Bloodless win as Banner blitz Down

CLARE had no problem at Cusack Park, Ennis, yesterday in dismissing the challenge of Down in the Allianz HL Division 2.

The Mourne men’s chances of causing an upset were effectively snuffed out as early as the 18th minute when wing back Kevin McGarry was sent off for a second yellow card offence by referee Tommy Ryan. To add to the visitors’ woes, a second dismissal, just after half-time, this time a straight red for full-forward Aidan Clarke, compounded their predicament.

It was a complete mismatch and the Clare management will not have learned much for the tie. Indeed Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin alluded to this shortly after the final whistle.

“The two sendings-off made a bit of a farce of the game. It’s hard to read into it what we can learn from the game though,” he said.

By half-time the Banner led by 2-8 to 0-1, with goals coming from Caimin Morey and Colin Ryan (penalty). McGarry’s dismissal followed when he was censured for a high challenge on Clare’s John Conlan.

Within minutes of the restart, the Ulster side were down to 13 when a pull by Clarke caught Pat Vaughan on the hand.

There was little to entertain the small crowd thereafter. Clare introduced substitutes and Diarmuid McMahon made his presence felt by scoring a brace of goals. Colin Ryan hit Clare’s other second-half goal when he picked up a loose ball and delivered a low shot to the net.

Scorers for Clare: C Ryan 2-6 (1-0p, 2f), D McMahon 2-0, N O’Connell 0-6f, C Morey 1-1, J Conlon 0-3, F Lynch, C Dillon 0-2 each, J Clancy, S Collins 0-1 each.

Scorers for Down: E Clarke 0-3 (2f), J Coyle 0-2f, C Mageean 0-1.

Clare: D Tuohy; P Vaughan, C Cooney, D O’Donovan; B Bugler, C Chaplin, P O’Connor; N O’Connell, C Dillon; J Conlon, F Lynch, J Clancy; D Honan, C Morey, C Ryan.

Subs: D McMahon for Lynch (41), C McInerney for Honan (46), S Collins for Clancy (52), J McInerney for Cooney (54), M Earley for Vaughan (58).

Down: G Clarke; M Hughes, F Conway, S Ennis; K McGarry, C Woods, M Ennis; A Savage, E Clarke; J Coyle, B Ennis, A O’Prey; S Nicholson, A Clarke, C Mageean.

Subs: D McManus for Nicholson (20), C Coulter for Conway (48), D Toner for O’Prey (53), J Merron for Mageean (56), S Nicholson for Toner (68, inj).

Referee: T Ryan (Tipperary).

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