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Clare Seniors V Tipp Munster Championship 2015

Since winning the 2009 All-Ireland Intermediate title, Clare’s ladies footballers have competed at senior status where their highest position was in the last eight in the country in 2012. Now back in the Munster Enda McDonnell Intermediate competition, they took on 2013 Intermediate finalists Tipperary in the first round, held in Kilmihil GAA grounds last Saturday 30th May. Two of Munster Ladies Gaelic Football stalwarts and long-time friends, the late Johnny Hayes and the late Enda McDonnell would have relished this paring and the chance to catch up on MLGFA happenings over a cup of tea. Always remembered.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

A very fast-paced game and tight until the last quarter, Clare were first to attack and initial pressure yielded an Ailish Considine pointed free on two minutes followed by a Roisin Howley left-legged point. A very sharp Tipperary attack in the form of Lorraine O’Shea, Gillian O’Brien, Shauna Ryan and Aislling McCarthy put on a splendid display of overlapping support in the next few minutes when both Ryan and O’Brien took two points each interspersed by a Grainne Nolan point. Clare have an abundance of speedy attacking defenders in captain Laurie Ryan, Ellie O’Gorman, Louise Woods and Grainne Harvey and can supply rapid ball through mid-fielders Becky Mahon and Niamh Keane. When Keane won a throw-up she powered her way from the forty to take her first score of the day to level for the second time on seven minutes at four points a piece. When Lorraine O’Shea pointed for the Premier County, this was immediately negated by Nolan. Clare were putting the pressure on again and Ailish Considine’s floated ball found Roisin Howley at the post but the resulting goal was crossed out when referee AJ Cronin deemed Howley to be loitering in the square. However, from the Tipp kickout, Roisin Howley released Emer Hillery for a stylishly taken shot that found the back of the net to push Clare 3 points ahead, 1-5 to 0-5 at the end of the first quarter.  The retaliatory nature of the game was set to continue to the end of the half as Tipp picked off three points on the run courtesy of Sarah Everard (two) and Aisiling McCarthy to level for the fourth time. It was now all Tipperary pressure but when Ryan’s low goal-bound effort extracted a full stretch save from the Banners Ciara Coughlan who kept a clean sheet on the day, it signalled the launch of the Clare attack once again. Over the next five minutes, Niamh Keane characteristically powered her way for a point on twenty three minutes and Louise Woods’ fifty meter solo effort released Considine for her second of the half while the industrious Keane’s pass to Nolan was also converted for a point. 1-8 to Tipperary’s 0-8 on twenty eight minutes. It looked like Clare would take a three point lead into the break but an evenly matched opposition clawed back two points (Lonergan and O’Brien again) in a blinding spell of play up their left flank. When Ailish Considine pointed her second for the Saffron and Blue two minutes into injury time, a stubborn Tipp side pointed via Sarah Everard leaving a point between them as Ref Cronin blew for the ball. Clare 1-9 to Tipperary 0-11. Clare had wasted several scoring opportunities but would they be able to blow off their persistent opponents in a game that had levelled five times in the first half.  

The introduction of Marie Considine after the break had a positive effect on the Banner’s defence as she repelled several probing efforts early on.  Bridging the centre field, Niamh Keane picked out Ailish Considine who pointed on two minutes but this was immediately matched with an Aisling McCarthy point for Tipperary. The reactive nature of the game continued when a great goal from Roisin Howley, taken at the end of a piercing solo run was written off by Aisling McCarthy’s three points (2 from frees) and when substitute Roisin McGrath added a fourth unanswered point, the teams levelled for the sixth time. The turning point of the game happened on seventeen minutes when Tipperary gave away a penalty for a foot-block. Roisin Howley stepped up to the ball and pushed Clare ahead by three points again with a no-nonsense strike. Clare gave a free away shortly after in the centre of the field and what was to be Tipp’s last score of the day was taken by Aisling McCarthy. An improved second half defensive performance from Clare’s Emma O’Driscoll and Grainne Harvey and bolstered by Marie Considine, inspired an attacking phase coming from deep in the Clare half. O’Driscoll’s block-down on the fourteen was carried forty yards by Ellie O’Gorman and the invited foul was pointed by Ailish Considine with six minutes to go (3-11 to Tipperary’s 0-17). Now reading the ball well, Clare’s defence again snuffed out the next Tipp foray and when captain Laurie Ryan made a penetrating solo run from her own twenty and won the foul on the Tipperary twenty , Considine converted her third pointed free of the day. Considine set up Emer Hillery for the last score of the day when it finished 3-13 for Clare and 0-17 for Tipperary.

This was a hard won but character building performance from a new look Banner County side that had to win this game for confidence reasons. Solid performances from Becky Mahon, Carol O’Leary and Marie Considine and an overall better second half defensive effort staved off a determined Tipperary attack for a strong last quarter win.

Clare are scheduled to play Limerick on June 20th in round two and Waterford on June 27th in round three.  Waterford defeated Limerick 3-16 to 4-07 last Thursday in Bansha.

 

Clare: Ciara Coughlan (Kilmihil), Emma O’Driscoll (Banner Ladies), Laurie Ryan Capt (Banner Ladies), Orlaith Lynch (Banner Ladies), Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies), Grainne Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Niamh Keane (0-2) (Banner Ladies), Becky Mahon (Kilmihil), Roisin Howley (2-1, 1-0 pen) (Burren Gaels), Ailish Considine (Kilmihil) (0-6, 3f), Orlaith Devitt (Eire Og), Grainne Nolan (0-3) (Banner Ladies), Emer Hillery (1-1) (Liscannor), Carol O’Leary (Newmarket-on-Fergus), Fiona Toughy (Doora-Barefield), Kate Coughlan (Kilmihil) for Orla Devitt, Marie Considine (Liscannor) for Orlaith Lynch, Ciara Cahill (Doora-Barefield), Sarah Browne (Kilmihil), Carla Behan (Shannon Gaels) for Carol O’Leary, Karen Roche (Banner Ladies).

 

Tipperary: Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry), Anne O’Dwyer (Cappawhite), Emma Buckley (Cahir), Sinead Delahunty (Foxrock), Barbara Ryan Capt (Moyle Rovers), Louise Cadell (Templemore), Elaine Kelly (Cappawhite), Bernie Ryan (Cappawhite), Breda Feeney (Fermoy), Niamh Lonergan (0-1) (Moyle Rovers), Lorraine O’Shea (0-1) (Mullinahone), Gillian O’Brien(0-3) (Moyle Rovers), Shauna Ryan (0-2) (Ballymacarbry), Aisling McCarthy (0-6, 2f) (Cahir), Sarah Everard (0-3, 1f) (Moyle Rovers), Amy Jordan (Thurles Gaels), Rosin McGrath(0-1) (Moyle Rovers), Elaine Butler (Moyle Rovers), Maria Curley (Templemore), Teresa McGrath (Ballymacarbry), Aimee Pollard (Fethard), Emma Whelan (Ardfinnan), Maureen Murphy (Brian Borus), Caoimhe Bowles (Clonmel Commercials), Aine Lyons (Slievenamon), Aoife Ryan (Cappawhite), Aoibhe O’Shea (Mullinahone), Shania Dowling (Moyle Rovers), Sheelagh Carew (Cappawhite), Laura Dillon (Ardfinnan).



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