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2008 Clare Senior Championship 2nd Round

2008 Clare Senior Championship 2nd Round

Date:  Tuesday July 29th

Venue: Miltown

Referee: Michael Talty (Miltown)

Banner Ladies 4 – 11  West Clare Gaels 3 – 6

As these two teams are perceived as potential finalists there was always going to be some tactical shadow boxing with regard to Tuesday’s game.  The inclement weather didn’t help matters either and the game was played in an incessant heavy drizzle on a dull evening in Miltown.

The Banner Ladies were the stronger team all through this game and while most plaudits generally go in the direction of a team’s forwards on this occasion one must praise the Ennis side’s defence for doing such a disciplined job in curtailing the likes of Marie Kelly and Majella Griffin.  Outstanding for the town side in defence were Laurie Ryan, Sarah Hoey, Niamh Cavanagh, Michele Delaney and Katie Cahill.

In the middle of the park Louise Henchy gave her best display in some time for the club and notched up 2-3 for herself in the process.  Up front Niamh O’Dea was again magnificent and was ably assisted by Niamh Keane in the half-forward line.  New club member Claire Walsh also had an impressive evening and contributed 2-1 to the winning score-line.

The Banner ladies had the benefit of the breeze in the first half and opened brightly with points in the third, firth and sixth minutes from Niamh O’Dea, Irene Hehir and Jane Kennedy. The town team were given a massive boost in the tenth minute when a Louise Henchy forty five flew straight to the corner of the net.  Henchy herself followed this up with a point from play direct from the kick out..  A fifth minute pointed free from Majella Griffin was all the Gaels had to show for the first quarter hour’s play.

Henchy and Griffin swapped points before Niamh O’Dea kicked three glorious long range pointed frees for the Banner.  Each kick was at least forty metres but the fourteen year old split the posts with uncanny accuracy.  Irene herhi nearly got in for a Banner ladies goal on twenty seven minutes and her effort rebounded off the crossbar.  Fortunately for the town side Claire Walsh was first on hand and confidently stroked the ball to the West Clare Gaels net.  The banner thus led by 2-8 to 0-2 at half time.

The Banner Ladies started the second period just as they had finished the first and had great early points from Niamh O’Dea and Claire Walsh before Louise Henchy scored her second goal of the night – a fortunate effort from distance that deflected off the wet underfoot conditions to completely deceive the West Clare goalkeeper.  Thus five minutes in the Banner ladies had extended their lead to 3-10 to 0-2 and were as good as home and dry.  The Gaels refused to give up the ghost though and were rewarded with a Majella Griffin goal on forty five minutes and a flurry of Marie Kelly points.  The Gaels also tagged on two late goals but even then the town side struck back with Claire Walsh scoring her second major of the night.

The Banner ladies were deserving winners on the night but the conditions did not suit West Clare Gaels running style of play.  On a dry sod it would be interesting to see how both teams would fare out.  Still from the losers point of view they had good performances from the Kelly sisters Marie and Sinéad, Niamh Lardener also did well and Majella Griffin did her bit despite being tightly shackled all through.  The game was well refereed by Michael Talty and despite the difficult conditions he controlled the play excellently.

Dr. Paul McKenna,

Sec/PRO Banner Ladies Football Club Ennis


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