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NFL 2016 Div 2 Rd 6 Clare V Meath

The Lidl Ladies Football National League had Clare play their penultimate game in the round robin series when they travelled away to meet Meath in Dunganny last Sunday. Clare faced Meath with four wins from five (going down away to Donegal) while the Royal County ladies are firmly placed at the bottom of the table with Kildare, Sligo and Laois all sharing three points each.

The Clare Ladies who have already qualified for a semi-final spot, produced a surgical performance to eliminate any threat from the outset. With Niamh Keane opening the Clare account, Meath’s Aibhe McHugh and Vikki Wall pushed the hosts ahead. Louise Henchy levelled and Grainne Nolan netted inside seven minutes and they retained control of the game thereafter. Clare’s response to and Wall point was a swift barrage of points from Ailish Considine (one) and two from leaving certificate student Nolan, 1-5 to 0-3 at the turn of the first quarter. However, before the half-time whistle Clare would replicate their score including a goal from Louise Henchy three minutes before Conor Dourneen (Cavan) called for the ball. Clare 2-10 to Meath’s 0-04.

Meath returned to the field with urgency and opened with points courtesy of Vikki Wall (two), Emma Troy and Siofra Carey while Stacey Grimes converted a free kick. During this period of Royal County dominance, Clare’s only score came from a Niamh Keane point soon after the resumption but going into the last quarter Meath had brought the score back to 0-09 to 2-11 in favour of the Saffron & Blue. A Ciara Hickey goal on fifteen minutes stamped a seal of authority on the game and while Meath took two more Grimes converted frees (a sign of Meath pressure), it was Clare who finished the game pointing though Louise Henchy in injury time and the final score was 3-13 to 0-11 in favour of Clare.

After letting Meath into the game in the third quarter, Clare almost matched them for scores in the second half (0-7 to 1-03) but they preserved the first half score difference and were never under any real threat.  Clare now occupy second place in the Division Two table, behind Donegal, and with the same fifteen points as Cavan (15 points each) but two points better on points difference. Next weekend Clare host fourth placed Westmeath, which promises to be an exciting close to the series games while Cavan take on the unshakable Donegal. With a 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 semi-final setup, Clare will want to stay off the fourth place position which could pit them against Donegal if they maintain their current form.

 

Clare: 1. Ciara Harvey (West Clare Gaels), 2. Shauna Harvey, 3. Eva O’Dea (Banner Ladies), 4. Grainne Harvey (West Clare Gaels) , 5. Roisin Considine (Liscannor), 6. Laurie Ryan (Capt)(Banner Ladies), 7. Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil), 8. Louise Henchy (Banner Ladies), 9. Becky Mahon (Kilmihil), 10. Aoife Keane (Banner Ladies), 14. Ailish Considine (VCapt) (1-0) (Kilmihil), 17. Grainne Nolan (Banner Ladies), 13. Orlaith Lynch (Banner Ladies), 11. Niamh Keane (Banner Ladies), 15. Ciara Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane) 

Subs: 16. Emma O’Driscoll (Banner Ladies), 21. Laura Egan (Kilmihil), 22. Nicole O’Doherty (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

Neil Moynihan (Manager), Paul Mannion (Selector), Ruari Smyth (Strength & Conditioning), Emma Finnegan (Nutritionalist), Bernie Regan (Physio).



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