/ GAA

Carlow 2-13 Clare 4-26

Updated: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 13:29 | Comments

Sean Collins and brother Padraic were key players for Clare
Sean Collins and brother Padraic were key players for Clare

All-Star hurler Podge Collins hit a crucial goal as Clare advanced to the third round of the All-Ireland football qualifiers with a double scores 4-26 to 2-13 victory over Carlow.

The talented dual player missed Saturday evening's dramatic hurling defeat to Wexford due to suspension but put his disappointment behind him at Dr Cullen Park.

He was superb early on as a creative half-forward, engineering scores for the likes of David Tubridy and Rory Donnelly before scoring a goal himself after the break.

His 42nd-minute strike was Clare's third goal and set the seal on victory before being taken off to huge applause from the travelling support 20 minutes from time.

Others to impress for Clare were goalscorers Donnelly and Podge McMahon while Shane Brennan also raised a green flag.

Visitors Clare ran Kerry to within four points in the Munster championship and were favourites coming into the contest.

But their qualifier record meant they couldn't take anything for granted as they chased a first back-door series win since 2006.

Their travelling fans were treated to a thrilling display, however, that began with two points from Enda Coughlan in the opening minute.

Carlow did hit back with an Eoghan Ruth point and there was just one in it again after 10 minutes.

But Carlow found it difficult to penetrate Clare's well-drilled defence. The hosts were reduced to long-range efforts and did fire over a number of fire points.

The only time they broke through the Banner back line resulted in a goal for Ciaran Moran after 23 minutes.

That put a momentary halt to Clare's charge and left them just 0-9 to 1-4 ahead.

But from there the Munster men roared clear and grabbed two goals themselves before half-time.

Every time they probed forward they looked dangerous with both Podge and Sean Collins linking up the play superbly.

Tubridy slotted three points and kicked some superb diagonal passes throughout the game.

Clare's first goal came from Donnelly in the 29th minute after a Tubridy free in that was broken down by Shane Brennan.

Brennan then turned poacher himself with a flicked effort to the Carlow net injury-time following a Shane McGrath ball in.

It meant Clare led 2-15 to 1-6 at the interval and the 12-point margin didn't flatter them.

Carlow needed a miracle after the restart but all that arrived was a succession of further Clare points and goals.

Podge Collins' got his at the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked and he followed up soccer-style.

Their fourth came from McMahon with 15 minutes left while Eoin Cleary came off the bench and shot three points.

Clare: J Hayes; S Hickey, K Hartnett, M McMahon; J Malone, G Kelly, C Russell; G Brennan (0-4, 1f, 0-1pen), S McGrath (0-03); S Collins (0-02), E Coughlan (0-04), S Brennan (1-01); P Collins (1-00), D Tubridy (0-04, 1f), R Donnelly (1-03).

Subs: P McMahon (1-02, 1f) for Tubridy, C O'Connor for McGrath, E Cleary (0-03) for P Collins, S McNelis for Russell, P De Loughrey for Hayes.

Carlow: A O'Brien; R Mahon, C Lawlor, BJ Molloy; K Nolan, D St Ledger (0-02), B Kavanagh (0-01); E Ruth (0-01), H Gahan; M Meaney (0-01), C Moran (1-00), D Bambrick (1-00); S Kinsella (0-01, 1f), D Foley, C Coughlan (0-02, 1f).

Subs: J Kennedy (0-01) for Meaney, for G Power for Lawlor, M Ware for Foley, P Broderick (0-02, 1f) for Kinsella, W Minchin (0-01, 1f) for Meaney, J Lowry for Nolan. K Hartnett (0-1, own point).

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo)

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