By Oliver Fitzpatrick
Defending champions Clare progress to knockout stages of Oscar Traynor Trophy
Oscar Traynor Trophy
Mayo – 1
Clare – 2
Defending champions Clare are through to the knockout stages of the Oscar Traynor Trophy after a good away victory over Mayo in Milebush Park, Castlebar on Sunday. Two goals from Irish Junior International star Eoin Hayes and a strong team performance throughout made it two wins from two games in Group E to ensure qualification before the final group game at home to Roscommon.
Clare started well and the first chance fell to Eoin Hayes on 15 minutes after getting on the end of a good through ball from Ian Collins but he was denied by a great save from Gary Cunningham. A good ball over the top from Eoin O’Brien on 20 minutes created another opening for the visitors but Cunnigham was sharp off his line to cut out the opening before Hayes could get his shot in. The deadlock was broken on 25 minutes and it was no surprise that Hayes pulled the trigger. Good work from Barry Ryan found Eoin O’Brien in space. O’Brien played a through ball to Hayes who rounded Cunningham and scored from a tight angle to give Clare a deserved lead. Collins went close for Clare on 29 minutes after a good run and shot that narrowly missed the target. Mayo finished the half strong and Conor Mullen and Stephen Kelly had to be sharp on 35 minutes to cut out chances for Liam Hughes and Cyril Guedge. Mayo got back in the game on 40 minutes when some sloppy defending at the back for Clare forced a foul on the edge of the box. The referee deemed it was just inside the area and Danny Brodrick made no mistake to level the match and sends the sides in level at the break.
Clare dominated throughout the second half and their pacy attack caused the Mayo defence a lot of problems. Hayes continued to be a threat and a good run and shot on 50 minutes was cut out by Killian McGlade with a last ditch challenge. Good play from Ian Collins created a great chance for David McCarthy on 53 minutes but his goal bound shot was stopped by the hand of a defender but the referee waved away the penalty claims of the visitors and the game continued. Another run and shot from Hayes on 60 minutes was brilliantly saved by Cunningham. Stephen Kelly was next to go close for Clare when he got on the end of a Niall Whelan cross but again Cunningham was in the right place to make the save. Good work down the right wing from Colin Smyth on 65 minutes created a great chance for Hayes but this time his his shot missed the target after he rounded Cunningham in the Mayo goal. On 73 minutes it was the Hayes show again. He picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and rounded three defenders before firing into the top corner from just inside the box to score a great goal. Against the run of play Mayo went very close to drawing level for a second time when a good run and shot from Liam Hughes was brilliantly saved by Barry Ryan and the rebound was put over the bar from Colm Nevin. David McCarthy went close for Clare from a free kick on 85 minutes with a shot that narrowly missed the target. Mayo tried hard in the closing stages but Clare defended well and saw out the six minutes of injury time to earn a deserved victory on the day.
Mayo: Gary Cunningham, Gary Concannon, Gerard O’Boyle, Killian McGlade, Brian McMorrow, Danny Brodrick, Finnian Brady, Colm Nevin, Liam Hughes, Cyril Guedge, Conor Henehan
Subs: Matt Ledbetter for Brady, Keelan McDonagh for Guedge, Stevie Ryan for Brodrick, Mark Davitt for McMorrow
Clare: Barry Ryan (Avenue Utd), Colin Smyth (Avenue Utd), Eoin O’Brien (Newmarket Celtic), Stephen Kelly (Newmarket Celtic), Conor Mullen (Avenue Utd), Colin Ryan (Newmarket Celtic), Ian Collins (Newmarket Celtic), Niall Whelan (Tulla Utd), Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic), David McCarthy (Newmarket Celtic), Eoin Whelan (Tulla Utd)
Subs: Jamie Egan (Shannon Hibs) for Eoin Whelan, Tino Nzvaura (Newmarket Celtic) for Niall Whelan, Tommy McKeown (Tulla Utd) for Collins, Steve Carroll (Newmarket Celtic) for Smyth (inj)
Subs Not Used: Colin Nelson (Tulla Utd), Michael Leigh (Sporting Ennistymon), Arek Mamala (Coole FC)