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Lilies wilt in Ennis as Clare take advantage of ill-discipline


Paddy Brophy of Kildare

Paddy Brophy of Kildare

Paddy Brophy of Kildare

Kildare failed in their attempts to build on last week's promising victory over Fermanagh as they fell to Clare by 0-11 to 0-10 in their stop-start encounter in Ennis yesterday afternoon.

In total, 15 cards of various hues were brandished by referee Barry Judge, with the visitors receiving 11 of those with - crucially - Paddy Brophy receiving his marching orders in the 58th minute after been shown his second yellow card.

That proved a turning point, as Clare availed of that advantage to kick for home thanks to a brace of excellent scores from Keelan Sexton. And while their opponents enjoyed plenty of possession late on, all they could manage in reply was a Kevin Feely free as they succumbed by the narrowest of margins.

It was all so different in the opening period when Kildare, backed by a sizeable wind, opened up a 0-4 to 0-1 advantage, two of those points coming from Neil Flynn frees, by the 13th minute.

However, they struggled to maintain that momentum, with Clare restoring parity by the break with points from Sexton, David Tubridy, Gearoid O'Brien and captain Eoin Cleary leaving the sides deadlocked at 0-6 apiece.

Feely restored Kildare's lead upon the resumption with a brace of scores but with discipline becoming an issue, their efforts waned from that point as the Banner showed their worth with a determined late push.

Laois were another team that served a notice of intent with an excellent 0-16 to 0-10 win over Armagh in O'Moore Park on Saturday night.

The foundations were set in the opening half as the hosts enjoyed a healthy 0-8 to 0-2 interval lead with Evan O'Carroll, Michael Keogh, Mark Barry, Brian Byrne and Kieran Lillis all on target.

The visitors showed greater attacking intent after the break and were rewarded through scores from Rian O'Neill and Conor Turbitt. But Laois continue to place pressure at the opposite end, with Barry and O'Carroll finishing up with seven and five points respectively.

Matters were far tighter in Kingspan Breffni Park, where a late and fortuitous Christopher Conroy goal sealed a 1-17 to 1-13 win for Cavan over Westmeath.

The hosts struggled initially in an ill-tempered first half that saw Cavan's Paddy Meade dismissed and their difficulties were reflected in a 0-8 to 0-3 interval lead for Westmeath.

Despite resuming well with five points on the bounce, Cavan were rocked as Luke Loughlin grabbed the contest by the scruff of the neck, scoring 1-2 without reply to push the visitors six points clear by the 50th minute.

However, their challenge petered put from that point and with John Heslin dismissed entering injury time, Cavan took full advantage as they finished on the front foot.

The final clash in Division 2 had another thrilling conclusion as Fermanagh edged Roscommon by 0-13 to 0-12 in Brewster Park.

The hosts trailed by the bare minimum entering added time but Ciaran Corrigan completed a wonderful comeback for the Erne county, landing the decisive score in the 73rd minute.

It was the visitors who started on the front foot as they opened up an early five point lead thanks to scores from Cian McKeon, Donie Smith, Brian Stack and Niall Kilroy.

Fermanagh eventually awoke and towering midfielder Eoin Donnelly strode through for a superb point but they still faced an uphill task as they trailed by 0-9 to 0-3 at the break.

A rousing second-half display from the majestic Conall Jones brought his team-mates back into contention. His six points over the duration and three from Corrigan were of massive importance by the final whistle, as the Rossies still await their first league win this year.