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19 Jan 2022

Hungry Clara keep season alive with fine win in Dublin

Hungry Clara keep season alive with fine win

Josh Fleming, Clara

OFFALY club sides are displaying a real appetite for provincial competition and Clara showed their intent when they had a fine win over Dublin's St Patrick's, Donabate in the Leinster Club Intermediate Football Championship on Saturday afternoon.

AIB Leinster Club Intermediate Football Championship Quarter Final 

Clara 2-10 
St Patrick’s Donabate 0-9

The Offaly senior “B” champions were hurt to be relegated out of top flight football last year and made an instant return with a fairly routine and expected championship success. They are, however, determined to return to senior with another confidence booster and they have made this championship a major end of season ambition.

The Dublin intermediate champions provided stiff opposition here in Parnell Park and forced Clara to work very hard for the win. The visitors were delighted with the way they performed, answering the serious questions that St Pat's asked and playing sonme exciting attacking football.

It was an exciting, tough, hugely competitive game of football and Clara had to play well to book their semi-final place – they have a home semi-final against Kilcock of Kildare on December 18.

With county U-20 star Ed Cullen suspended, it was a significant win for Clara with their defence outstanding on the day. Playing against a stiff wind in the first half, Clara took the lead with a point from the excellent Conor Egan. St Pat's got 0-2 to 0-1 ahead before two Ross Brady points put Clara back in front.

Points from Matt Molloy and Dylan Knight Sands (mark) edged St Pat's back in front but Clara made hugely important breakthrough before the break. A great moce involving Conor Egan, Carl Stewart, Lorcan Hiney and Cormac Delaney ended with Colm Doyle getting the finishing touch for a goal that gave Clara a 1-3 to 0-4 half time lead.

Josh Fleming extended their advantage after the restart and Clara looked set to push home. St Pat's, however, dug deep and Shane McGrath and Stephen Dempsey pointed to bring it back to a point.

Clara's response was very impressive. Carl Stewart got ttwo excellent poins to put them three clear. St Pat's got it back to a point but again Clara showed real character. Four points on the trot from Ross Brady (two), Carl Stewart and Cathal O'Meara put them 1-10 to 0-8 ahead well into injury time. Adam Darby got a St Pat's point before Ross Brady got a last gasp goal after being placed by a super kickout from Joey Deehan.

The Scorers 

Clara: Ross Brady 1-4 (0-3 Frees), Carl Stewart 0-3, Colm Doyle 1-0, Conor Egan 0-1, Cathal O’Meara 0-1, Josh Fleming 0-1. 

St Patrick’s Donabate: Matt Molloy 0-2, Adam Darby 0-1, Shane McGrath 0-1, Ollie Brooks 0-1, Sean Walsh 0-1 (Free), Dylan Knight Sands 0-1 (Mark), Stephen Dempsey 0-1 (Free), Adam Dunne 0-1 (Free). 

The Teams 

Clara: Joey Deehan; Aaron Ngo, Ciaran Doyle, Cathal O’Meara; Colm Doyle (Capt.), John Ledwith, Lorcan Hiney; Carl Stewart, Graham Guilfoyle; Conor Egan, Cormac Delaney, David Falsey; Josh Fleming, Ross Brady, Thomas Deehan.  Subs: Matthew Mitchell for David Falsey (44 mins), David Fleming for Cormac Delaney (49 mins), Adam Kelly for Thomas Deehan (52 mins), Scott Brady for Josh Fleming (55 mins inj.). 

St Patrick’s Donabate: Eoghan Moloney; Rory McKeon, Paddy Costello, Ben Gaston; Niall Moran, Jamie Mullins, Adam Dunne; Adam Darby, Shane McGrath; Stephen Dempsey, Dylan Knight Sands, Kieran Conroy; Aaron Page, Ollie Brooks, Matt Molloy.  Subs: Niall Collins for Niall Moran (35 mins), Sean Walsh for Aaron Page (38 mins), Joey Collins for Shane McGrath (43 mins), Colm Kavanagh for Ollie Brooks (49 mins), Conor Dowling for Rory McKeon (60 mins). 

Referee: Jason Smyth (Wicklow). 

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