Donie Smith inspires Roscommon to win over Clare

Four late points give Rossies breathing space after Clare have Ciaran Russell sent off

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)