Clare live up to favourites label

Clare 5-21 Down 0-09, Cusack Park

Clare justified their heavy favourites’ tag as they scored a comprehensive 5-21 to 0-09 victory over Down in their NHL Division 1A opener in Ennis this afternoon.

Anthony Daly’s side, 1/80 on to beat the Mourne men, eased out to a big win as Éire Óg corner forward Barry Nugent (2-04) and Inagh centre forward Tony Carmody (1-06) top-scored at Cusack Park.

Playing into the town end, Clare raced into a 2-01 to no score lead after 6 minutes. Nugent clipped over the opening point before a long range free from right half back Pat Donnellan, who was making his league debut, was flicked to the Down net by Andrew Quinn on 3 minutes.

Nugent cut through to goal from 20 yards out on six minutes.

Brendan McGourty soon added a free for the visitors, but Clare were in dominant form, despite hitting ten wides by the half-hour. Carmody kicked home the Banner’s third goal on 21 minutes after Down ‘keeper Graham Clarke had parried a shot from Tony Griffin.

Points from Andy Savage, Eoin McGuinness, Darren Flynn and McGourty helped Down go in at the break with a pared down deficit – 0-05 to 3-07.

McGuinness opened the scoring in the second half, but three successive white flags from Griffin (0-02) and Nugent showed Clare’s intent.

McGuinness and McGourty could only hit a further three points between them – two from frees – as the Down challenge wilted in the final half-hour.

Nugent bagged his second goal midway through the half. After Donnellan had opened his account from 65 yards out, Ballycran forward McGourty landed the Mourne men’s final point at 0-09 to 4-15 down. From then on, it was all Clare. Diarmuid McMahon, having pointed seconds earlier, flashed home a 57th-minute goal after a brilliant run.

James McInerney, Carmody, Plunkett and Brian O’Connell all landed scores in the closing 10 minutes to crown an impressive display from Daly’s charges.

More in this Section

Midfielder Mount may make match against LiverpoolMidfielder Mount may make match against Liverpool

French lieutenants: Who is in charge of French World Cup squad?French lieutenants: Who is in charge of French World Cup squad?

World Cup Referees: The 21st team in JapanWorld Cup Referees: The 21st team in Japan

Finishing school: Jacob Stockdale takes talents to Rugby World CupFinishing school: Jacob Stockdale takes talents to Rugby World Cup


Lifestyle

My seven-year-old stood tall, whispered “bravery” to herself and stepped into the pitch-black dungeon. I stood there and watched her disappear.Learner Dad: I hate nostalgia, I think it’s mawkish and sentimental

Dr Phil Kieran says head lice is incredibly common among school children and offers practical advice on how to remove the crawlers with easy treatments.Tackling head lice: Easy treatments to remove itchy creepers

Gráinne Healy only started running regularly a few years ago. She’s already completed 50 parkruns. She tells Rowena Walsh what motivates her.Ageing with Attitude: Parkruns and quiet Friday nights

Against popular wisdom and flying a plane made from bamboo, wire and bike handlebars, a Co Antrim woman blazed a sky trail for aviation and for the independence of women, writes Bette BrowneMagnificent Lilian Bland blazed a trail for independence of women in her plane of bamboo

More From The Irish Examiner