Oscar Traynor Trophy Semi-Final
Clare put in another impressive performance to defeat a strong Wexford side at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday and qualify for the Oscar Traynor Trophy Final against Inishowen on 28th May.
Clare started well and a good cross from Eoin O’Brien on 8 minutes was met in the air by Niall Whelan who was denied by a great save from Lee Walker. Colin Ryan went close for Clare on 13 minutes after latching onto a poor clearance from Walker but his well struck effort from 40 yards just went the wrong side of the post.
Good play from Wexford in midfield on 17 minutes created a chance for Shane Dempsey but his effort from the edge of the box went wide of the goal. Clare were awarded a penalty on 23 minutes when Niall Whelan was taken down just inside the area by Warren Broaders and Eoin Hayes made no mistake to give Clare a deserved lead. Wexford came more into the game as the half went on and Conor Mullen had to be sharp at the back for Clare on 34 minutes to stop Kyle Dempsey from getting a shot in when through on goal. Barry Ryan did well for Clare to save a powerful header from Declan Downes on 35 minutes as it remained 1-0 to the visitors at the break.
Wexford had the first chance of the second half when a header from Gareth McCurtin was deflected wide by Stephen Kelly. Eoin O’Brien went close for Clare on 55 minutes after getting on the end of a well delivered corner from Paddy O’Malley but his effort was saved by Walker. Wexford were lucky not to concede from a David McCarthy free kick on 60 minutes when a Gareth McCurtin clearance had to be saved on the line by Walker. Colin Smyth made a great tackle in the box on 63 minutes to stop Paul Murphy getting a shot in as he made a good run in from the left wing. Wexford brought on Adam Beary and Ryan Mahon on 64 minutes and Mahon put in a dangerous cross on 67 minutes that Stephen Kelly did well to clear. Gareth McCurtin went close for Wexford with a header on 70 minutes that missed the target. Good play from Ian Collins and David McCarthy on 79 minutes created an opening for Eoin Hayes whose electric pace put him through on goal and as he attempted to round the advancing Wexford keeper he was taken down inside the box and the referee had the easy decision in awarding the penalty. Walker got a yellow card for the foul. Hayes dusted himself down and dispatched the penalty to the back of the Wexford net to give Clare a 2 goal cushion with 10 minutes left on the clock. Wexford tried hard in the closing stages to pull a goal back but there was no way through a Clare defence and goalkeeper Barry Ryan who were excellent throughout as Clare saw out the game for a deserved win on the day.
Wexford: Lee Walker, Warren Broaders, Dale Flynn, Declan Downes, Gareth McCurtin, John Peare, Lee Wadding, Shane Dempsey, Paul Murphy, Kyle Dempsey, Eugene O’Brien
Subs: Adam Beary for Flynn, Ryan Mahon for Peare, Leighton Gleeson for Wadding
Clare: Barry Ryan (Avenue Utd), Colin Smyth (Avenue Utd), Eoin O’Brien (Newmarket Celtic), Conor Mullen (Avenue Utd), Stephen Kelly (Newmarket Celtic), Colin Ryan (Newmarket Celtic), Ian Collins (Newmarket Celtic), Niall Whelan (Tulla Utd), Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic), David McCarthy (Newmarket Celtic), Paddy O’Malley (Avenue Utd)
Subs: Steve Carroll (Newmarket Celtic) for McCarthy, Daragh Corry (Tulla Utd) for Hayes