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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Kelly hits 12 points against Dublin as Clare reach league semi-finals for first time in four years

The Banner outscored their visitors by 0-15 to 0-6 in the final 30 minutes.

Dublin's Paddy Smyth and Shane O’Donnell of Clare
Dublin's Paddy Smyth and Shane O’Donnell of Clare
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Clare 0-27

Dublin 1-15

EOIN BRENNAN reports from Cusack Park, Ennis.

CLARE ARE THE first team to confirm a place in the Allianz National League semi-finals after finishing their group campaign unbeaten in front of 3,360 in Ennis this afternoon.

Following victories over Carlow, Wexford and Laois along with a battling draw with Kilkenny seven days earlier, the Banner County completed their Leinster rampage with a fully merited nine point triumph over Dublin.

Despite viewing over 30 players in those five outings, Brian Lohan’s side have only grown in confidence as evidenced by nine different scorers, including a 16 point combined haul for midfielders Tony Kelly (12) and David McInerney (4).

Dublin did begin brightly with scorer-in-chief Donal Burke grabbing three points inside as many minutes of the throw-in. But once Clare settled with a trio of Kelly placed balls, they would defy the conditions to add six further unanswered points, two each from McInerney and Domhnall McMahon, by the 21st minute at 0-9 to 0-3.

To their credit, Dublin did manage to fully make up the ground by the break following a late 1-3 rally that included a brilliant opportunist goal from substitute Eamon Dillon at 0-11 to 1-8.

clare-and-dublin-players-scuffle-off-the-ball Clare and Dublin players scuffle off the ball. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

However, it would only be a brief reprieve as a wind-assisted Clare upped the ante considerably in the second period, eventually outscoring their flagging opponents by 0-15 to 0-6 in the final 30 minutes.

Kelly’s frees increasingly widened the gap while Ennis duo Shane O’Donnell and David Reidy chipped in with braces from play before Clare also got a scoring boost from the bench through Aron Shanagher and Gary Cooney before the final whistle.

A last four place awaits the Banner but they are expected to have a three week break before contesting their first National League semi-final in four years.

Scorers for Clare: Tony Kelly (0-12, 10f, 1’65); David McInerney (0-4); Shane O’Donnell (0-3); Domhnall McMahon, David Reidy (0-2 each); Diarmuid Ryan, Aron Shanagher, John Conlon, Gary Cooney (0-1 each)

Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke (0-10, 6f); Eamon Dillon (1-0); Paul Crummey (0-2); Jake Malone, Daire Gray, Ronan Hayes (0-1 each)


1. Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle) 

4. Jack Browne (Ballyea)
3. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
2. Liam Corry (Éire Óg)

5. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
6. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber)
7. Paidi Fitzpatrick (Sixmilebridge)

8. David McInerney (Tulla)
9. Tony Kelly (Ballyea) 

12. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
10. David Reidy (Éire Óg)
11. Domhnall McMahon (Michael Cusack’s)

13. Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin)
14. John Conlon (Clonlara)
15. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
17. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Cunningham (43)
19. Gary Cooney (O’Callaghan’s Mills) for Taylor (58)
20. Kevin Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona) for McMahon (63)
21. Podge Collins (Cratloe) for O’Donnell (65) 
22. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones) for Fitzpatrick (69)


1. Alan Nolan (St Brigid’s)
2. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf)
3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille)
4. Andrew Dunphy (St Brigid’s)

19. Paul Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields)
9. Jake Malone (Cuala)
6. Daire Gray (Whitehall Colmcille)

8. Riain McBride (St Vincent’s)
5. Sean Moran (Cuala)

23. Danny Sutcliffe (St Jude’s)
11. Donal Burke (Na Fianna)
20. Fiontán McGibb (Setanta)

14. Ronan Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes)
12. David Keogh (Thomas Davis)
15. Mark Schutte (Cuala)


21. Eamon Dillon (Naomh Fionnbarra) for Moran (26)
17. Alex O’Neill (Round Tower Clondalkin) for Dunphy (50)
13. Paul Ryan (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for Sutcliffe (54)
10. John Hetherton (St Vincent’s) for Schutte (60)
22. Liam Rushe (St Patrick’s Palmerstown) for McBride (65)

Referee: David Hughes (Carlow)

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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