LGFA National Master Plan


NFL 2016 Div 2 Rd 1 Clare V Laois

Clare 4-09 - 1-04 Laois

Sun 31st January 2016

Clare ladies football senior squad has gotten their 2016 Lidl National Football League division two opener off to a flying start with a win over Laois. Under the stewardship of new manager, Neil Moynihan, they travelled to Mountmellick last Sunday and delivered an overwhelming performance that stunned the hosts.

The Saffron and Blue panel has been strengthened with the return of some key players, including Niamh O’Dea, Louise Henchy, Roisin Looney and Orla Devitt but Moynihan also has some new long term investments with the incorporation of Eva O’Dea and Ciara Hickey, both young but very experienced players.

Lousie Henchy opened the scoring with a point for Clare but the Laois captain Laura-Marie Maher catapulted her side into the lead with a well taken goal. Maher would supply Laois’s next score with a point just before the half-time whistle as Clare swamped the Laois defence for the majority of the game. Being pushed from the centre, Henchy and Mahon were intense in their ball carrying and with a forward six that included Orla Devitt, Ailish Considine, Niamh Keane, Aoife Keane, Sarah Bohannon and Niamh O’Dea, the rate of turn-over was remarkable as O’Dea finished out a goal and two points by the seventeenth minute (1-03 to 1-0). Becky Mahon pointed after a powerful run from mid-field on twenty two minutes and O’Dea tacked on another before she set up Aoife Keane for a twenty yard dash goal-wards, taking a beautifully placed goal (2-05 to 1-0) with five minutes to the break. After several missed frees in and around the twenty meter line, the Laois captain took a defiant point on the whistle to leave a seven point gap at the mid-way point 2-05 to 1-1.

With Clare well in the driving seat, they returned to the arena with the same intensity. Impressive ball retention and precise passing between Becky Mahon, Ailish Considine and Aoife Keane during this period, ended with both Niamh O’Dea and Niamh Keane finishing out points, interspersed with a Laois point from Noirin Kirwin, in very blustery conditions (2-07 to 1-02). It wasn’t all one way traffic but the Laois attack was met head-on with powerful defensive performances across the board from Eva O’Dea, Laurie Ryan and Shauna Harvey on the full back line and Roisin Considine, Clare Hester and Ellie O’Gorman on the next line.   Massive western pressure bore down on the midlanders parallelogram and after some poor kicking into a strong headwind, Orla Devitt pointed on nine minutes into the second half. Over the next ten minutes, Niamh O’Dea was to ransack the Queen’s Coutny defence, plundering two goals and two points after impressive interplay with her cohorts. In the final quater, Laois pulled back two points through Shannon Costello and Noirin Kirwin again but it was too late to make any dent on the Saffron and Blue steamroller in this first round of the league. The game ended 4-09 to 1-04 when referee Jonathan Murphy (Carlow) called for the ball.

A very impressive team performance from back to front provided a solid platform for Niamh O’Dea whose impeccable finishing kept the Saffron and Blue pulling away from the opposition on the scoreboard but on the other end of the pitch, solid blocking, good strength and good reading of the game denied Laois scores on many occasions.        

The Carlow based Galwegian manager brings an intensity and passion that seems to resonate strongly with the panel, given the spirited display in this opening skirmish of the league. Clare haven’t shown their full hand yet as several regulars are working on fitness issues and this initial win will settle the squad and management alike. Clare now face into three consecutive home games, hosting Sligo next Sunday, 7th February, venue TDB, followed by Kildare and Cavan. Clare are sparring with several Senior and Intermediate Championship sides in League Division two and Moynihan recognises the importance of the home wins and the major part Clare supporters bring to the games. He encourages Clare’s ladies football clubs to play their part and show up in numbers for the next three games. Going by their last performance, it will certainly reward the spectators with a skilful and entertaining display.


Clare: 1. Ciara Harvey (West Clare Gaels), 2. Eva O’Dea (Banner Ladies), 3. Laurie Ryan (Capt), 4. Shauna Harvey, 5. Roisin Considine (Liscannor), 6. Clare Hester (Fergus Rovers), 7. Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil), 8. Louise Henchy (Banner Ladies), 9. Becky Mahon (Kilmihil), 10. Orla devitt (Eire Og), 11. Ailish Considine (Kilmihil), 12. Niamh Keane (Banner Ladies), 13. Aoife Keane (Banner Ladies), 14. Sarah Bohannon (Shannon Gaels), 20. Niamh O’Dea (Banner Ladies). Subs Used: 17. Amy O’Brien (Burren Gaels), 18. Grainne Harvey (West Clare Gaels) , 19. Orlaith Lynch (Banner Ladies), 21. Ciara Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane), 22. Roisin Looney (Cooraclare), 25. Roisin Howley (Burren Gaels) (Inj). Neil Moynihan (Manager), Paul Mannion (Selector), Ruari Smyth (Strength & Conditioning), Emma Finnegan (Nutritionalist), Bernie Regan (Physio).