Defeat to Laois marks end of O'Dwyer tenure as Clare boss

Defeat to Laois marks end of O'Dwyer tenure as Clare boss

Laois 3-17 Clare 0-10

Mick O'Dwyer called time on his career as Clare senior football manager in the wake of a 16-point defeat to Laois at Cusack Park, Ennis this afternoon.

Clare started this game brightly and led by 0-6 to 0-2 after 25 minutes, but in truth Laois stormed to victory from that point on, the hosts held to just four points for the remainder of the game, as Justin McNulty's charges firmly booked their place in the Round 3 Qualifier draw.

Like they did against Carlow in the previous round, Laois got off to a sluggish start, but once John O'Loughlin provided the goal required before the break, the O'Moore's kicked on.

O'Loughlin's goal came in a spell, where the visitors gained total control before and after the break, with the visitors bagging 2-10 unanswered between the 27th and 49th minutes.

Laois opened the scoring thanks to a Darren Strong point, but it would be a further 15 minutes before the Midlanders would add to their tally, as Clare were sharpest in front of the posts.

A brace of David Tubridy points, coupled with an excellent effort from play for Rory Donnelly handed O'Dwyer's side a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after eight and a half minutes.

Laois were hugely wasteful in attack, and registered six wides by the 12th minute, in contrast Alan Clohessy mis-hit for the hosts, to ensure their first wide in the 16th minute.

Ross Munnelly's first of four points on the day, cut the gap to the minimum, but Clare were well up for this game.

Captain Gary Brennan and Cathal O'Connor impressed in the midfield sector, while up front Laois were handed huge problems with Donnelly's second point pushing Clare to a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after 21 minutes.

Clare were hungry for scores with Mark Timmons forced to clear the ball off the line, after a Clohessy effort, while Brennan's 24th minute shot came off the post.

The Banner County continued to show more pace and urgency than their opponents and were rewarded with a fine point from defender Graham Kelly to push them four points clear with 10 and a half minutes to go before the break.

But Laois got their act together, and inspired by a point from Strong they showed signs of things to come as they firmly upped their game.

Munnelly added his second point, before the Clare net was rocked for the first time after Donal Kingston set up John O'Loughlin, with the Laois captain sending a rasping shot past Clare keeper Joe Hayes.

O'Loughlin's effort handing Laois the lead in the 33rd minute, one they wouldn't relinquish.

A trio of points finished the half in perfect fashion, with Kingston and Meredith on target to hand Laois a 1-7 to 0-6 lead.

From a four-point deficit, the O'Moore's had swung it to a four-point lead at the break.

Laois continued to show no mercy on the restart, with a fisted point from O'Loughlin getting the second half off to a flying start.

Laois cleaned up at midfield, and swiftly supplied their attack, with Munnelly claiming his third point, before a David Conway goal pushed the visitors into a 2-9 to 0-6 lead in the 38th minute.

Padraig Clancy, Kieran Lillis and Munnelly added further scores to ensure a 2-12 to 0-6 score-line 14 minutes into the half, and Clare with just three attacks in this spell, two of them yielding wides.

Tubridy broke the scoring duck approaching the end of the third quarter, but Laois had that extra edge.

Scores from Colm Begley, debutants Tom Shiel and Evan Costello opened up a 16-point gap with seven minutes remaining.

Clare kept in touch thanks to Tubridy, but Munnelly sealed the issue with a well-placed 70th minute shot, to complete the Laois hat-trick.

Substitute Shane Ryan claimed a point for Clare late on, but it was too little too late, as Clare exited the 2013 Championship, and Laois booked a place in Monday week's Round 3 draw.

Scorers for Laois: R Munnelly (2f) 1-4; D Conway, J O'Loughlin 1-1 each; D Strong 0-3; D Kingston 0-2; K Lillis, P Clancy, C Meredith, C Begley, E Costello (1f), T Shiel (1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: D Tubridy (5f) 0-6; R Donnelly 0-3; S Ryan, Graham Kelly 0-1 each.

LAOIS: E Culliton; P O'Leary, M Timmons, P Begley; D Strong, K Lillis, P McMahon; J O'Loughlin, P Clancy; B Sheehan, C Meredith, C Begley; R Munnelly, D Kingston, D Conway. Subs: C Kelly for Kingston (46); E Costello for Kelly (51); D Booth for P Begley (53); C Boyle for Clancy (54); T Shiel for C Begley (57).

CLARE: J Hayes; Gordon Kelly, L Healy, M McMahon; D Callinan, J Hayes, Graham Kelly; G Brennan, C O'Connor; S McGrath, G Quinlan, A Clohessy; D Tubridy, I McInerney, R Donnelly. Subs: C Dixon for Graham Kelly (HT); C Dunning for Clohessy (HT); S Ryan for McGrath (48); J Keane for O'Connor (59); P McMahon for Brennan (63).

REFEREE: Conor Lane (Cork)

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