Leinster club SFC: 14-man Clara hang on
November 09, 2009
For the third game running, Offaly champions Clara needed to call on all their battling qualities to stave off the challenge of Carlow's Rathvilly in an exciting Leinster club football quarter-final at Tullamore.
Reduced to 14 men just minutes before half-time when their midfielder and captain Scott Brady received a straight red card, Clara looked to be in serious trouble when Rathvilly overturned a 0-2 to 0-8 interval deficit to draw level midway through the second half.
The momentum was with the visitors when substitute David Nolan took advantage of poor goalkeeping by John Buckley to level the contest, but Pat Flanagan's charges showed their mettle once again when man of the match Thomas Deehan fired over three late points to pave the way for a semi-final date against Portlaoise.
With Deehan running riot, the home side were 0-7 to 0-2 to the good at the time of Brady's dismissal. Despite that setback, Clara extended their lead before the break thanks to a point from former Dublin minor John O'Hara.
Rathvilly, however, weren't prepared to go down without a fight and points from Brian Murphy, JJ Smyth and David Nolan had reduced the deficit before Nolan's goal brought them level.
But they couldn't push on as the 14 men of Clara survived another major test of character to reach the last four.
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