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Clare V Meath Rd 2 NFL 2015



Meath Ladies Footballers made the trip to Kilmihil last Sunday to meet Clare’s senior panel in Round 2 of division 2 of the Tesco National Football League. Both Clare and Meath were looking for their opening wins of this year’s campaign and an exciting game of football was delivered by both sides. 

After deliberations concerning dense fog, the game opened spritely when Meath’s Vikki Wall pointed in the second minute but the Banner Couny’s Ailish Considine negated that almost immediately with a free. Even when Rebecca Goodwin goaled for Meath a minute later, Considine’s massive work rate saw her hit the back of the Royal County’s net in an organised team effort from the Saffron and Blue. A great spell of pressure from Clare delivered an Eimear Hillery near miss but Considine pushed Clare into the lead for the first time at the end of the first quarter (1-02 to 1-01).  Meath’s Laura Murray  came back with two more points interspersed by the first contribution from the Banner’s young hotshot Grainne Nolan who would yet play a pivotal role by the end of the day. A purple patch just before the break saw three quick-fire points from Nolan again, Roisin Looney and Ellie O’Gorman who was playing in her home ground, bringing the score to 1-06 for Clare with Meath three points in arrears.  A defiant Meath attacked in numbers which resulted in corner back Emma Troy reducing the deficit to two points for the visitors before referee Des McEnery called for the ball.  Clare 1-06 to Meath’s 1-04. This was a much improved performance from Clare compared to their first outing against Cavan a week earlier. Confidence was seeping back into the Clare girls and a strong defensive unit turned up beginning with Ellie O’Gorman, Louise Woods and Fiona Touhy in the half back line and shored up by Roisin Considine, Captain Laura Ryan and Shauna Harvey. A solid Aoife O’Neill in goals displayed her characteristic one on one shot stopping skills on several occasions to deny the Royals almost certain goals. 

Manager John Burke did a great job motivating the team for this fixture against a top class Meath, 2011 Division 2 runners-up and a massive pressure wave descended on the Meath half of the pitch for the first six minutes of the second half. With the Clare forwards improved possession awareness, Roisin Howley’s return after injury injected an energy missing from the previous week’s outing. Pressure from Eimear Hillery and Carol O’Leary from the centre of the pitch motivated Niamh Keane, Grainne Nolan and Roisin Looney to run at the Meath defenders without mercy and when Considine had converted 2 frees , Roisin Looney pointed in the first few minutes of the second half, it seemed all was going well. However, three Royal points in three minutes reduced the deficit to the minimum and reminded Clare that Meath had serious intentions. Another exciting new prospect for Clare in the form of one speedy Orla Devitt pointed and the hardworking Niamh Keane was unlucky not to score in this frantic phase. Two points from Laura Murray levelled the game and this inspired Jacinta Maher to push the Royal County into the lead  at 1-11 to Clare’s 1-10. However, a great sign of the potential of this very young team manifested when U18 Irish soccer international Aislinn Meaney contributed at a very crucial point in the game. However, after a narrow wide from Ailish Considine, Meath were back in attack and Emma Troy retained the lead for Meath (1-12 to 1-11). With a win in their sights, a rapid fire goal from Vikki Wall seemed to signal the death knell for the Clare girl’s on thirty three minutes, surely the last action of the game. Enter the indomitable Grainne Nolan with a goal of her own after being setup by a Niamh Keane and Ailish Considine movement bringing howls of encouragement from the stand. With a point in arrears and well into additional time, a predatory Clare forward section bullied their way into one last repossession from the kickout and when Ailish Considine levelled just before the whistle, one of the youngest Clare senior panels in quite a while, had proved to themselves they have what it takes to compete in Division 2. Clare 2-12 Meath 2-12. Clare next play on February 22nd when they host Donegal on their own turf.    

Clare Panel : Aoife O’Neill, ((Eire Og), Roisin Considine (Liscannor), Laurie Ryan (C)(Banner Ladies), Shauna Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Fiona Touhy (Doora Barefield), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies), Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil)(0-1), Eimear Hillery (Liscannor), Carol O’Leary (Newmarket),Roisin Howley (Burren Gaels), Niamh Keane (Banner Ladies), Becky Mahon (Kilmihil),Grainne Nolan (Banner Ladies) (1-02), Ailish Considine (Kilmihil) (1-06 4f), Roisin Looney (Cooraclare)(0-2) , Aoife Clohessey (Fergus Rovers), Grainne Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Clare Hester (Fergus Rovers), Aislinn Meaney (Doora Barefield)(0-1), Laura Egan (Kilmihil), Sarah Browne (Kilmihil), Kate Coughlan (Kilmihil), Roisin Rouine (Liscannor), Emma O Driscoll (Banner Ladies), Katie Connole (Burren Gaels), Orla Devitt (Eire Og)(0-1), Ciara Cahill (Doora Barefield), Marie Considine (Liscannor), Eimear Considine(Kilmihil), Orlaith Lynch(Banner Ladies), Carla Behan (Shannon Gaels)

Meath Panel: Samantha Monaghan, Shauna Ennis, Sarah Powderly, Aideen Guy, Emma Troy (0-02), Siofra Cleary, Niamh Lister, Michelle Peel, Kate Byrne (C), Laura Griffin, Jacinta Maher (0-01), Laura Murray (0-04, 4f), Bridgetta Lynch (0-01), Rebecca Goodwin (1-00), Vikki Wall (1-02), Geraldine Doherty (0-01) for Goodwin (12 mins), Kate Flynn for Powderly (18 mins), Niamh Crowe (0-01) for Griffin (18 mins), Adrienne McCann for Lynch (42 mins), Laura Dempsey for Flynn (46 mins), Ailbhe McHugh for Maher (57 mins), Roisin Williams, Alex Goodman, Julie Donnellan, Leah Kelly, Hannah McKeon.



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