Clare's Cathal O'COnnor gets the ball away under pressure. Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO
Winning On The Double

Clare footballers launch comeback to defeat Laois and complete brilliant Banner GAA weekend

Clare’s footballers followed the example of their hurlers last night.

Clare 0-14
Laois 1-10

John Fallon reports from Cusack Park in Ennis

PODGE COLLINS CAME off the bench in the second-half to help secure a famous win for Clare and crown a remarkable weekend for the Banner men.

Collins, who starred in the hurling win over Limerick on Saturday night, was brought to steer home a side managed by his father Colm as they scored only their fifth ever win in 18 qualifier matches.

Clare held Laois scoreless in the final quarter to secure a deserved win in a game played in difficult circumstances.

A goal from wing-back Stephen Attride was the decisive score of the opening half as Laois went in leading by 1-7 to 0-7 at the break.

The Killeshin clubman struck five minutes from the interval after a good move involving Conor Meredith, Colm Begley and Donie Kingston.

The sides were level three times prior to that with early scores from John O’Loughlin and Donie Kingston for Laois being cancelled by Eoin Cleary and Cathal O’Connor.

Both sides defended in big numbers but Laois pulled 0-6 to 0-3 in front after 22 minutes.

But the Clare response was admirable and efforts from Cleary, Jamie Malone and Keelan Sexton, a Leaving Cert student this summer, tied the sides seven minutes from the interval.

Then Attride struck for his goal but Malone responded with his third point of the half for Clare, although O’Loughlin’s second point left them 1-7 to 0-7 to the good at the interval.

Cleary and O’Loughlin exchanged points in the third quarter as conditions got even more difficult as the rain lashed down.

David Tubridy landed a free for Clare just before they introduced dual star Podge Collins, fresh from the hurling qualifier win over Limerick the previous night, in a bid to open a crowded Laois defence.

Points from Paul Cahillane and Donie Kingston pushed Laois four ahead after 51 minutes but they didn’t score again as Clare came with a winning surge.

Gary Brennan and Eoin Cleary pointed and then with four minutes left Shane Hickey found the range before Sean Malone levelled the match a minute later.

The winner came as the game slipped into five minutes of stoppage time when Shane McGrath pointed from the left and Laois were unable to save their season.

Scorers for Clare: E Cleary 0-4 (0-4f), J Malone 0-3, G Brennan 0-1 (0-1f), C O’Connor 0-1, K Sexton 0-1, D Tubridy 0-1 (0-1f), S Hickey 0-1, S Malone 0-1, S McGrath 0-1.

Scorers for Laois: J O’Loughlin 0-3, D Kingston 0-3 (0-2f), S Attride 1-0, C Meredith 0-1, D Conway 0-1, D Strong 0-1, P Cahillane 0-1 (0-1f).


1. Joe Hayes (Lissycasey)

21. Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
3. Kevin Hartnett (Meelick)
4. Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

7. Sean Collins (Cratloe)
6. Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Milltown)
5. Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)

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

10. Jamie Malone (Corofin)
11. Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
12. Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare)

13. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Milltown)
14. David Tubridy (Doonbeg)
15. Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes)


2. Dean Ryan (Eire Og Ennis) for Burke (35)
18. Padraic Collins (Cratloe) for Tubridy (48)
19. Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Sexton (55)
17. Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis) for O’Connor (56)
20. Sean Malone (St Joseph’s Milltown) for Lillis (65)
14. Tubridy for J Malone (74, black card)


1. Graham Brody (Portlaoise)

2. Damien O’Connor (Timahoe)
3. Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen)
4. Gearoid Hanrahan (Mountmellick)

5. Stephen Attride (Killeshin)
6. Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise)
7. Darren Strong (Emo)

8. Brendan Quigley (Timahoe)
9. John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s)

26. Kevin Meaney (Arles Kilcruise)
14. Colm Begley (Stradbally)
12. Paul Cahillane (Portlaoise)

13. Conor Meredith (O’Dempsey’s)
11. Donal Kingston (Arles Kilcruise)
15. David Conway (Arles Kilcruise)


21. Alan Farrell (Ballylinan) for Strong (42, black card)
19. Matthew Campion (St Joseph’s) for Begley (45)
17. Gary Walsh (Ballylinan) for Conway (49)7
20. Ross Munnelly (Arles Kilcruise) for Cahillane (51)
25. Jamie Farrell (Ballylinan) for Meaney (62)

Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)

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