Friday 9 December 2016

Rampant Banner go through the gears to burn off Sligo

Clare 2-17 Sligo 1-13

Independent.ie sportsdesk

Published 17/07/2016 | 02:30

Keelan Sexton: underlined his potential. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Keelan Sexton: underlined his potential. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Clare produced a superb second-half display to book their place in the last 12 in the All-Ireland SFC title race. Colm Collins' men pulled away with another purposeful exhibition of attacking football.

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Sligo, having not done enough when they had the wind in the opening half, had no answer to a deluge of scores from Clare after the restart, outscoring their hosts by 1-13 to 1-4 in the second period.

Clare's Cathal O'Connor scoring a point in the second half. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Clare's Cathal O'Connor scoring a point in the second half. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Sligo, having played with the wind, looked to be in trouble at the break when they only led by 0-9 to 1-4.

They built up 0-5 to 0-2 advantage after 19 minutes with Adrian Marren and Niall Murphy kicking two points apiece.

Eoin Cleary's third point for Clare reduced the margin but efforts from Mark Breheny and Brian Egan saw Sligo lead by 0-7 to 0-3.

But Clare got a big breakthrough after 27 minutes when David Tubridy was fouled and he sent the resultant penalty into the bottom right corner to cut the gap to the minimum.

Clare's Pearse Lillis in action against Sligo's Daniel Maye. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Clare's Pearse Lillis in action against Sligo's Daniel Maye. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Read more: Clare's second-half masterclass enough to shoot down Sligo

However, there was a big setback for the Banner County moments later when dual star Podge Collins picked up a black card for a clumsy challenge after he lost possession.

Marren rubbed salt in the wound by landing the resultant free from 45 metres before Tubridy and Breheny swapped points before the interval.

It was all Clare after the restart.

Clare's Cathal O'Connor competes for a high ball with Sligo's Adrian McIntyre and Adrian Marren. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Clare's Cathal O'Connor competes for a high ball with Sligo's Adrian McIntyre and Adrian Marren. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Gary Brennan, who lorded midfield with Cathal O'Connor, sealed the win with their second goal ten minutes from time.

The Banner scored points from all angles and while Sligo pulled a goal back from substitute Pat Hughes, they never looked like staging a remarkable comeback to extend their interest in the championship.

Keelan Sexton, a Leaving Cert student last month, showed the depth of talent available when he came on to shoot three superb points from play in another great day for Clare football.

"All we wanted to do was ensure we were in the draw for Monday morning and fair play to the lads, they produced a display to do just that. We will see where we go from here, but this was a good win," said delighted Clare manager Collins.

Scorers - Clare: D Tubridy 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), E Cleary 0-5 (2f), C O'Connor 0-4, G Brennan 1-0, K Sexton 0-3, P Lillis, S McGrath 0-1 each. Sligo: P Hughes 1-0, M Breheny (2f), N Murphy (1f), A Marren (2f) 0-3 each, Kyle Cawley, Brian Egan, A McIntyre, C Henry 0-1 each.
Clare: J Hayes; K Hartnett, S Hickey, M McMahon; J Malone, G Kelly, D Ryan; G Brennan, C O'Connor; C O'Dea, P Collins, S Collins; E Cleary, D Tubridy, P Lillis.
Subs: K Sexton for P Collins (black card, 30), S McGrath for Tubridy (61, E Coughlan for Lillis (63), P Burke for Malone (66), S Malone for Cleary (67), D Nagle for S Collins (69).
Sligo: A Devaney; E Flanagan, K McDonnell, D Maye; Brendan Egan , G O'Kelly-Lynch, Keelan Cawley; J Hynes, A McIntyre; N Ewing, M Breheny, N Murphy; Kyle Cawley, Brian Egan, A Marren. Subs: P Hughes for Hynes (47), C Henry for Marren (black card, 66), N Gaughan for Cleary (67).
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)

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