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O'Connor goals kill off Clare challenge

Story by John Melvin

Saturday, 8th July, 2017 7:37pm

O'Connor goals kill off Clare challenge

Cillian O'Connor shoots to score Mayo's first goal past Clare goalkeeper Joe Hayes. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

TWO goals in a space of two minutes from Cillian and Diarmuid O'Connor killed off the challenge of Clare early in the second half of their SFC qualifier tie with Mayo at Cusack Park in Ennis.

The first goal came gift-wrapped when Conor Loftus intercepted a free from a Clare defender before finding Cillian O’Connor unmarked inside.

The second goal, just two minutes later, was a well-crafted move which was clinically dispatched to the net by Diarmuid O’Connor in a game which saw both teams pick up two black cards each.

The boot of Andy Moran, who scored three points from play in the first half, was the main reason why Mayo were in touch at the break - 0-8 to 0-6, Clare running at the visitors, and they might well have plundered a goal but for a brilliant save from David Clarke who denied James Malone.

But Clare deserved their interval lead, all but one of their forwards on target playing into the wind in the first half as Mayo, who lost Donal Vaughan to a black card after just three minutes, were struggling to match the pace and intensity of Clare in that first half, with Clare leading by 0-6 to 0-1 at one stage, and Mayo without a score for 16 minutes.

Final score: Clare 0-13, Mayo 2-14

MAYO: D Clarke, B Harrison, G Cafferkey, C Barrett, L Keegan (0-1), C Boyle, D Vaughan, K Higgins (0-1), S O’Shea, A O’Shea (0-1), D O’Connor (1-1), K McLoughlin (0-2), C Loftus, C O’Connor (1-5), A Moran (0-3). Subs used: S Coen for Vaughan (BC, 3), E Regan for A Moran (59), T Parsons for S O'Shea (66), A Dillon for A O’Shea (66), B Harrison (BC, 68).

CLARE: J Hayes, D Ryan, J Hartnett, M McMahon, C O’Dea, G Kelly, C Russell, G Brennan (0-1), C O’Connor, J Malone (0-1), S Collins (0-1), P Lillis, E Cleary (0-3), D Tubridy (0-4), K Sexton (0-2). Subs used: E Collins for Russell (BC, 39), G O'Brien (0-1) for C O’Dea (50), D Nagle for Sexton (BC, 65).

Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).


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