By Eoghan Cormican
A strong finish to the first-half ensured Clare maximum points in their Division 1B opener at home to Offaly this afternoon.
An unanswered 1-4 approaching the break proved crucial in putting Clare on the road to victory as Davy Fitzgerald’s side led 1-13 to 0-7 at the break.
The home outfit made their initial break when hitting five on the bounce between the 22nd and 29th minute to move 0-9 to 0-5 in front. A Shane Dooley free subsequently was Offaly’s first score in 13 minutes, but there followed a fine individual goal from Peter Duggan on 34 minutes. Clare were, by this juncture, scoring at their ease and closed out the half with points from Colin Ryan (0-2), John Conlon and David McInerney.
The gap never closed in the second-half and despite Shane Dooley bringing his personal tally to 0-8, an Aaron Shanagher goal in second-half stoppages left 11 points between the teams at the finish.
Scorers for Clare: Colin Ryan (0-8, 0-7 frees); J Conlon (0-4); A Shanagher, P Duggan (1-0 each); B Duggan (0-1 free), D McInerney (0-2 each); C Dillon, D Reidy, C Galvin, S O’Donnell (0-1 each).
Scorers for Offaly: S Dooley(0-8, 0-6 frees, 0-1 '65); S Kinsella, P Camon, P Murphy (0-2 each); C Doughan (0-1, 0-1 free).
Clare: P Kelly; D McInerney, C Dillon, P O’Connor; C Cleary, P Flanagan, Conor Ryan; D Reidy, C Galvin; J Conlon, Colin Ryan, P Duggan; C McGrath, D Honan, S O’Donnell.
Subs: A Cunningham for Honan (35 mins), A Shanagher for Conlon (38), B Duggan for Colin Ryan (51), D Fitzgerald for McGrath (57), J Browne for Colin Ryan (64)
Offaly: J Dempsey; P Rigney, C McDonald, N Wynne; P Camon, C Doughan, S Gardiner; P Guinan, S Kinsella; P Murphy, S Dooley, J Bergin; J Mulrooney, C Egan, J Sampson.
Subs: J O’Connor for Guinan (32 mins), S Quirke for Sampson (35), S Cleary for Mulrooney (63), B Murphy for Bergin (65).
Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny)