Clondegad added their name to the list of teams in the winners group of Round Two as they brushed past St Breckans in Round One of the Clare Senior Football Championship, with eight points to spare.
St Breckans now find themselves in the losers group for Round Two and they must win their next tie in order to avoid elimination and possible relegation.
County footballer, Shane Brennan raised a green flag for Clondegad with three minutes gone in what was the ideal start. Fellow Clare Senior, Podge Mc Mahon increased their lead shortly after with a placed ball. Pat Nagle was first off the mark for St Breckans as he saw his free go straight between the sticks with eight minutes played. Nagle added to his tally at the midway stage of the half as his side attempted to put their own stamp on the game.
County minor, Aidan Davidson narrowed the gap as he pointed with seventeen minutes on the clock. They followed this with a fine point from attacking defender, Declan O Driscoll to level the tie. Clare captain, Gary Brennan got his first of the evening with twenty three minutes played to put Clondegad back in front.
A brace of 1-01 from Podge Mc Mahon in the space of two minutes pushed the Clondegad men further ahead, the goal resulting from a great delivery from Gary Brennan. Eoghan Donnellan opened his account on the twenty eighth minute mark but St Breckans responded with a free from Pat Nagle. Gary Brennan and O Driscoll exchanged scores to leave five points between the sides at the interval.
Clondegad were the quickest out of the blocks as the tie resumed, with Podge Mc Mahons effort sailing over the bar. Two frees from Nagle lowered the gap but Clondegad replied with a point from captain, Brian Carrig. Nagle and Eoghan Donnellan exchanged scores to maintain the five point lead with eleven minutes gone in the second half.
The men of Lisdoonvarna/Doolin were given a lifeline when goalkeeper produced an excellent save to deny Podge Mc Mahon from getting his second goal of the clash. It wasn’t enough however as points from Eoin Griffin, Gary Brennan, Shane Brennan and Francie Reilly further added to Clondegads lead. The final score of the game fell to the boot of Pat Nagle, which left eight between the teams at the sounding of the final whistle.
The victors will know that if they’re to be in contention this year they have to up their performance. They wasted opportunities in front of goal as they hit a total of twelve wides over the hour. Nonetheless, Clondegad did what they had to do to get over the line and that was to beat what was put out in front of them. Gary Brennans fielding ability coupled with the scoring from Podge Mc Mahon and Eoghan Donnellan were reasons why Clondegad were victorious. St Breckans will be disappointed with the result and their performance.
Throughout the entire affair, they only had three players who registered scores which is very rarely going to be enough in senior championship. Their tactic of a two man full forward line didn’t pay off on the day and numerous shots dropped short instead of trying to feed Davidson and Nagle inside. They will need to recover from this loss and start getting focused on round two in what is a must win game for them. Dennis O Driscoll, Maccon Byrne and Aidan Davidson were their standout men on the day.
Clondegad: Declan O Loughlin, Flan Enright, Brian Carrig (0-01), Brian Murphy, Frank Neylon, Conor Gavin, Cormac Ryan, Gary Brennan (0-03 1f), Eoin Griffin (0-01), Eoin Glynn, Podge Mc Mahon (1-03 1f), Tadhg Lynch, Francie Reilly (0-01), Shane Brennan (1-01), Eoghan Donnellan (0-02). Subs: Cillian Brennan for Glynn (H/T), Cormac Murphy for Lynch (49:34), Niall Lynch for Ryan (52:30), Kieran Browne for Reilly (56:40).
St Breckans: Craig Flanagan, Daniel Carey, Conor Howley, Dennis O Driscoll (0-02), Sean Howley, Dale Masterson, Sean Cormiccan, Maccon Byrne, Stephen Tierney, Liam Tierney, Alan Sweeney, John Stack, Shane O Connor, Aidan Davidson (0-01), Pat Nagle (0-07 7f). Subs: Conor Cormiccan for O Connor (27:32), Conor Burke for C Howley (H/T), Cathal Blood for L Tierney (45:30), Cian O Flaherty for Sweeney (45:30), Mark O Donnell for Masterson (56:52).
Referee: Jim Hickey (Cratloe).