Dublin AUL 2 Clare 0
At the AUL Complex, Clonshaugh
It was a case of being second best to the history-makers from the metropolis on Sunday as Clare’s hopes of a first Oscar Traynor Cup title in a decade perished in the second half of what was a disappointing game.
Clare travelled to the AUL’s home patch in hope and no little confidence following their impressive run to a first final in four years, but in the end there was no stopping the Dublin juggernaut from completing an historic four-in-a-row in the competition.
And you could say that the Dubs did it the hard way, bouncing back from the red card brandished to Stewart Glynn in the 32nd minute to hit two second half goals and comfortably retained the coveted inter-league title.
Glynn saw red for a foul on Alan Kelly, but after a dour first half where the few chances fell to the AUL, it was the champions who eventually made light of their numerical disadvantage with a brace of second half goals to complete their four-in-a-row.
The opener came seven minutes into the second half when Damien Cuffe’s shot/cross deceived Clare net-minder John Mulready and dipped into the net, while left-back Mark Mooney then killed the contest nine minutes from time when tapping home from close range.
Clare never got going in this decider, with the AUL’s midfield dominance being the platform for their victory. The win helped them join the Kilkenny side of 1999-2002 to win four successive titles.
John Mulready (Bridge Utd), Mattie Nugent (Avenue Utd), Darren Cullinan (Newmarket Celtic), Eoin O’Brien (Newmarket Celtic), Darren Murphy (Bridge Utd), Alan Kelly (Newmarket Celtic), Colin Smyth (Avenue Utd), Stephen Kelly (Newmarket Celtic), Stephen Hickey (Ennis Town), David McCarthy (Avenue Utd) Capt., Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic). Subs Alan Brigdale (Newmarket Celtic) for Alan Kelly, Daryl Eade (Ennis Town) for Hickey, Paddy O’Malley (Avenue Utd) for McCarthy.