Clare reveal new talent
A total of six goals and 33 points might suggest a cracker of a game but that was far from the case as Clare defeated Antrim at Casement Park yesterday. At no stage did Antrim look like winning. Clare dominated the match from start to finish and could probably have won by more. With Anthony Daly, Sean McMahon, Ollie Baker, Brian Lohan and Jamsie O'Connor absent, they fielded six newcomers and introduced more during the one-sided encounter.
The regulars were not missed as Clare out-hurled and generally out-played the home side. Five points in the opening seven minutes, with the wind at their backs, set Clare on their way to this comprehensive victory. Midway through the first half, Antrim rallied for a period and hit three points without reply to make it 0-7 to 0-4 after 17 minutes but Clare turned on the power again to lead 1-13 to 05 at the interval.
Their goal was scored in the 25th minute through Alan Markham. Markham replaced 'flu-victim Fergus Touhy and he took the Man-of-the-Match award with a tally of 2-1.
Antrim settled better in the second half but they laboured around midfield and in attack while the overworked defence found the Clare forwards a handful. But the losers tried to the end and were rewarded with three goals.
Fergal Hegarty left it an Everest to climb for Antrim when he collected the visitors' second goal in the 45th minute for a 2-14 to 0-7 lead. Conor McCambridge grabbed an Antrim goal in 48 minutes but Clare went straight downfield for Markham to get his second goal. Antrim's other goals were scored by Johnny McIntosh in the 52nd minute and Ronan Donnelly in the 62nd, in between a string of Clare points.
ANTRIM: R Matthews; E O'Hara, E Colgan, S Bailey; M Molloy, Gary O'Kane 0-1, C Kelly 0-1; C McCambridge 1-0, C Magee; C Hamill 0-1, J Connolly, B McFaul 0-1; A Delargy 0-3, Greg O'Kane 0-4, J McIntosh 1-0. Subs: S Kelly for Hamill (24 mins); R Donnelly 1-0 for Magee (42 mins), M O'Neill for Bailey (53 mins).
CLARE: D Fitzgerald; G Malone, F Lohan, B Forde; R Woods, J Reddan, E Flannery; R O'Hara 0-1, F Flynn 0-2; F Hegarty 1-1, C Lynch 0-4, A Markham 2-1; K Ralph 0-7, C Clancy 0-4, N Gilligan 0-1. Subs: G Quinn for Woods (21 mins), T Griffin for Flannery (46 mins), C Forde for Flynn (55 mins), B McMahon for Lohan (62 mins), S Ryan for Gilligan (67 mins).
Referee: P Delaney (Laois).