Clare safe in Division Two after win over relegated Louth
Jamie Malone’s goal after 11 seconds sets the tone as hosts blow Louth away in first half
Jamie Malone’s goal after 11 seconds set the tone for Clare against Louth. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Clare 3-12 Louth 1-11
Clare remain safe in Division Two of the Allianz Football League, as a result of a deserved victory over pointless and already relegated Louth at Cusack Park Ennis.
An impressive opening half performance saw the Banner County lead by 3-7 to 0-6 at the break, with the opening score, a Jamie Malone goal, coming after 11 seconds of play. Pete McGrath’s men got their afternoon off to a scoring start with a point by Declan Byrne moments later.
Further Clare goals by Keelan Sexton and Kieran Malone before half-time cemented their dominance, though Louth missed a golden opportunity before the whistle, when defender Aaron Fitzgerald brilliantly blocked Ross Nally’s goal attempt on the line.
Louth attempted a comeback of sorts after the break scoring a goal and a point inside the minute. The goal was taken by midfielder Tommy Durnin while Andy McDonnell added a point. But it was as close as they got, as Clare battened down the hatches from then out to claim an important victory.
Clare: Eamonn Tubridy; Cian O’Dea, Cillian Brennan, Aaron Fitzgerald; Sean Collins, Pearse Lillis, Sean O’Donoghue; Gary Brennan, Cathal O’Connor (0-1); Kieran Malone (1-2), Eoin Cleary (0-8, 0-6f) , Jamie Malone (1-0); Conor Finucane (0-1), Keelan Sexton (1-0), David Tubridy. Subs: Conal O’hAinifein for Aaron Fitzgerald HT, Gearoid O’Brien for C Finucane HT, Ciaran Russell for D Tubridy 47mins, Darragh Bohannon for Cathal O’Connor 56mins, Alan Sweeney for S Collins 59mins, Eimhin Courtney for K Sexton 65 mins
Louth: Craig Lynch; Fergal Donohoe, Emmet Carolan, James Craven; Eoghan Lafferty, Bevan Duffy (0-1), Anthony Williams; Tommy Durnin (1-1), Declan Byrne (0-2); Derek Maguire, Andy McDonnell (0-2), Gerard McSorley; Williams Woods, Conor Grimes (0-1), Ryan Burns (0-1, 0-1f). Subs: Ross Nally (0-1) for R Burns 30mins, Tadhg McEneaney (0-2, 0-1f) for W Woods 54 mins, James Stewart for J Craven 54 mins, Ciaran Downey for G McSorley 54 mins, Ronan Holcroft for D Maguire 60mins.
Referee: Derek O’Mahony (Tipperary)