Clare dug deep to claim their first win of the National League campaign with a deserved one-point success over 14-man Kildare in Ennis.
The Banner County didn’t hit the front until the 51st minute when captain Eoin Cleary made it 0-9 to 0-8, but from there a brace of inspirational points from Keelan Sexton buttressed them for everything Kildare threw at them after Paddy Brophy was red-carded 13 minutes from time.
The Lilywhites led by three points on a couple of occasions in the first half on the back of good scores by Brophy and Niall Kelly, but Clare recovered to leave the sides level at 0-6 apiece at the break.
With Ciaran Russell thundering into the game at midfield, Clare hit four out of the last five points through Cleary (2), Sexton, and David Tubridy to level things up.
In the second half, the home side’s resolve was the key ingredient to victory as they restricted Kildare to just one point from play in the opening minute, while the points down the other end by Gearóid O’Brien, Cleary, and Sexton guided Colm Collins’ side home.
Scorers for Clare: K Sexton (0-4), G O’Brien (0-3), E Cleary (0-3, 1f), D Tubridy (0-1f).
Scorers for Kildare: K Feely (0-4, 3f), N Flynn (0-2f), P Brophy (0-2), J Robinson (0-1), N Kelly (0-1).
CLARE: S Ryan; K Harnett, C Brennan, G Kelly; S Collins, P Lillis, D Ryan; C Russell, C O’Connor; D Coughlan, K Sexton, G O’Brien; C O’Deam E Cleary, D Tubridy.
Subs: E McMahon for O’Connor (51), C Murray for Coughlan (57), E Collins for Ryan (71).
KILDARE: M Donnellan; P Kelly, M O’Grady, E Doyle; C Kavanagh, J Byrne, S Ryan; K Feely, L Power; P Brophy, N Kelly, P Cribbin; J Robinson, D Flynn, N Flynn.
Subs: K Flynn for P Kelly (22), K Cribbin for N Flynn (Half-Time), J Hyland for Robinson (45), A Tyrell for Cribbin (56), J Teacy for N Kelly (63).
Referee: Barry Judge (Sligo)