Brennan 0-3 each, Keelan Sexton 0-1.
Scorers for Cork: Colm O’Neill 0-4 (1f), Mark Collins 0-3 (2fs), John O’Rourke 0-2, Ian Maguire, Stephen Sherlock, Cian Dorgan 0-1 each.
CLARE: Eamonn Tubridy; Cian O’Dea, Aaron Mac Gearailt, Cillian Brennan; Seán O’Donoghue, Eoghan Collins, Pearse Lillis; Gary Brennan, Cathal O’Connor; Kieran Malone, Jamie Malone, Seán Collins; Keelan Sexton, Eoin Cleary, David Tubridy.
Subs: Conor Finucane for Seán Collins (67), Seán Malone for Eoghan Collins, Alan Sweeney for Kieran Malone, Eimhin Courtney for David Tubridy (all 70).
CORK: Mark White; Sam Ryan, Jamie O’Sullivan, Kevin Crowley; Matthew Taylor, Kevin Flahive, Tomás Clancy; Ian Maguire, Killian O’Hanlon; Cian Dorgan, Mark Collins, Peter Kelleher; John O’Rourke, Colm O’Neill, Michael Hurley.
Subs: Stephen Sherlock for Kelleher, Donncha O’Connor for Dorgan (both 55), Cian Kiely for Taylor (60), Seán Wilson for Kiely (62, black card), Daniel O’Callaghan for Hurley (69), Micheál McSweeney for Clancy (70, black card).
REFEREE: Pádraig O’Sullivan (Kerry).