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Clare Seniors V Kildare NFL Rnd 7 2015

Having already secured Division 2 football for next year, Clare’s senior ladies footballer hosted Kildare in Kilmihil last Sunday for the last round of the Tesco Homegrown National Football League. A win for  sixth placed Clare would swap positions with Kildare who were in fifth place in the table.

Kildare started off in earnest and had 1-4 on the board in the first eight minutes, Maria Moolick contributing 1-2. The next eight minutes were all Clare’s who pinned the Kildare girls into the bottom half of the pitch. Powerhouse Niamh Keane took a point at the end of a twenty meter solo and another which could have gone under the bar but for heavy pressure from her marker that brought calls for a penalty from the side line. Ailish Considine then pointed from fouls on herself and Emer Hillery. Then Grainne Nolan then had a grazing miss of the left upright and Roisin Howley was unlucky in her goal attempt. The sustained Clare pressure did bring the penalty when a very industrious Carol O’Leary was brought down while bearing down on goals. Considine’s follow up drove the ball into the net after a low save from Becky McGuirk. Clare 1-4 to Kildare 1-4. 

The second quarter started with the much physically stronger Kildare taking six points split by one  Grainne Nolan single point for Clare who were now five points behind the visitors (1-10 to 1-05). When captain Laurie Ryan led a resurgence from the half back line, her effort missed the target but with five minutes to go, an inspired Saffron and Blue picked off two points from Becky Mahon and Roisin Howley. The last action of the half saw Niamh Keane being fouled and a converted point by Ailish Considine and when Sean Joy blew for the break Clare were two points behind Kildare 1-8 to   1-10.

On the return, Kildare were straight back with three points, Moolick and Roisin Byrne causing most anxiety for the Clare backs. Playing up to the town, end the Clare defence were working flat out against an impressively strong half forward line to feed the attack. When half back Laurie Ryan was fouled on the Kildare twenty, Considine clawed one back from the free. For the next ten minutes several waves of pressure fell on the Kildare defense but were thwarted time and again with nothing to show for the effort. When Kildare finally broke out they extended their lead by two points, 1-16 to 1-9 on twenty minutes.  Again Clare were back in the Kildare danger zone and Becky Mahon had two point blank shots denied to her by a very good goalie. With ten minutes left, it was all tennis like as a successful attack on one end was followed by a successful one on the other end. Points in the last five minutes, for Shauna Harvey, Kate Coughlan (who was denied a goal by another great Kildare save), and Rosin Howley were not enough to close the gap and the bottom half of the Division 2 league table remained the same with Kildare in fifth place and Clare in seventh place as Sean Joy called for the ball.

After a slow start, a very industrious Clare team had worked very hard but did not take their goal chances in the first half and found a strong and determined Kildare panel who won everything in the air and did not want to throw away their mid-table position in the last clash of the league. A new look Clare side who are without a lot of familiar names this year must be applauded for their grit and determination in the long haul the 2015 league has been. They have delivered the goal for the year and retained division two status. The fixtures for the Munster championship have not yet been announced as Clare look forward to their up-coming Intermediate Championship.

Ciara Coughlan (Kilmihil), Shauna Harvey (0-1) (West Clare Gaels) , Emma O’Driscoll (Banner Ladies), Clare Hester (Fergus Rovers), Fiona Tuohy (Doora Barefield), Laurie Ryan (Banner Ladies), Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies), Emer Hillery (Liscannor), Roisin Howley (0-2) (Burren Gaels) , Niamh Keane (0-2) (Banner Ladies), Carol O’Leary (Newmarket-on-Fergus), Grainne Nolan (0-1) (Banner Ladies), Ailish Considine (1-4, 1 pen 4f), (Kilmihil), Becky Mahon (0-1) (Kilmihil),

Subs:  Roisin Considine (Liscannor) for Emer Hillery, Kate Coughlan (0-1) (Kilmihil) for Fiona Tuohy , Ciara Cahill (Doora Barefield) for Clare Hester, Orlaith Lynch (Banner Ladies) for Carol O’Leary 



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