Wicklow 1-15 Clare 1-12
Wicklow footballers secured promotion to Division 3 at Aughrim yesterday when they beat Clare.
Victory was not easily achieved and Clare, who only needed a draw to get promoted, pushed Wicklow all the way.
With just nine minutes left the sides were deadlocked at 1-12 apiece after Clare had wiped out a six-point deficit and then a chance of a goal was lost when a crucial move broke down in front of goal.
Wicklow free-taker and corner-forward Tony Hannon, top scorer with 0-7, killed off Clare with his shooting skills.
Clare trailed 1-8 to 1-6 at half-time, fell six points behind early in the second half before fighting back to level in the 61 minutes. But then they were reduced to 14 men with the sending off of full-back Shane McNeilies on a second yellow card and also lost influential midfielder Gary Brennan to injury.
Scorers for Wicklow: T Hannon 0-7 (6fs), D Hayden 1-1, D Healy, L Glynn, S Furlong (1f) 0-2 each, J McGrath 0-1.
Scorers for Laois: D Tubridy 0-7 (6fs), R Donnelly 1-1, S McGrath 0-2, G Brennan, S Brennan 0-1 each.
WICKLOW: J Flynn; C Hyland, A McLoughlin, A Byrne; D Healy, M McLoughlin, S Kelly; J Stafford, R Finn; L Glynn, D O’Sullivan, D Hayden; T Hannon, S Furlong, J McGrath.
Subs: S Byrne for M McLoughlin (64), A O’Malley for J McGrath (68).
CLARE: J Hayes; B Hartnett, S McNeilies, L Healy; M McMahon, G Kelly, J Hayes; G Brennan, G Quinlan; G Kelly, S McGrath, A Clohessy; R Donnelly, D Tubridy, N Browne.
Subs: C Kelly for G Kelly (ht), S Brennan for N Browne (ht), Sean Haugh for B Hartnett (ht), D Russell for G Brennan (48).
Referee: C Lane (Cork).