All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers – Clare 2-12 Roscommon 1-9

Clare defeated Roscommon by 2-12 to 1-9 in Round 4A of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers on Saturday July 23rd at Pearse Stadium Salthill.


Roscommon disappoint as Clare’s footballers make history

By Brendan O’Brien, Pearse Stadium for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Clare 2-12 Roscommon 1-9

Clare made a little bit of history in Salthill this afternoon, securing a first ever place in an All-Ireland football championship quarter-final at the expense of a Roscommon side whose season petered out tamely after a promising league campaign.

The Banner did make the All-Ireland semi-final as Munster champions in 1992 but this is the first time the county has made the last eight since the back door format was introduced back in 2001 and they made it by playing some superb football.

Clare were exceptional in the first-half, taking the game to Roscommon throughout despite the fact that they faced into a stiff wind and the attempts of the Connacht side to push up on their kickouts and stem their attacks at source.

The problem for Roscommon was that they were ridiculously open at the back which meant that Clare had ample space and time to do damage on those occasions when they were able to manoeuvre possession beyond their own half.

They had already sniffed about Darren O’Malley’s net by the time David Tubridy scored the first goal seven minutes in and another followed on 24 minutes when Jamie Malone finished off a team effort that will be a contender for score of the summer.

Gary Brennan hadn’t much of a hand in either of those scores but the dynamic midfielder had a key role in all half-dozen of Clare’s point in the period. The man was a colossus but he had plenty of support from Colm Collins’ well-oiled side.

Roscommon, by way of contrast, looked rudderless and clueless. So good going forward during the league, they reverted to mass defence against Galway and they appeared lost between those two stools back on this return to Pearse Stadium.

Management made a raft of changes to the team that appeared in the programme but there was no kick in them, not even when Clare’s Cathal O’Connor was harshly sent off on a straight red after catching Niall Daly late with what was an admittedly late tackle after 37 minutes.

That at least set the tone for a scrappy second period that was marked by cards of all three colours. Roscommon’s Kevin Higgins was the next to walk, for a black. Teammates Sean Mullooly and David Murray would follow for a second yellow and a black respectively.

Enda Smith did bring Roscommon back to within three points with his 55th-minute goal but it was a rare score in a low-scoring half until Clare, who spurned a number of good scoring opportunities in the third quarter, rediscovered their rhythm with five of the last seven points.

Croke Park and the last eight awaits them. What a story!

Scorers for Clare: E Cleary (0-6, 2 frees); D Tubridy (1-2, 0-1 free); J Malone (1-0); D Ryan, G Brennan, S McGrath and S Malone (all 0-1).

Scorers for Roscommon: E Smith (1-1); C Murtagh (0-3 frees); S Mullooly and C Devaney (both 0-1); N Kilroy, D Shine and D Murtagh (all 0-1 frees).

Clare: J Hayes; M McMahon, K Harnett, S Hickey; D Ryan, G Kelly, C O’Dea; G Brennan, C O’Connor; J Malone, K Sexton, S Collins; P Lillis, D Tubridy, E Cleary
Subs: P Collins for Tubridy (48); S McGrath for Lillis (52); E Coughlan for Sexton (61); S Malone for Cleary (74); P Burke for S Collins (75); D Burke for Malone (76).

Roscommon: D O’Malley; S McDermott, S Mullooly, N McInerney; J McManus, N Daly, D Murray; D Keenan, C Compton; U Harney, N Kilroy, E Smith; C Cregg, D Shine, C Murtagh
Subs: T Corcoran for Compton (32); C Connolly for Murtagh and K Higgins for Harney (both HT); D Murtagh for Cregg (42); F Cregg for Shine (68).

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)







Team News


They meet for the first time in a competitive encounter since Round 6 of the 2011 Allianz Football League Division 4 campaign when Roscommon won by 0-16 to 1-10 in Ennis.

Both counties have made great progress since then, with Roscommon now a Division 1 side while Clare won promotion to Division 2 this year.

Roscommon last reached the All-Ireland quarter-finals in 2010, having won the Connacht title. Clare reached the All-Ireland semi-finals as Munster champions in 1992. The new championship system, which introduced quarter-finals, was launched in 2001.

HOW THEY GOT HERE
Roscommon 1-15 New York 0-17, Gaelic Park (Connacht first round)
Roscommon 1-21 Leitrim 0-11, Carrick-on-Shannon (Connacht semi-final)
Roscommon 4-16 Sligo 2-13, Dr.Hyde Park (Connacht semi-final)
Roscommon 1-10 Galway 0-13, Pearse Stadium (Connacht final)
Galway 3-16 Roscommon 0-14, Elverys MacHale Park (Connacht final replay)
***
Clare 0-16 Limerick 0-13 (Munster quarter-final)
Kerry 2-23 Clare 0-17 (Munster semi-final)
Clare 0-14 Laois 1-10 (All-Ireland qualifier – Round 2)
Clare 2-17 Sligo 1-13 (All-Ireland qualifier – Round 3)

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