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Kildare narrowly get past a spirited Clare after a huge turnaround in Ennis

The hosts suffer a second-half collapse but leave the championship with their heads held high.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Kildare 0-13

Clare 0-12

KILDARE ENGINEERED A STERLING second-half comeback to kick seven unanswered points and break Clare hearts in the sides’ All-Ireland SFC Qualifier Round 3B clash at Dr. Cusack Park.

It was tight affair for much of the opening period. A free from David Tubridy put three between the teams after half an hour but Kildare responded again to cut the deficit. But, two scores from Shane McGrath ensured the Banner finished the first half with a flourish and led 0-07 to 0-04 at the interval. Their performance was so good that they left the field to a standing ovation.

After the break, Clare kept their composure through the opening exchanges and even though Kildare’s Alan Smith was impressive from placed balls, the home side weren’t slowing down. McGrath was denied a goal by Mark Donnellan but Tubridy sent over the resultant ’45. Moments later, Gary Brennan put four points between the sides before Tubridy added two more scores to make it a six-point game.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

But, incredibly, it proved Clare’s last score as Kildare eventually rolled their sleeves up. Eoghan O’Flaherty and Smith tapped over scores to reduce the lead to three and with ten minutes to play, Paddy Brophy slotted over another score to leave just a solitary point between them.

Clare badly needed to stop the rot but couldn’t manufacture a score. Instead, Eamon Callaghan levelled for Kildare while O’Flaherty grabbed the all-important leading score with five minutes of normal time remaining.

With practically the last kick, Tubridy had a chance to level from a 49m free but he failed to hit the target.

Jason Ryan’s side march on to the next phase of the qualifiers but Clare will rightly take plenty of heart from what was an impressive championship showing.

Scorers for Kildare: Alan Smith 0-6 (0-1f), Eoghan O’Flaherty 0-3, Eamonn Callaghan 0-2, Padraig O’Neill and Paddy Brophy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: David Tubridy 0-4 (0-3f, 0-1’45), Garry Brennan and Shane McGrath 0-2 each, Martin McMahon, Enda Coughlan, Podge Collins and Rory Donnelly 0-1 each.

KILDARE
1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)

2. Ciaran Fitzpatrick (Kilcock)
3. Mick O’Grady (Celbridge)
4. Ollie Lyons (Celbridge)

5. Emmet Bolton (Eadestown)
6. Fergal Conway (Celbridge)
7. Keith Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)

8. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip)
9. Gary White (Sarsfields)

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10. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge)
11. Niall Kelly (Athy)
12. Padraig O’Neill (St Laurence’s)

13. Eamonn Callaghan (Naas)
14. Padraig Fogarty (St Laurence’s)
15. Eoghan O’Flaherty (Carbury)

Subs: Tomás O’Connor for Fogarty (31 mins), Eoghan O’Flaherty for White (43), Paddy Brophy for Kelly (49), Eoin Doyle for O’Grady (52), Sean Hurley for Moolick (58), Mikey Conway for Conway (70).

CLARE
1. Joe Hayes (Lissycasey)

2. Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
3. Kevin Harnett (Meelick)
4. Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

5. Jamie Malone (Corofin)
6. Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)
7. Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg)

8. Gary Brennan (Clondegad) (Capt)
9. Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis)

10. Sean Collins (Cratloe)
11. Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
12. Shane Brennan (Clondegad)

13. Padraic Collins (Cratloe)
14. David Tubridy (Doonbeg)
15. Rory Donnelly (Cooraclare)

Subs: Dean Ryan for S Collins (56 mins), Eoin Cleary for Donnelly (57), Martin O’Leary for Coughlan (60), Shane McNelis for Hickey (64), Podge McMahon for Brennan (66), Laurence Healy for Russell (70).

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan).

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