Burns left to rue sluggish start in Banner defeat
Clare 2-11 Down 0-11
Clare enjoyed a merited win in Division 2 over Down at Cusack Park Ennis yesterday.
The Banner men led from the start and with a good first-half performance under their belts, the gaining of two valuable league points was apparent from an early point in the game.
They led by 2-7 to 0-3 at the half-time whistle, leaving Down with an enormous uphill struggle to turn the tide.
Though the Mourne men did improve in the second period, Clare's opening-half dominance proved to be the vital factor in the victory.
Keelan Sexton grabbed the game's opening score, a goal after just two minutes and it should have been a second but for Down keeper Marc Reid's save from David Tubridy. As the half progressed it was all Clare points, with Tubridy grabbing their second goal after good moves by Sexton and Jamie Malone.
Early in the second-half the hosts sealed victory with rapid points by Sexton (two) and Malone. There was no way back for Down though they did improve and hold their opponents to just one further score, the seeds of defeat were sown in a poor first-half.
"It was a disappointing result for us," said Down manager Eamonn Burns. "We had a very strong second-half but we just couldn't get in to get the goal"
Scorers - Clare: D Tubridy 1-3, E Cleary 0-4 (1f), K Sexton 1-0, J Malone 0-3, S Collins 0-1. Down: C Magee 0-3 (2fs), R Johnston, B O'Hagan 0-2 (1 f), D O'Hagan, A Carr, S Millar, P Havern 0-1 each.
Clare - Joe Hayes 7; John Hayes 7, K Harnett 8, M McMahon 7; L Markham 7, G Kelly 7, D Ryan 7; G Brennan 8, C Russell7; S Collins 7, K Sexton 7, S Brennan 7; E Cleary 8, D Tubridy 8, J Malone 7. Subs: C O'Connor 7 for G Brennan (44), D Nagle 7 for John Hayes (49), C O'Dea 7 for Tubridy 54, P Lillis 7 for Ryan (58), D Egan 6 for Malone 64, G O'Brien for Collins (67).
Down - M Reid 8; R McAleenan 6, G McGovern 6, D O'Hagan 6; C McGovern 5, N Donnelly 6, C Mooney 6; A Carr 6, J Flynn 5; J Murphy 5, C Magee 6, S Millar 6; A Davidson 5, P Havern 6, B O'Hagen 6. Subs: D O'Hanlon 5 for C McGovern (h-t), C McGinn 5 for Davidson (h-t), K McKernan 5 for Havern (44), R Johnston 7 for G McGovern (54), J Johnston 5 for B O'Hagan (61), P Turley 5 for Flynn (64).
Ref - N Mooney (Cavan).