Thursday 18 January 2018

Clare cruise to under-21 title as Antrim fail to reproduce semi form

Clare 2-28 Antrim 0-12

Davy O'Halloran, Clare, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal against Antrim
Davy O'Halloran, Clare, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal against Antrim
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

HOLDERS Clare retained their All-Ireland under-21 title in a mis-match of a final against Antrim at Semple Stadium, Thurles last night.

Antrim's shock win in the semi-final against Wexford was of dubious value as the Ulster side proved to be totally outclassed by Clare.

A half time score of 2-16 to 0-4 put the respective quality of the two teams in perspective.

Free taker Cathal O'Connell got eight points of that first half total, seven of them from frees.

Clare led by 0-13 to 0-2 when corner forward Davy O'Halloran got the winners' first goal after 23 minutes and Shane O'Donnell hit the back of the Antrim net five minutes later.

Antrim did their best but were a tad over-physical at times.  They had four men booked before half-time and the threat of losing a player to a red card hung over them.

The one-way traffic continued in the second half, and Clare kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Antrim goalie Ger Dixon did well to stop two goal attempts in quick succession by Davy O'Halloran and Cathal Malone after 46 minutes.

Free taker Ciaran Clarke was Antrim's top scorer with 0-7, including a point from play and another from a sideline, but the result was a foregone conclusion long before the end.

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