This Division 3 clash was dominated by the hosts throughout to the delight of Banner team boss Colm Collins. He said: “All you can do is go out and beat the team in front of you and collect the two points. They are a very hardworking bunch of players and we are delighted to have them.”
Clare sprang from the blocks and had seven unanswered points nil by the 23rd minute. Ace marksman David Tubridy provided the two opening scores from placed balls. They were followed by points by Eoin Cleary, Pearse Lillis, Cathal O’Connor, before Tubridy and Cleary added to their tallies.
The hosts played an effective and fluid handpassing game, denying their opponents possession andopportunities for scores. A disappointing Westmeath, eventually got off the mark in the 27th minute when sub Shane Dempsey was on target.
It was quickly followed by two John Heslin points, both from placed balls, narrowing the gap to just four. But Clare finished the half in bullish fashion with Cleary (2) and a fisted effort from Sean Collins firing them 0-10 to 0-3 ahead at the break.
Tubridy increased their lead with a point from play moments after the re-start setting a trend for the remainder of the game. Though Westmeath increased their scoring average after half-time, they never troubled a Clare outfit who clinched the victory with a goal by man-of –the match Jamie Malone, with six minutes remaining. The attacking wing back gathered a Dean Ryan hand-pass and outran two defenders before rattling the net from close range.
E Cleary (0-6) 3 f’s, D Tubridy (0-5), J Malone (1-1), P Lillis, C O’Connor, S Collins, E Coughlan, Gordon Kelly, S Haugh (0-1) each.
J Heslin (0-6) 4 f’s, S Dempsey, J Connellan, K Martin, R Foley (0-1).
J Hayes, S Malone, K Harnett, M McMahon, C O’Dea, Gordon Kelly, J Malone, G Brennan (Capt.), C O’Connor, S Collins, E Cleary, S McGrath, E Coughlan, D Tubridy, P Lillis.
K Sexton for McGrath (h/t), D Ryan for O’Dea (52), P Burke for Cleary (53), Graham Kelly for S Malone (64),S Haugh for Lillis (64), A O’Neill for Collins (66).
D Quinn, K Daly, F Boyle, K Maguire, J Gonoud, K Martin, A Stone, D Corroon, P Sharry, R Connellan, C McCormack, J Dolan, J Connellan, J Heslin, J Egan.
S Dempsey for Stone (20), P Holloway for R Connellan (22), P Greville for McCormack (44), S Flanagan for Gonoud (47), R Foley for Dempsey (59).
J Henry (Mayo).