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.
Only for Laverty's late intervention, Down were out of the championship.
Around 70pc of a small crowd were down fans, which was very disappointing for Clare football.
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."
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)
Down play Leitrim in the second round on Saturday week; Clare are out.