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Clare Seniors V Westmeath NFL Rnd 6 2015

Clare’s Senior Ladies Football team travelled to Kinnegad last Sunday to play Westmeath in round six of the TESCO’s Homegrown National Football League and a very entertaining game of football unfolded. Played under gale force conditions you would have thought a game of two halves would be the case but both sides found it hard to marshal the strong crosswind. Clare were up against fancied division two semi-finalists Westmeath and a win for the Banner County would banish a relegation play-off

Against the breeze, The Lake County were first on the board but a tenacious Clare attack pushed forward by Louise Woods and Emer Hillery in midfield forced a foul on Ellie O’Gorman which Ailish Considine did well to convert under poor conditions. When Westmeath converted their own free, Considine was back with a very good point from play with support from Roisin Howley.  Rookie goalkeeper, Ciara Coughlan swamped a one on one goal effort with customary bravery but it was collected and pointed at the end of the exchange. On the end of the first quarter Grainne Nolan levelled things up for Clare at three points apiece. When Westmeath worked low ball into the Clare danger zone, they took a point from play and a pointed free in quick succession but Considine once again converted a Grainne Nolan won free, to reduce the deficit to the minimum, four points to Westmeath’s five. After the Lakesiders pulled two ahead, a solid backline including Clare Hester, Emma O’Driscoll and Roisin Considine took control and launched a stinging attack via Captain Laurie Ryan and Louise Woods. At the end of the movement, Ailish Considine released her clubmate Ellie O’Gorman and her daisy cutter rattled the Westmeath net before the break sending Clare in at half time with a one point lead. An unfortunate clash caused Carol O’Leary’s exit at half time, after a strong contribution under very poor conditions. Sarah Browne came in as her replacement.

With the wind at their backs, Westmeath dominated the third quarter taking five points before Roisin Howley pointed on fifteen minutes. With massive effort from Fiona Toughy, Laurie Ryan, Lousie Woods and Emer Hillery, Clare kept the hosts pinned in for long passages of play up to the end of the game. When Ailish Considine was denied her penalty on twenty five minutes, it didn’t deter the Saffron and Blue attack. Great spirit and determination from minors Becky Mahon, Kate Coughlan and Grainne Nolan drove Clare forward and produced another Considine converted free leaving them two points in arrears with five minutes to go (1-6 to 0-11). However, likely division two semi-finalists Westmeath finished the game with two additional points bringing the final score to 1-6 to 0-13 in favour of the hosts Westmeath.

This was Clare’s best performance in the league to date, showing much appetite, speed and cohesion.  Poor handling in the early stages because of terrible weather conditions may have cost the Clare girls a much needed win. Clare now face their Division 2 relegation face-off with Down in Kilmihil next Friday 3rd April.

 

Ciara Coughlan (kilmihil), Roisin Rouine (Liscannor), Emma O’Driscoll Clare Hester (Fergus Rovers), Fiona Toughy (Doorabarefield), Laurie Ryan (Capt), Carol O’Leary (Newmarket-On-Fergus), Emer Hillery (Liscannor), Lousie Woods (Banner Ladies), Roisin Howley (0-1) (Burren Gaels), Ailish Considine (0-4, 3f) (Kilmihil), Ellie O’Gorman (1-0) (Kilmihil), Grainne Nolan (0-1) (Banner Ladies), Becky Mahon (Kilmihil), Kate Coughlan (Kilmihil). Sub: Sarah Browne (Kilmihil) for Carol O’Leary (30 mins).

 

Management: John Burke (Manager), Martin Nolan, Martin Sexton, Kay Considine (Liaison) and Bernie Regan (Physio)        

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