Clare 1-13 Offaly 0-7
Clare’s Division Two campaign got off to a winning start at Cusack Park in Ennis on Sunday as they carved apart John Maughan’s Offaly in the second half, outscoring their opponents by 1-9 to 0-2 after the break when playing with the strong breeze.
Enjoying the favour of the elements, Offaly settled quicker early on and found themselves 0-3 to no score ahead by the 14th minute thanks to a pair of scores by corner forward Bernard Allen either side of a Ruairí McNamee effort.
Clare eventually found their shooting boots at the quarter-hour mark when left half-forward Pearse Lillis fired over from the right wing following good play by debutant Manus Doherty and veteran David Tubridy. The visitors led by 0-5 to 0-1 by the 23rd minute but a late Banner rally yielded three points in a row to leave them trailing by a single score at the whistle.
Offaly introduced substitutes David Dempsey and Declan Hogan at the beginning of the second half, but two minutes in the game was turned on its head when Clare grabbed a goal by Darragh Bohannon after he slotted past goalkeeper Paddy Dunican after receiving a good pass by the impressive Cian O'Dea.
This score proved to be the catalyst for Clare's change in fortune, giving them a lead that they never relinquished and captain Eoin Cleary slotted over a free from the right wing a minute later to put three points between the teams.
Colm Collins's men employed the ever increasing wind advantage judiciously throughout the half and cleverly cut off supply to a tiring Offaly outfit. The visitors could only muster two points, a Lee Pearson effort from play and a Dunican free, in the second half that was dominated by Clare. The Banner County added scores at will with substitute Jamie Malone slotting over two impressive points close to the end.
CLARE: S Ryan; C Rouine, C Brennan, M Doherty; C O'Dea, C Russell, A Sweeney; C O'Connor, D O'Neill; D Bohannon (1-0); E Cleary (capt) (0-3, two frees), P Lillis (0-2); D Tubridy (0-1), K Sexton (0-4, four frees), A Griffin.
Subs: P Collins for Tubridy, E Collins for Rouine ( both 55 mins), J Malone (0-2) for Griffin (57), D Walsh for Russell inj. (64), C Downes (0-1) for O'Neill (70).
OFFALY: P Dunican (0-1, free); N Darby, J Lalor, L Pearson (0-1); C Donnelly, C Donahoe, J Moloney (capt); J Hayes, C Mangan; B Carroll, A Sullivan, D Hyland (0-1); B Allen (0-3), N McNamee, R McNamee (0-1).
Subs: C Egan for Carroll (34 mins), D Dempsey for Sullivan, D Hogan for N McNamee (both h/t), J Bryant for Hyland (49), C Doyle for Pearson (inj, 64), R Egan for Mangan (in, 70).
Referee: B Griffin (Kerry).