Clare turn it on when it counts to stay in Division 1A
Dublin’s Championship prospects looking ominous after Cusack Park relegation
A dejected Eamon Dillon after Clare consigned Dublin to relegation from Division 1A. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Clare 3-18 Dublin 0-19
Crowned league champions just under twelve months ago, Clare had to pull out all the stops to hold on to their Division 1 A status for 2018.
Before an attendancde of 7,276 they produced a strong second half performance to account for Dublin at Cusack Park on Sunday.
Things didn’t look great for the home side when they went to the break trailing by two points but within five minutes of the resumption they were five points in front and from there on they dominated the exchange.
The first half was a disappointing affair with both sides guilty of missed opportunities. Clare had taken the lead after just twelve seconds when Aron Shanagher pointed but the visitors responded with four-in-a-row to open a three point lead.
Twenty one minutes into the half the winners were back in front when Shanagher won possession from a long range delivery from goalkeeper Andrew Fahy before firing past Conor Dooley in the Dublin goal.
Dublin responded and when the half time whistle sounded they were two points clear with the score at 0-13 to 1-8.
There was much more urgency about Clare when they returned and having hit four unanswered points in three minutes they struck for a John Conlon goal to open a five point lead before the fifth minute of the new half had arrived.
Clare then went eighteen minutes during which they managed just one point while Dublin landed three to leave just three between the teams with twelve minutes to go. Tony Kelly then struck for his side’s third goal and this killed off Dublin’s chances of victory.
The visitors moved Liam Rushe to their attack in an effort to get back into contention but the Clare defence held the upperhand.
Of concernfor Dublin as they look ahead to the championship will be the fact that their challenge faded in the second half.
Clare: A. Fahy; D. McInerney, C.Dillon, S. Morey; B. Bugler, C. Cleary, D.Fitzgerald (0-1); J.Shanahan, T. Kelly (1-3), C. Galvin (0-2) P. Collins, J.Conlon (1-1); C. McInerney, A.Shanagher (1-2), D. Reidy (0-6). Subs: J. McCarthy (0-2) for Shanahan; P. Flanagan for Morey, A. Cunningham (0-1)for C. McInerney; C. Malone for Cleary G.O’Connell for Bugler
Dublin: C. Dooley; C.O’Callaghan, E. O’Donnell, O. Gough; C.Crummy (0-3), L. Rushe, S. Barrett; D. O’Connell, B. Quinn; D. Burke (0-3), N.Mc Morrow( 0-1), D.Treacy (0-7); C. Conway (0-2), R. O’Dwyer, E. Dillon (0-3). Subs: J.Malone for Quinn; C,. Boland for Conway; R. McBride for O’Dwyer; F.Whitely for McMorrow; S.O’Riain for Treacy
Referee: Johnnie Ryan (Tipperary)