Clara's Colm Doyle.
CLARA set down an early marker in the Tullamore Court Hotel Senior “B” Football Championship as they had a convincing win over Ferbane, 4-11 to 0-6.
While Ferbane would be the big outsiders in this championship, it was still an impressive win by Clara who hit them for four goals in ten first half minutes and were able to saunter home from here.
That win puts Clara on top in group 2, ahead of Ballycumber on scoring difference. Ballycumber, however, will have been very pleased with their 0-11 to 0-8 win over the 2020 intermediate champions, St Rynagh's. As expected, it was a tough and uncompromising game and Ballycumber did just enough to win.
There were two surprises in group 1, one mild and one fairly unexpected. The mild one was Erin Rovers' 1-13 to 0-12 win over Gracefield. It sets the Pullough men up nicely while it also places Gracefield under pressure. A good few people would have expected Erin Rovers to go close against Gracefield, who are in a very transitional period, but Walsh Island's win over a fancied Tubber was a big one.
Tubber have been knocking on the door in this championship for some time and were expected to be Clara's main challengers for the title. However, Walsh Island performed really well to win by 2-13 to 3-9 and it gives them a great chance of a quarter-final berth, though there is a lot of football to be played.
The top team in each group goes into the semi-finals with the next two in two quarter-finals. Round 2 fixtures take place on the weekend of September 4 and 5 and the stakes are huge for first round losers.
The clash of the round could be provided by two of those losers, Gracefield and Tubber who meet in group 1 while Walsh Island and Erin Rovers meet in the other game. In group 2, the two first round winners Clara and Ballycumber clash while St Rynagh's will be slight favourites against Ferbane.
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