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The game at a glance

Conor Laverty (Down): Clare's Gary Brennan and Martin McMahon were excellent, but Laverty's input was the difference. Apart from his 1-3 from play, he saved Down with his injury-time goal-line clearance.

Turning point

Only for Laverty's late intervention, Down were out of the championship.

Talking point

Around 70pc of a small crowd were down fans, which was very disappointing for Clare football.

Ref watch

Padraig O'Sullivan had a decent game, though Clare had legitimate criticisms of some of his decisions in the third quarter.

What they said

James McCartan (Down manager):

"In the past, Down have lost in places like this. In the team-talk this morning we said if we can get out of here with a one-point win, it'll be a positive.''

Micheal McDermott (Clare manager):

"We emptied the tank on the field and the effort, courage, drive and desire of every one of the players has to be held up there as a great display for Clare."

Match statistics

Wides: Down 7; Clare 6

Frees: Down 19; Clare 23

Yellow cards: Down 4 (C Laverty, M Clarke, M Poland, D Rooney); Clare 4 (A Clohessy, B Duggan, D Callinan, C O'Connor)

Attendance: 1,640

What next?

Down play Leitrim in the second round on Saturday week; Clare are out.

Irish Independent