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Keelan Sexton scored Clare's goal against Fermanagh. Photograph by John Kelly.

Footballers well beaten in Enniskillen

Fermanagh 0-18 Clare 1-10

A disappointing second half display, during which Clare were outscored 0-10 to 1-3 by Fermanagh, contributed significantly to their second league defeat of the 2017 season. With upcoming games away to Kildare next weekend and at home to Meath on Sunday fortnight, Clare now sit on five points.

They were outplayed in most sectors by Fermanagh who looked driven and focused on picking up two crucial points.

Following an intense first half, Fermanagh led 0-8 to 0-7 at half-time. Clare played some good football in patches but frustratingly they lost possession on a couple of occasions, which led directly to points for the home county.

Eoin Cleary pointed 0-5 in the first half, 0-4 from frees, while David Tubridy pointed 0-2, 0-1 from play. The Doonbeg forwards point from play was Clare’s first score and he put it over in the tenth minute.

Fermanagh had a more even scoring spread in that half with Seán Quigley (0-3), centre-back Barry Mulrone, Paul McCusker, Eddie Courtney, Ryan Jones and Tomás Corrigan all pointed.

Pete McGrath’s team were dealt a big blow when Corrigan, who notched their first point, was replaced minutes later by Eoin McManus, having picked up an injury.

Gordon Kelly started in the full-back line, in the first half but played at centre-back as he shadowed Quigley, while Martin McMahon, who started at centre-back, played a predominantly free role.

One of Clare’s issues in that half was losing valuable possession, which left them vulnerable to being hit on the break.

The winners started the second half with points from Eddie Courtney, Aidan Breen and Seán Quigley to extend their advantage to four points. Clare’s Gordon Kelly blocked Quigley superbly, at the expense of a 45, although Fermanagh were certain it was a foot block.

Clare needed a goal and Keelan Sexton finished an excellent move, involving Cian O’Dea and Jamie Malone. When Sexton was fouled two minutes later, Tubridy pointed the free and the teams were level, 0-11 to 1-8.

However Fermanagh took over again, adding seven points in the remaining 23 minutes, while Clare tagged on just two from Malone and Tubridy.

Clare turned over too much possession and also struggled at times on their own kick out.

A more detailed report will be published in Thursday’s Clare Champion.

Clare: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Kevin Harnett (Meelick),Gordon Kelly (Miltown), Dean Ryan (Éire Óg); Liam Markham (Cratloe), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); John Hayes (Kilrush); Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen), Gary Brennan (Clondegad-captain); Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora), Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Shane Brennan (Clondegad); Eoin Cleary (Miltown), David Tubridy (Doonbeg), Jamie Malone (Corofin).

Subs: David Egan (Kilmihil) for Cian O’Dea (53), Eoghan Collins (Ballyhaunis) for John Hayes (61), Seanie Malone (Miltown) for Eoin Cleary (64), Darren Nagle (Liscannor) for Dean Ryan (65).

Scorers: Eoin Cleary (0-5, 4f), David Tubridy (0-4, 2f), Keelan Sexton (1-0), Jamie Malone (0-1).

Yellow cards: Dean Ryan, Cathal O’Connor, David Egan.

Fermanagh: Thomas Treacy; Mickey Jones, Che Cullen, Kane Connor; Conor P Murphy, Barry Mulrone, Aidan Breen; Eoin Connolly (captain), Lee Cullen; Paul McCusker, Ryan Jones, Ryan Lyons; Eddie Courtney, Seán Quigley, Tomás Corrigan.

Subs: Eoin McManus for Tomás Corrigan (-inj), Declan McCusker for Conor P Murphy (49), James McMahon for Ryan Lyons (50), Darryl Keenan for Eoin McManus (57-inj), Tommy McCaffrey for Eddie Courtney (70), Cathal Beacom for Paul McCusker (71).

Scorers: Seán Quigley (0-8, 5f, 2 45), Aidan Breen (0-3), Eddie Courtney, Barry Mulrone (0-2 each), Paul McCusker, Ryan Jones, Tomás Corrgan (0-1 each).

Yellow cards: Mickey Jones, Kane Connor, Ryan Jones, Aidan Breen.

Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo).

About Peter O'Connell

West Clare native Peter O'Connell has worked for The Clare Champion for 12 years and covers everything from sport, especially GAA, news, features and has been even known to branch into the fashion scene on occasion.

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