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Cleary's injury-time free snatches Division 3 title for Clare

The Banner and Cian O’Neill’s Kildare side played out a thrilling final at Croke Park.

Kildare's Fergal Conway and Thomas Downes of Clare.
Kildare's Fergal Conway and Thomas Downes of Clare.

Clare 2-17

Kildare 1-19

EOIN CLEARY WAS the hero for Clare as his free seven minutes into injury-time gave them the Allianz League Division 3 title and a one-point victory over Kildare at Croke Park.

It was a thrilling finish in front of 8,362, and after Kildare’s Kevin Feely was sent off for receiving two yellow cards in the second half, the referee dished out two further reds and a black card.

Clare substitute Graham Kelly got a straight red for foul play and Kildare’s Conor Houlihan got a second yellow. Clare’s Martin McMahon was shown black but it didn’t affect the result.

David Tubridy hit the net for Clare in the first-half but they looked to be heading for defeat before Dean Ryan found the net and Enda Coughlan tagged on a point.

Clare held a 1-10 to 1-9 lead at half-time after Tubridy’s wonderful late strike put them in the ascendency.

Neil Flynn hit 1-3 in the opening 11 minutes for Kildare. He scored their goal in the seventh minute when he ghosted in behind the defence and dummied his way past the goalkeeper.

Kildare were in complete control and led 1-5 to 0-2, Tubridy and Jamie Malone got Clare’s early scores. But Clare stuck in it with Tubridy slotting five first-half frees.

And when Gary Brennan caught a high ball and hand-passed to the on-rushing Tubridy there was only going to be one outcome – he goaled to give them a one-point half-time lead.

Kildare pushed for the win in the second half and Flynn made it 1-6 for the day but they couldn’t hold out, Cleary clinching the win at the death.

SCORERSClare: D Tubridy 1-5 (0-5f), E Cleary 0-5 (0-4f), D Ryan 1-0, J Malone 0-2, P Lillis 0-2, K Sexton 0-1, P Collins 0-1, E Coughlan 0-1.
Kildare: N Flynn 1-6 (0-5f), A Tyrrell 0-6 (0-4f), E O’Flaherty 0-2, P Cribbin 0-2, A Smith 0-1, T Moolick 0-1, F Conway 0-1.

Clare

1. Joe Hayes (Lissycasey)

2. Sean Malone (St Joseph’s Milltown)
6. Dean Ryan (Eire Og)
3. Kevin Harnett (Meelick)

10. Sean Collins (Cratloe)
4. Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
7. Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)

8. Gary Brennan (Clondegad)
9. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)

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13. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Milltown)
14. Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
5. Jamie Malone (Corofin)

12. Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare)
11. David Tubridy (Doonbeg)
15. Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes)

Subs:
22. Padraic Collins (Cratloe) for S Malone (35)
17. Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis) for Burke (54)
18. Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for O’Dea (67)
20. Graham Kelly (St Joseph’s Milltown) for Sexton (68).

Kildare

1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)

3. David Hyland (Athy)
4. Ollie Lyons (Celbridge)
7. Ciaran Fitzpatrick (Kilcock)

5. Ryan Houlihan (Moorefield)
6. Fergal Conway (Celbridge)
18. Johnny Byrne (Allenwood)

14. Kevin Feely (Athy)
9. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip)

10. Adam Tyrrell (Moorefield)
12. Eoghan O’Flaherty (Carbury)
8. Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)

13. Alan Smith (Sarsfields)
17. Eamonn Callaghan (Naas)
15. Neil Flynn (Maynooth)

Subs:
19. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge) for Callaghan (46)
20. Kevin Murnaghan (Moorefield) for Tyrrell (54)
25. Eoin Powderly (Kilcock) for Fitzpatrick (71)
23. Daryl Flynn (Moorefield) for Moolick (75)

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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