Clare in cruise control against struggling Down
Colm Collins: ‘We didn’t put away the chances at times but they’ll go in eventually’
Colm Collins wants his team to be more clinical. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Clare 2-11 Down 0-11
Clare dominated from start to finish to see off the challenge of a struggling Down team at Cusack Park on Sunday.
Leading by 2-7 to 0-3 at half-time, Clare laid the foundations for this victory with their opening half performance. Blitzing their rather lethargic opponents.
Keelan Sexton grabbed the opening score, a goal after two minutes, which set the tone for the remainder of the half.
Aidan Carr got Down’s first point in the ninth minute but Clare were already on a roll.
David Tubridy made amends for an earlier missed chance when he added the host’s second goal in first half injury time.
After the break, Clare tagged on three more points early in the half through Eoin Cleary (2) and Jamie Malone.
Clare only managed one more score before the game’s end, but they had already done enough to merit the win.
Down did improve from there on in, but it was a case of too little too late.
Impressive substitute Ryan Johnston kicked two points when introduced, but it was Clare who had the best chance in the closing minutes when Down goalkeeper Marc Reid pulled of a great save from David Egan’s effort.
Clare team boss Colm Collins felt his team still had plenty to improve on after the victory - “We didn’t put away the chances at times but they will go in eventually, we’ve just got to keep making them.”
CLARE: Joe Hayes; Dean Ryan, Kevin Harnett, Martin McMahon; Liam Markham, Gordon Kelly, John Hayes; Gary Brennan, Ciaran Russell; Sean Collins (0-01), Keelan Sexton (1-01), Shane Brennan; Eoin Cleary (0-03, 0-01f), David Tubridy (1-03), Jamie Malone (0-03).
Subs: Cathal O’Connor for G. Brennan (43), Darren Nagle for Hayes (48), Cian O’Dea for Tubridy (53), Pearse Lillis for Ryan (59), David Egan for Malone (64), Gearoid O’Brien for Collins (67)
DOWN: Marc Reid; Ryan McAleenan, Gerard McGovern, Darren O’Hagan (0-01); Conaill McGovern, Niall Donnelly, Caolan Mooney; Aidan Carr (0-01), Jonathan Flynn; Joe Murphy, Cathal Magee (0-03, 0-02f), Shay Millar (0-01); Alan Davidson, Pat Havern (0-01), Barry O’Hagan (0-02, 0-01f)
Subs: Darragh O’Hanlon for C. McGovern (35), Conor Maginn for Davidson (35), Kevin McKernan for Havern (43), Ryan Johnston (0-02) for G. McGovern (53), Jerome Johnston for B. O’Hagan (61), Peter Turley for Flynn (63)
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)