Allianz Football League Division 3 Final – Clare 2-17 Kildare 1-19

Clare defeated Kildare by 2-17 to 1-19 in the Allianz Football League Division 3 Final on Saturday April 23rd at in Croke Park.

Allianz FL D3: Gutsy Clare claim silverware


Clare 2-17 Kildare 1-19

By Daragh O’Conchuir for

These two teams produced a high-scoring game when they met in the final round of the regulation section of the Allianz Football League and it was more of the same in this hugely entertaining Division 3 final. The vital difference from the Newbridge tie though was that with silverware on offer, it was Clare that came out on top on a historic day.

The defensive coaches certainly won’t be happy with what they saw at Croke Park, but for Colm Collins and his crew, it was a continuation of the progress they have been making in the past 18 months. Kildare flew into a six-point lead early on, as U21 star Neil Flynn scored a wonderful goal and added some points from dead balls.

Crucially though, captain Gary Brennan and Cathal O’Connor began to turn the tide around the middle and that gave the Clare forwards a greater supply, while Flynn and co were denied it at the other end of the pitch. Alarmingly for Kildare, they gave up four goal chances in the first half and in a familiar theme from the group games, gave away countless senseless frees, with five points alone coming from placed balls in that initial period.

David Tubridy and Eoin Cleary edged Clare back into the game, while the pacey Jamie Malone was also on the mark from play. Finally, the Bannermen found the net as Brennan caught a delivery by Keelan Sexton, held off Kevin Feely and fed the onrushing Tubridy, who made no mistake to give his side a 1-10 to 1-9 interval advantage.

The second half remained open, and the lead changed hands on numerous occasions. Kildare led by a point when Feely was sent off for a second yellow card offence in the 59th minute, but Cian O’Neill’s charges appeared to manage the closing period well. Tommy Moolick was desperately unlucky to see his piledriver cannon off the crossbar six minutes from time, but when Paul Cribbin sent over two booming points, it looked like Kildare would just get over the line.

That was to reckon without the inspirational Brennan though, who was now operating at full forward. The international rules star made another brilliant catch and held off two defenders, before again finding a team-mate, Dean Ryan this time having the simple task of palming to an empty net. That brought the sides level in the 70th minute. There were eight minutes of extra time, as the teams exchanged points and Clare had Graham Kelly dismissed for a straight red card.

Cleary held his nerve to slot the winner in the seventh minute of extra time and there were 78 minutes on the clock when the unfortunate Flynn dragged a free from outside the 45 just wide.

The glory was Clare’s.

Scorers for Clare: D Tubridy 1-5 (5fs); E Cleary 0-6 (5fs); D Ryan 1-0; P Lillis, J Malone 0-2 each; E Coughlan, P Collins 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: N Flynn 1-6 (5fs); A Tyrrell 0-6 (4fs); P Cribbin, E O’Flahetry 0-2 each; F Conway, A Smith, T Moolick 0-1 each

Clare: J Hayes, S Malone, K Harnett, M McMahon, S Collins, D Ryan, C O’Dea, G Brennan, C O’Connor, P Lillis, E Cleary, J Malone, D Tubridy, K Sexton, P Burke
Subs: P Collins for S Malone (ht), S McGrath for Burke (54), E Coughlan for O’Dea (67), G Kelly for Sexton (68), J O’Dea for McMahon BC (70+7).

Kildare: M Donneallan, O Lyons, C Fitzpatrick, D Hyland, R Houlihan, F Conway, J Byrne, K Feely, T Moolick, A Tyrrell, E O’Flaherty, P Cribbin, E Callaghan, A Smith, N Flynn
Subs: C McNally for Callaghan (47), K Murnaghan for Tyrrell inj (54), E O’Connor for Smith (58), E Powderly for Fitzpatrick inj (70+1), Daryl Flynn for Moolick (70+6), E Bolton for Conway (70+7).

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan)

Fixture Details

23.04.2016 (Sat)
Allianz Football League Roinn 3 Final
Páirc an Chrócaigh 18:00
An Clár v Cill Dara
Referee: Noel Mooney (An Cabhán)
(E.T. if Necessary)

Team News

Clare: J Hayes; S Malone, K Hartnett, M McMahon; J Malone, D Ryan, C O’Dea; G Brennan, C O’Connor; S Collins, D Tubridy, P Lillis; E Cleary, K Sexton, P Burke

The Kildare team for Saturday evening’s Allianz Football League Division Three final against Clare at Croke Park has been announced.

Kildare: M Donnellan; P Kelly, D Hyland, O Lyons; R Houlihan, F Conway, C Fitzpatrick; P Cribbin, T Moolick; A Tyrell, N Kelly, E O’Flaherty; A Smith, K Feely, N Flynn.