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NFL League Division 2 Reports 2014

Clare Ladies Lose Out Despite Late Rally  - 9th March 2014

Clare: 2.11  Meath: 3.13

 Clare Ladies made the long journey to Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA field on Sunday to take on Meath ladies in Round 5 of the Tesco Division 2 League.  Following a heavy defeat to Galway last week-end Clare needed to get a result in Ashbourne to keep them in contention for a place in the top four.  However, Meath, having won two games and lost two, were not willing to takes Clare’s challenge lightly and had a panel of thirty players at their disposal.  Clare were under strength with the loss, through injury, of Burren Gaels Roisin Howley, who has been an inspiration this year, and experienced defender Laurie Ryan. 

 

Meath were first off the mark with a point from full forward Katie O’Brien.  On the five minute mark she was on target again from a free before Eimear Considine laid on a fine pass to Emer Hillary who raised a white flag for the Banner girls.  Katie O’Brien then kicked a sideline ball which dipped viciously under the crossbar.  Meath midfielder Shauna Bennett added a point.  Aoife Keane had Clare’s second point before Meath went on the attack forcing a great save from Emma O’Driscoll.  However, the Clare backs were deemed to have fouled Meath’s corner forward and a penalty was awarded.  Katie O’Brien gave Emma O’Drioscall no chance when she finished clinically. Meath’s midfielder Shauna Bennett tacked on another point from the kick out.  Alice Davis forced another great save from Emma O’Drioscall and this was deflected over the bar.  This was followed by a point from Katie O’Brien.  During this time Clare were creating chances but poor shooting let them down.  With twenty minutes gone Clare began to come more into the game and Eimear Considine, who was beginning to run at the Meath defence, scored a point.  Minutes later she was taken down unceremoniously and Aine Kelly converted the resulting free.   Meath were the happier side going to the dressing rooms at half time with 2.08 on the board to Clare’s 4 points. 

 

From the throw in Meath went on the attack and had points from Shauna Bennett and Kate Byrne.  Aine Kelly converted a free following a foul on Aoife Keane.  This was followed by a point from Eimear Considine and another pointed free from Aine Kelly for a further foul on Aoife Keane.  Shauna Bennett and Geraldine Doherty had two further points for Meath before Vivienne McCormack, who was just on the field of play, scored Meath’s third goal.  Roisin Looney went on a solo run down the right side of the field and kicked a fine point.   Twenty minutes into the half Eimear Considine laid on a beautiful pass to Aoife Keane who forced a great save from Irene Munnelly.  Aoife made no mistake when she volleyed the rebound to the back of the Meath net.   Meath’s Geraldine Doherty and Clare’s Eimear Considine exchanged points  with Geraldine Doherty adding another to Meath’s tally.  Clare lost Niamh Keane to injury with six minutes left in the game but Clare had the wind up their sails and Louise Henchy added two points.  She was instrumental in the next score for Clare when she laid on a great pass to Eimear Considine.  Eimear cut through the Meath defence and placed the ball in the bottom left corner of the Meath net.

 

This was a much improved performance from Clare when, though guilty at times of some poor shooting, created a lot of chances.  They played some wonderful football with excellent movement and great team awareness.  Clare were well served by experienced players Niamh Keane, Eimear Considine, Louise Henchy, Marie Considine and Louise Woods, as well as minor player Aoife Keane.  This performance will in no small way give great hope as the Clare Ladies team go in search of full points from their next outing against Kildare next week-end.

 

Clare :  Emma O’Drioscall (Banner Ladies), Amy O’Brien (Burren Gaels), Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Clare Hestor (Fergus Rovers), Shauna Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies), Marie Considine (Liscannor), Niamh Keane (Banner Ladies), Roisin Looney (Cooraclare) 0.01, Eimear Considine (Naomh Mearnog) 1.03, Louise Henchy (Banner Ladies) 0.02, Emer Hillary (Liscannor) 0.01, Grainne Nolan (Banner Ladies), Aine Kelly (Fergus Rovers) 0.03 2F, Aoife Keane (Banner Ladies) 1.01. Therese Hartley (East Clare Gaels).

 

Meath: Irene Munnelly, Mary Coyne, Michelle Peel, Sarah Powderly, Siofra Cleary, Maire O’Shaughnessy, Emma Troy, Shauna Bennett (0.04), Kate Byrne (0.01), Alice Davis, Bridgetta Lynch, Meabh Downey, Geraldine Doherty (0.04), Katie O’Brien (2 .03 2F 1P), Laura Dempsey (0.01), Emily Davis (1.00)

 

Referee: Yvonne Duffy (Cavan)


Clare Ladies Travel To Kildare -  15th March 2014

 Venue: Hawkfield Centre of Excellence, Newbridge, Co. Kildare Time: 2.00 p.m.

 Victory For Clare Ladies in Kildare

 

Clare 2.08   Kildare 2.06

 

The Clare and Kildare Ladies served up an enthralling game of football in beautiful sunny Newbridge on Saturday last.  This rescheduled second round tie in the Tesco Division 2 League saw both teams enter the game with just one win under their belts, both having accounted for bottom of the league team, Fermanagh.  Clare had a depleted squad travelling to Newbridge due to injuries and minor camogie commitments but were in need of a win after defeats in their last two outings.  Kildare had been beaten at home last week-end  and were anxious not to lose again on home ground.  With a lot at stake the intensity of this game was obvious from the start with both sides going full on from the throw in.  Scores were hard to come by and defending was steadfast with no one willing to give an inch.  Kildare were a much stronger and more physical team than there counterparts and testament to that was the fact that Clare’s physio, Bernie Regan, had a very busy game.  The first ten minutes saw both teams attacking and forcing saves from both keepers before the game settled.  Clare upped the anti in the second half and pulled away after scoring two goals within five minutes leaving 4 points between the teams. Kildare goaled against the run of play in the 16th minute of the second half leaving the minimum between the sides.  The final 14 minutes were not for the faint hearted as Kildare and Clare gave everything with Clare registering a point to put two between the sides.  This was frantic football with tensions high and both the Clare team and management were relieved when the referee finally blew the full time whistle 8 minutes into injury time.

 

Kildare were first to score on the ninth minute when Maria Moolick found herself one on one with Clare’s goalie, Emma O’Driscoll.  She made no mistake sending a rocket past Emma.  Clare replied with an Aine Kelly free after a foul on Niamh Keane, who was back in her more usual position of centre forward.  Nine minutes in Eimear Considine laid off to Aine Kelly who pointed again for Clare.  Maria Moolick and Grace Clifford both pointed for Kildare.   Eimear Considine forced a great save from Kildare’s goal minder, Rebecca McGuirk, and saw her shot deflected out for a 45.  From Louise Henchy’s 45 Eimear fielded and turned and popped the ball over the bar with her left leg.  Louise Henchy had the next point for Clare following a fine move between Louise Woods and Roisin Looney.  Kildare’s Triona Duggan cancelled out this score.  Kildare’s  Jane O’Donoghue fouled Eimear Considine when she was on the run and the referee deemed it a yellow card offence.  Aine Kelly converted the resulting free.  Considine then won the kick out and laid off to Kelly who again made no mistake and put the ball over the bar.  With five minutes left on the clock Paula Keatley was guilty of a dangerous foul on Niamh Keane when she leg blocked her and the referee Colm McManus from Meath issued a second yellow card.   After a long delay due to this injury the game resumed.  Kildare were now down two players but all credit to them they dug deep and were rewarded with points from Michelle Carey and full forward Elaine Dillon.  Clare piled on the pressure but poor shooting and some great saves from the Kildare keeper saw them go in to the dressing room two points behind.

 

Clare played against the stiff breeze in the second half but right from the outset they laid siege to the Kildare goal.   Jane O’Donoghue returned to the field of play from her sin-binning offence eight minutes into the second half and within a minute was again involved in an incident with Niamh Keane when she made no effort to play the ball.  The referee had no choice but to issue her with a second yellow card and Kildare were to play the rest of the game with just fourteen players.  The next three minutes saw Clare raise two green flags.  First came a wonderful passage of play that ended in Louise Henchy burying the ball in the back of the Kildare net.  Louise Henchy then passed to Eimear Considine who then set up Aine Kelly for a fine goal.  Ashling Curley pointed for the Kildare ladies.  A great cross field pass from Clare’s Amy O’Brien found Louise Henchy who set up Eimear Considine for a point.  Clare appeared to be home and dry at this stage and were controlling the game.  However, Kildare made a burst up the field and Orla Gowran scored a goal after receiving a lucky deflection.  Aine Burke replied with a score leaving just two points between the teams.  Clare lost full back Laurie Ryan to injury on the twenty sixth minute but she returned to the field of play after running repairs some minutes later.  Frantic football ensued for the final ten minutes plus the eight minutes added time with both teams guilty of poor shooting.  Clare were aggrieved when Eimear Considine’s effort was deemed wide when she collected from a Louise Henchy 45, this added insult to injury as she had already been the victim of another questionable umpiring decision in the first half.  However, when the referee finally blew time Clare were the deserved victors and the management team of John Burke and Martin Nolan were obviously jubilant.

 

In goals Emma O’Driscoll was in magnificent form and pulled off many fine saves keeping Clare in the game at vital stages.  In front of her Shauna Harvey and Amy O’Brien were in great form and, player of the match, Laurie Ryan gave an exhibition at full back.  The half back line of Kayleigh McCormack, Eimear O’Connor and Louise Woods soaked up all that Kildare through at them and went forward at every opportunity.  Marie Considine and Roisin Looney covered every blade of grass in Hawkfield GAA field willingly assisting in defence and attack.  Niamh Keane, back in her familiar role at centre forward, played very well and was ably assisted by Louise Henchy and Eimear Considine who were involved  in nearly all Clare’s attacks. Emer Hillary, Aine Kelly and Therese Hartley were always threatening in the full forward line.  Subs introduced were Orlaith Lynch, Aine Burke and former underage star, Megan Haugh and all three accounted well for themselves.  For Kildare Maria Moolick and Triona Duggan impressed in the forward line, with goalie Rebecca McGuirk, midfielder Orla Gowran  and centre back Denise Tierney also catching the eye.

 

This was a welcome win for Clare who have now secured their place in Division 2 for 2015. Clare have a rest next week-end as the Colleges football week-end takes place in Belfast and we would like to wish the very best of luck to all Clare ladies involved in next weekends action. Clare now prepare for the visit of Westmeath in two weeks time before their final league game will see the ladies travel to Down.

 

Clare: Emma O’Driscoll (Banner Ladies), Amy O’Brien (Burren Gaels), Laurie Ryan (Banner Ladies), Shauna Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Kayleigh McCormack (Burren Gaels), Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies), Roisin Looney (Cooraclare), Marie Considine (Liscannor), Eimear Considine 0.02 (Naomh Mearnóg), Niamh Keane (Banner Ladies), Emer Hillary (Burren Gaels), Aine Kelly  1.04 2F(Fergus Rovers), Louise Henchy 1.01 (Banner Ladies), Trase Hartley (East Clare Gaels).  Subs: Aine Burke 0.01 (Liscannor), Orlaith Lynch (Banner Ladies), Megan Haugh (Banner Ladies).

 

Kildare: Rebecca McGuirk, Roisin Byrne, Jane O’Donoghue, Kiri Lowry, Ashling Curley 0.01, Denise Tierney, Rachel Corrigan, Paula Keatley, Orla Gowran 1.00, Maria Moolick 1.01, Triona Duggan 0.01, Michelle Carey 0.01, Grace Clifford 0.01, Elaine Dillon 0.01, Donna Berry. 

 

Referee: Colm McManus (Meath)



Clare Hold On to Take Full Points – 30th March

Clare:    3.08  Westmeath:    1.13

 

The old adage that goals win matches was certainly true when Westmeath travelled to Cooraclare on Sunday to take on the Clare ladies team.  Clare Ladies were very much the pre-match underdogs with Westmeath comfortably placed on the Division 2 League table having qualified for the quarter finals.  Clare had made sure of their Division 2 status when they beat Kildare on there last outing.  But a trio of goals in the second half saw Clare etch out a one point victory leaving Westmeath stunned.  Westmeath lined out with just one change from the programme whereas Clare were without the services, due to injury, of Laurie Ryan, Roisin Howley and Roisin Looney.  Clare always looked like taking points from this game as they defended with passion and played as a team possessed giving every ounce for the cause.  Even in the final stages of the game when Westmeath were introducing fresh legs the girls from the Banner county dug even deeper and held out in a heart stopping finish. 

 

Clare were first on the attack and with just two minutes played they had a point from the boot of Louise Henchy.  Fiona Leavy  and Aine Kelly exchanged frees before Grainne Nolan received a short kick from a Louise Henchy 45 to sell a lovely dummy and put over a point. With fifteen minutes on the clock Westmeath began to run at the Clare backs but were frustrated with staunch defending and were forced to kick from difficult angles as they clocked up the wides.  During this period of intense pressure Westmeath managed to get a point from a free from Fiona Leavy and a point from play from corner forward Karen Hegarty.   The Clare forwards were getting to terms with poor kick outs from the Westmeath goal minder and began to dominate and finished the first half with a fine point from Niamh Keane.

 

Clare were slow to return to the field of play in the second half and one can only wonder what words of wisdom John Burke must have given his charges.  They stormed into the game winning the throw in and after a one two between Eimear Considine and Aine Kelly Considine burst through the Westmeath defence scoring a fine goal.  Two minutes later Louise Woods came through from wing back and landed a ball in the top corner of the Westmeath net.  Eimear Hillary, Aine Kelly and Louise Henchy added points in quick succession and Clare were now in the driving seat.  Fiona Leavy and Maud Annie Foley pulled two back for the Westmeath girls with an Aine Kelly free tucked between these scores.  Eighteen minutes in to the second half Clare had their third goal compliments of substitute Aoife Keane.  Clare were now six points up and it looked like game over.  Full credit to Westmeath whose tigerish fight back added great excitement to the last ten minutes.  Their fight back began with a shot on goal that was well saved by Clare goalie, Emma O’Driscoll.  However, her deflection was doubled on by the onrushing Westmeath substitute, Nicola Judge.  Karen McDermot, Lauren Kennedy and Maud Annie Foley all added on points before Westmeath’s best player of the day, Johanna Maher, left just one point between the sides with twenty nine minutes played.  With four minutes of injury time tensions were high both on and off the pitch and Clare players, management and supporters alike were relieved when Galway referee, P.J. Rabbitte, finally blew the final whistle.

 

The Clare back line worked tirelessly and as a unit were brilliant.  Starting in goals Emma O’Driscoll was once again superb while in front of her Orla Lynch and Clare Hester kept their forwards at bay.  Eimear O’Connor slotted in effortlessly at full back and played exceptionally well.  Shauna Harvey and Kayleigh McCormack also accounted well for themselves and Louise Woods gave a player of the match display.  Both Niamh Keane and Marie Considine’s  work ethic was unreal as they roamed between defence and attack.  Aine Burke and Emer Hillary were always available to assist and centre forward Louise Henchy put in a magnificent hour for Clare.  Aine Kelly was very accurate on frees and minor player Grainne Nolan belied her young age.  Back in her usual role of full forward Eimear Considine caused quite a few problems for the Westmeath backline and received a lot of unwanted attention with frees resulting.  Joanne Howley and Aoife Keane, who snatched Clare’s third goal also did well when introduced.

 

The small crowd in attendance at sunny Cooraclare GAA field were served up a game that had all the vital elements - stout defending, great saves, brilliant skill, four goals, wonderful points, fierce intensity and a grandstand finish.  This game had it all, and, from a Clare point of view, the right outcome.   

 

Clare Ladies now travel to Down next week-end where, depending on other results and scoring differences, they could still qualify for the play offs.

 

Clare: Emma O’Driscoll (Banner Ladies), Orlaith Lynch (Banner Ladies), Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Clare Hester (Fergus Rovers), Shauna Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies) (1.00), Kayleigh McCormack (Burren Gaels), Niamh Keane (Banner Ladies) (0.01), Marie Considine (capt.) (Liscannor),  Aine Burke (Liscannor), Louise Henchy (Banner Ladies) (0.02), Emer Hillary (Liscannor) (0.01), Aine Kelly (Fergus Rovers (0.03F), Eimear Considine (Naomh Mearnóg) (1.00), Grainne Nolan (Banner Ladies)(0.01), Aoife Keane (Banner Ladies) (1.00), Joanne Howley (Burren Gaels), Tracy Hartley (East Clare Gaels).

 

Westmeath: Sarah Keegan, Aileen Martin (capt), Rebecca Dunne, Triona Durkin, Fiona Claffy, Aimee Giles, Laura Brennan, Jenny Rodgers, Maud Annie Foley (0.02 1F), Johanna Maher (0.01), Ciara Blundell, Karen McDermot (0.01), Chloe Kelly, Fiona Leavy (0.06 5F), Karen Hegarty (0.02).  Subs: Aimee Duncan, Katie Somers, Laura Kiernan, Lauren Kennedy (0.01), Fiona Coyle, Nicole Judge (1.00), Lorraine Duncan.

 

Referee: P.J. Rabbitte (Galway)



End of League Campaign For Clare Ladies

 Clare 3.03 - Down:  0.15

 

Clare made the long journey to Abbey Grammar School grounds in Newry loosing out by three points to the girls from the Mourne County in the final round of the Tesco Division 2 League.   Clare lined out without injured Laurie Ryan and Roisin Looney but welcomed back Roisin Howley after a long injury spell.  Niamh Keane, Clare Hester  and Eimear Considine were also unavailable, the latter involved with the Clare camogie team in their do or die league tie against Limerick in Kilmallock. 

 

Though conditions were sunny there was a very strong crossfield breeze which favoured Down in the first half.  Clare, however, got off to a bright start but it was the Down ladies who had the first score, a point from Karen McMullen.  On the three minute mark Clare rattled the Down net when Grainne Nolan raised the first green flag of the day for the Banner county.  Down’s midfielder, Megan Doherty, was yellow carded by referee Colum McManus in the twenty third minute for persistent fouling.  From the resulting free Clare captain Marie Considine found Aine Kelly with a perceptive pass and Kelly slotted the ball past Sinead Branagan in the Down goal.  Clare’s third goal was the result of great link up play between their midfielders and forwards finishing with Marie Considine when she drew the corner back leaving Trese Hartley to finish.  This Trese did in style when she rounded the full back and beat the onrushing goalie.    Down had scores in this half from Kyla Trainor (2), Clara Fitzpatrick (2), and Aileen Pyres with two pointed frees and one from play.  Sinead Fegan and Lisa Morgan also got their names on the scores sheet. 

 

On the resumption Down went on the attack and within a few minutes of the re-start had two unanswered points to level matters.  Emma O’Driscoll was called on to make a great save as was full back, Eimear O’Connor.  But sustained pressure and a Clare team that was tiring saw Down score four more points to Clare’s one, a point from a free from Grainne Nolan.   Clare had a lot of possession in the closing stages of the half but were unable to break down a strong Down defence and though they ran at them repeatedly they were not rewarded on the score board. 

 

The Clare ladies who travelled to Newry gave their all and were clearly devastated not to take the points in this close physical encounter.   Emma O’Driscoll was again in excellent form assisted by a steady full back line of Orlaith Lynch, Sinead Quinn and Eimear O’Connor.   Louise Woods had a great game at centre back and Shauna Harvey and Kayleigh McCormack did well.  Marie Considine was excellent at midfield and was ably assisted by young Emer Hillary.  The half forward line of Roisin Howley, Grainne Nolan and Louise Henchy all excelled and Aine Kelly, Aoife Keane and Trease Harley also accounted well for themselves.

 

Clare have had a great league campaign, accounting for Fermanagh, Kildare and Westmeath with narrow defeats to Meath, Cavan and Down.   There are a lot of positives to be taken from their league outings and the experience gained by the young players in particular will help in their preparations for the Munster championship and the All Ireland series.

 

Clare: Emma O’Drioscol (Banner Ladies), Orlaith Lynch (Banner Ladies), Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Sinead Quinn (Banner Ladies), Shaune Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies), Kayleigh McCormack (Burren Gaels), Marie Considine capt. (Liscannor), Emer Hillary (Liscannor), Roisin Howley (Burren Gaels), Louise Henchy (Banner Ladies), Grainne Nolan (Banner Ladies) (1.1 1F), Trease Hartley (East Clare Gaels) (1.0), Aine Kelly (Fergus Rovers) (1.2 2F), Aoife Keane (Banner Ladies)

 

Down: Sinead Branagan, Orla Boyle, Eliza Downey, Hannah Murray, Eimear Kane, Niamh McGowan, Sinead Fegan (0.2), Clare Fitzpatrick (0.2), Megan Doherty, Orla Fegan, Karen McMullen, Kyla Trainor capt.,(0.3) Hannah McGaggorain, Lisa Morgan (0.3), Aileen Pyres (0.4), Erin Robinson (0.1)

 

Referee: Colm McManus



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