| 10.9°C Dublin

Big Banner win keeps survival hopes alive

Clare 1-14 Cavan 0-15

Close

John Conlon of Clare in action against Padraig Faulkner of Cavan. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

John Conlon of Clare in action against Padraig Faulkner of Cavan. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

John Conlon of Clare in action against Padraig Faulkner of Cavan. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Clare produced a sleeves-rolled-up display to deservedly notch a first-ever National League victory over hosts Cavan yesterday and keep their hopes of survival alive.

In an exciting top-versus-bottom Division 2 clash at Breffni Park, the Munstermen tore up the script.

Close

Conor Madden of Cavan in action against Tony Kelly of Clare. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Conor Madden of Cavan in action against Tony Kelly of Clare. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Conor Madden of Cavan in action against Tony Kelly of Clare. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

The visitors took advantage of powder puff tackling which resulted in a 12th-minute goal from the direct-running Joe McGann.

Using the wind to good advantage, Clare remained on the front foot and a classy point by Cian O'Dea made it a five-point game.

Amidst teeming hailstones, the game continued to be a nip and tuck affair but the game was Clare's to lose at the interval as they led by 1-8 to 0-5.

Cavan were jet-propelled on the restart and four points in as many minutes - including a gem from defender Stephen Murray - served to reduce Clare's lead to two.

Close

Oisin Pierson of Cavan in action against Jack Browne of Clare. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Oisin Pierson of Cavan in action against Jack Browne of Clare. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Oisin Pierson of Cavan in action against Jack Browne of Clare. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Clare refused to reach for the panic button though and points from the impressive Cian O'Dea and centre-back Pearse Lillis inside 80 seconds stopped the rot.

On an increasingly glue-like surface, the game evolved into one of survival of the fittest with the hosts doing most of the running but Clare digging their heels in.

With 15 minutes remaining, Clare looked increasingly comfortable in leading by 1-13 to 0-12 thanks to their excellent defending and admirable ball retention.

For every punch Cavan landed, the Banner responded in kind and another classy point from David Tubridy left the spectre of an upset all the more luminous.

Cavan dominated possession in the final 15 minutes, but with 14 men behind the ball the Banner stubbornly refused to be lowered. And Clare had a sting in their tail with the impressive Tubridy's 75th-minute effort sealing the deal for the underdogs.

Scorers - Clare: E Cleary 0-5 (3f); D Tubridy 0-4 (f); J McGann 1-0; C O'Dea, C Russell 0-2 each, P Lillis 0-1. Cavan: O Pierson 0-7 (5f); Ciaran Brady 0-2; J Smith, B Magee (f), S Murray, O Kiernan, G McKiernan, M Reilly 0-1 each.

Clare - S Ryan 7; K Hartnett 6, C Brennan 6, G Kelly 6; S Collins 7, P Lillis 7, A Sweeney 6; C Russell 7, C O'Connor 8; C O'Dea 8, K Sexton 7, D Coughlan 7; E Cleary 8, D Tubridy 8, J McGann 7. Subs: G O'Brien 6 for D Coughlan (59); C O' hAinféin 6 for A Sweeney (63); C Downes for J McGann (71).

Cavan - R Galligan 8; C Madden 6, P Faulkner 7, K Brady 5; G Smith 6, Ciaran Brady 7, O Kiernan 7; T Galligan 6, C Conroy 6; E Doughty 6, G McKiernan 6, M Reilly 7; O Pierson 8, J Smith 6, B Magee 6. Subs: S Murray 6 for K Brady (inj, 30); R Connolly 6 for J Smith (55); B Kelly 5 for B Magee (62); Conor Brady 5 for C Conroy (65).

Ref - J Henry (Mayo).

Indo Sport