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Clare’s dramatic comeback victory over Louth in the first round of the National League demonstrated tenacity and determination.
Jamie Malone’s last-minute winner exemplified why Clare have spent the last seven seasons in Division 2.
Louth, who led from the start, will rue the missed opportunity to win on the first day.
The fact that Malone’s goal came a minute after the allotted six minutes of extra time irritated both the Louth players and manager Mickey Harte.
Despite being in command, Clare suffered a serious injury to midfielder Ciarán Byrne, which could keep him out for the rest of the season.
Clare was vulnerable to numerous counterattacks as theystruggled to break down the Louth defence.
When Louth’s Liam Jackson was sent off for a black card, Clare talisman Keelan Sexton took advantage of the newfound pockets of space to make it a one-point game.
Emmett McMahon took over the mantle in the second half, scoring three points to bring the home crowd into the game and tie the score at 0-06 each on the 50th minute.
Clare dominated the game down the stretch thanks to the contributions of substitute midfielders Darragh Bohannon and Gavin Cooney.
Ciaran Downey’s quick counterattack appeared to be the difference, earning Louth two points, but Clare, buoyed by the extended stoppage time, knuckled down and made Louth pay.
Daniel Walsh tied the game moments later.
The final score of 2-11 to 1-12 was a testament to both teams’ fight and determination, but Clare came out on top.
This victory will boost their confidence and momentum as they continue their National League campaign.
Overall, it was a fun and competitive game that showcased the best of Gaelic football and the tenacity of both teams.
Clare’s next match is against Meath, and they will be looking to build on this victory and climb the National League table.
Meanwhile, Louth will try to regroup and rebound in their next game against Limerick