Steven Miller reporting from O’Moore Park, Portlaise.
EOIN CLEARY HELPED himself to nine points as Clare booked their place in Round 3 of the All-Ireland football qualifiers thanks to an easy win over Laois in O’Moore Park this afternoon.
The sending off of John O’Loughlin on a second yellow card seven minutes into the second half was a major moment in the game as the life went out of the Laois challenge thereafter.
Keelan Sexton and Jamie Malone added goals for Colm Collins’ men as they pushed on to win by 10 points.
Clare got a good start with points from Sexton and Cleary and that duo – along with Malone – caused Laois endless problems over the course of the 70 minutes.
Malone had a goal ruled out for over carrying midway through the first half and then forced a great save out of Graham Brody on another occasion.
Laois kept in touch with Donie Kingston frees and two fine points from captain Stephen Attride but Clare were full value for their 0-11 to 0-8 lead at the break.
O’Loughlin’s sending off – when he tussled with Ciaran Russell – brought an end to Laois’s challenge and Malone got the goal his efforts deserved in the 47th minute.
There was only one winner thereafter with Sexton adding second goal with 10 minutes remaining.
Laois tagged on a couple of late points but there was no doubting Clare’s superiority and they look forward to a Round 3 game next weekend.
Scorers for Clare: Eoin Cleary 0-9 (5f, two ’45s), Keelan Sexton 1-2 (1f), Jamie Malone 1-1, Cathal O’Connor and Pearce Lillis and Gary Brennan 0-2 each.
Scorers for Laois: Donie Kingston 0-8 (7f), Stephen Attride 0-3, Gary Walsh 0-1 (1f), David Conway 0-1 and Colm Begley 0-1
1. Graham Brody
2. Darren Strong
3. Mark Timmons
4. Trevor Collins
5. Eoin Buggie
6. Padraig McMahon
7. Colm Begley
8. Brendan Quigley
9. John O’Loughlin
10. Alan Farrell
11. David Conway
12. Damien O’Connor
13. Stephen Attride
14. Donie Kingston
15. Gary Walsh
Niall Donoher for O’Connor (half-time),
James Kelly for Buggie (49 mins)
Ross Munnelly for Walsh (50 mins)
Paul Kingston for Conway (50 mins)
James Finn for Quigley (55 mins)
Brian Daly for Attride (60 mins)
1. Joe Hayes
2. Dean Ryan
3. Kevin Harnett
4. Gordon Kelly
6. Sean Collins
7. Martin McMahon
8. Ciaran Russell
9. Gary Brennan
11. Jamie Malone
12. Cian O’Dea
13. Eoin Cleary
14. David Tubridy
15. Keelan Sexton
John Hayes for Russell (57 mins)
Gearoid O’Brien for Turbidy (57 mins)
Seanie Malone for Sexton (63 mins)
Darren Nagle for O’Dea (63 mins)
Eoghan Collins for Harnett (blood sub – 64 mins)
Kieran Malone for Lillis (68 mins)
Darragh Bohannon for S Collins (68 mins)
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)
The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!