Sunday 12th February 2017
Clare 2-11 Down 0-11
Two first-half goals proved the difference as Clare claimed their first win in Division 2 at Down’s expense in Ennis this afternoon.
Shane Brennan and the superb David Tubridy struck the goals for Colm Collins’ side at the beginning and end of the first period to have the Ulster outfit on the back foot throughout this contest.
Even a spirited comeback in the last quarter couldn’t get the visitors close to their opponents in this one, with three Eoin Cleary points in the second-half providing Clare with a cushion.
The hosts enjoyed a dream start to this contest with a Tubridy assisting Brennan for a well-taken goal inside two minutes.
Tubridy would add a point to the havoc he wreaked early on in the Down defence, cancelling out Aidan Carr’s first for the Mourne men, as Jamie Malone sent over two more for Clare to outweigh Shay Millar’s effort.
Down’s third a final score of a disappointing first-half display came via Pat Havern and the home side made sure to take full advantage as Tubridy (2) and Sean Collins made it a four-point game in injury-time.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Tubridy lashed home his side’s second goal deep in the added minutes, sending Clare in with a 10-point advantage.
Eamonn Burns introduced Conor Maginn and Darragh O’Hanlon for the second-half to try and improve matters for his side, but there three-point run would be wiped out by Eoin Cleary at the other end in a matter of minutes.
Scores from Cathal Magee and Barry O’Hagan started a run of six unanswered points from the trailers, which also saw Kilcoo sharpshooter Ryan Johnston getting off the mark.
Magee would make it a six-point game heading into the closing stages but the Banner men were in no mood to concede goals and held on comfortably for their first win of the campaign.