Competent Clare ease way past Dublin's wide boys
CLARE 1-23 DUBLIN 0-9 Niall Scully All-Ireland SHC qualifier THERE was no sign of the famous 'Clare shout' at Parnell Park on Saturday evening as a whisper of applause greeted Dickie Murphy's final whistle which confirmed the Banner county's comfortable victory in their opening All-Ireland SHC qualifier.
A crowd of 3,000 were in the sun-splashed Donnycarney venue, and they did their best to lift the embattled Dubs, who showed bottles of spirit under new manager Tommy Naughton.
However, the Dubs - who have now suffered 13 successive defeats in competitive fare - know there's a long, long road ahead before they can begin to reach Clare's location.
However, the hosts showed flashes of potential and came near to poaching two goals in a fairly even first half.
Firstly, team captain David Curtin prodded wide at the church end after the sliotar had tumbled from Davy Fitzgerald's grasp, and then Emmet Carroll, racing in from the left, had a rasping drive touched behind by the renowned 'keeper.
Dublin's net-minder Gary Maguire made the save-of-the-match to foil the busy Tony Carmody six minutes before the break, but just 16 seconds after that stop, Daithí O'Connell's goal crushed Dublin's hearts.
After that, a competent Clare side kept score-board operator, Malachy Keena, busy.
Dublin's lone point from play in the second period came from Peadar Carton, but fifteen wides in the 70 minutes, two more than the visitors, showed the hosts enjoyed a fair slice of the cake.
SCORERS - Clare: N Gilligan 0-6 (3f), T Carmody 0-5, D McMahon 0-4, D O'Connell 1-0, T Griffin, D Forde 0-2 each, D Clancy, D O'Rourke, B O'Connell, S McMahon (f) 0-1 each. Dublin: D Curtin 0-5 (5f), K Flynn 0-2 (1f), R Fallon (f), P Carton 0-1 each.
CLARE - D Fitzgerald; B Quinn, B Lohan, F Lohan; C Forde, S McMahon, G Quinn; B O'Connell, D Forde; D McMahon, T Griffin, A Markham; T Carmody, N Gilligan, D O'Connell. Subs: C Plunkett for Markham; D Hoey for G Quinn; A Quinn for Griffin; D O'Rourke for D O'Connell; D Clancy for B O'Connell.
DUBLIN - G Maguire; G O'Meara, S Hiney, J Cullen; D O'Reilly, R Fallon, D Sweeney; T Moore, M Carton; S McDonnell, D Curtin, D Russell; E Carroll, L Ryan, K Flynn. Subs: T Sweeney for McDonnell; E Moran for Curtin; P Carton for Ryan; S Mullen for M Carton.
REF - D Murphy (Wexford).