Donie Smith inspires Roscommon to win over Clare
Four late points give Rossies breathing space after Clare have Ciaran Russell sent off
Donie Smith inspired Roscommon to victory over Clare. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho
Roscommon 2-19 Clare 2-12
Roscommon earned the spoils at Cusack Park, with talisman Donie Smith displaying a man-of-the-match performance, scoring nine points in all, seven of those from play.
Clare played for most of the second half with only 14-men as wing back Ciaran Russell was sent off on a straight red card, eight minutes after the break. The game had been in the balance up until then.
Clare opened the scoring with a David Tubridy goal after three minutes of play, in front of a crowd of 1,643. By the 17th minute they were leading by 1-2 to 0-3 only for Roscommon to counter with 1-4 over a four minute spell. Smith, and Ciaráin Murtagh - plus a Diarmuid Murtagh goal - turned the game on its head leaving them 1-7 to 1-2 ahead. Yet, Clare rallied and went in just two down (1-9 to 1-7) at the interval.
A pointed free by the Banner’s Eoin Cleary left the minimum between them early in the second half before Russell’s dismissal. Leading by four with 10 remaining, Roscommon sealed it with a well taken goal by substitute Cathal Cregg. His low, well drilled shot followed a one-two with the inform Donie Smith.
It opened up a seven point lead (2-14 to 1-11) lead for the visitors and with Clare down to 14 men, there was never going to be any other outcome. Clare did pull a goal back late in the game when a high-jumping Gary Brennan fisted to the net.
But a cool Roscommon outfit hit four late points to secure victory.
Roscommon: J Featherston, S McDermott, J McManus, P Domican, R Daly, D Murray, N Daly, T O’Rourke, C Compton, C Murtagh (0-6, 0-4 f’s), N Kilroy, C Devaney (0-2), D Smith (0-9, 0-2 f’s), C Lennon, D Murtagh (1-1, 0-1 f). Subs: F Lennon for McManus (25), E Smith for N Daly (h/t), B Stack for Murray (48), C Cregg (1-1) for C Lennon (56), I Kilbride O’Rourke (64), S Kiloran for D Murtagh (67).
Clare: K Roche, C O’Dea, C Brennan, E Collins, C Russell, A Fitzgerald, P Lillis (0-1), G Brennan (1-0), C O’Connor, S Collins, E Cleary (0-5, 0-3 f’s), K Malone, S O’Donoghue (0-1), K Sexton (0-2), D Tubridy (1-3, 0-3 f’s). Subs: G O’Brien for E Collins inj. (53), C Finucane for Tubridy ((58), S Malone for Lillis (59), D Bohannon for Sexton inj. (63), C Ó hAinifein for S Collins (65).
Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh)