2008 Munster Intermediate Final Match Report

2008 Munster Intermediate Final Match Report

Date: Saturday June 28th
Venue: Hospital, Co. Limerick.
Referee: Kieran Creed (Cork)

Clare 4 – 14 Tipperary 0 – 12

Clare gained revenge for last years final defeat at the hands of Tipperary through a convincing win over the Premier county ladies in the 2008 Munster Intermediate final played in Hospital Co. Limerick on Saturday evening.

Despite the enforced absence of such key players as Louise Henchy, Fiona Lafferty, Eimear Considine and Sarah Hoey Clare still managed to produce a fine performance and were well worth their fourteen point winning margin. Indeed their first half performance was top class and with wind advantage Clare raced into an unassailable 3 – 9 to 0 – 5 interval advantage.

Clare had a tonic start with a first minute point from Niamh Keane and three minutes later player of the match Áine Kelly was put through on goal only to be unceremoniously hauled down by the Tipperary goalkeeper Patricia Hickey. Hickey was very lucky to remain on the field following her transgression but had no luck in her attempt to save the resulting penalty as Grace Lynch struck a magnificent effort to the top right hand corner of the net. This score set Clare alight and when Niamh Keane scored her side’s second goal in the eight minute Tipperary were in big trouble. Clare were now playing a lovely brand of free flowing open football and built up a 2 – 6 to 0 – 3 advantage by the quarter hour with points from Majella Griffin (0-3 from frees), Áine Kelly and Grace Lynch. Tipperary’s scores came from two frees by Edel Hanley and a point from play from full forward Gillian O’Brien.

Clare then produced the move of the match with a great combination effort that started in their own half backline and ended with Marie Kelly being put through on goal and the Kilkee lass was unerring in beating the Tipperary netminder. This goal followed a great Tipperary chance a minute earlier when referee Kieran Creed harshly penalised the Clare defence and awarded the Premier ladies a very dubious penalty. Justice appeared to be done when goalkeeper Denise Walsh pulled off a great save from the boot of Máiréad Morrissey. Clare continued to dominate right up to the interval and had a further two points from Majella Griffin frees and a superb point from play from Úna Downes. Tipperary added two points in this period through frees from Hanley but had a mountain to climb given their thirteen point interval defecit.

Tipperary did up their tempo on the resumption but could not break down a resolute Clare defence for whom Grace Lynch, Sinéad Kelly, Michelle Delaney and Sinéad Eustace were particularly effective. Jane Kennedy was also dogged at midfield and ensured that any possession that Tipperary won in this area was hard fought for. Her partner Sandra Malone also worked her socks off and caught some lovely high balls which she distributed very well.

For all of Tipperary’s early second half pressure it was Kilmihil’s Úna Downes who opened the scoring with a well taken point from play in the fifth minute of the half. Tipperary did add three points in succession through wing forward Sheelagh Carew and free taker Hanley but their defence was ripped asunder once more in the forty fifth minute when Áine Kelly played Majella Griffin through only for the West Clare Gael’s star to be fouled in the big square and a second Clare penalty ensued. Grace Lynch was again called upon and her effort again made the net even if Hickey in the Tipperary goal did get a hand to it on this occasion. The game was now over as a contest and both sides swapped four points apiece from here until the final whistle. Of significance to Clare in the closing minutes was the introduction of captain Louise Henchy. Henchy had been sidelined for the past four weeks with an ankle ligament injury and she capped her introduction with a well taken point and suffered no ill effects on her recovering ankle.

This performance is just the tonic that Clare needed as they now concentrate on the All Ireland Intermediate championship. Their opening game is against Roscommon on Sunday next at a Roscommon venue and hopefully they will again be able to reproduce the form they showed in winning against Tipperary this evening.

Following the match the chairman of the Munster Council Michael Ryan presented the trophy to joint captains on the day Louise Henchy and Denise Walsh. Áine Kelly was also presented with the player of the match award. Referee Kieran Creed had a good game but could have used the advantage rule to more effect on some occasions and erred when allowing a Tipperary point from a ‘possession ball’ early in the first half.

Clare: Denise Walsh (St. Michael’s Galway), Niamh Coyne (Miltown), Lorraine Kelly (Fergus Rovers), Michelle Delaney (Banner Ladies), Grace Lynch (2-1, Coolmeen), Sinéad Kelly (West Clare Gaels), Sinéad Eustace (Coolmeen), Sandra Malone (Miltown), Jane Kennedy (Banner Ladies), Úna Downes (0-2, Kilmihil), Marie Kelly (1-0, West Clare Gaels), Marie Considine (Liscannor), Áine Kelly (0-1, Fergus Rovers), Majella Griffin (0-8, West Clare Gaels), Niamh Keane (0-1, Banner Ladies).

Subs: Tammy Hehir (Cooraclare) for Niamh Coyne, Louise Henchy (0-1, Banner Ladies) for Úna Downes, Ann Marie Callinan (Cooraclare for Marie Kelly), Rachel Garry (Cooraclare) for Áine Kelly, Emma O’Driscoll (Banner Ladies) for Majella Griffin.

Tipperary: Patricia Hickey, Aoife O’Dwyer, Maeve Corcoran, Claire Lambert, Ann O’Dwyer, Carmel Condon, Claire Carroll, Treasa McManus, Mairéad Morrissey, Sheelagh Carew (0-1), Siobhán Costello, Jennifer Grant, Cathríona Walsh, Gillian O’Brien (0-1), Edel Hanley (0-9-all frees).

Subs: Jane Clancy (0-1), Mairéad Luttrell.

Dr. Paul McKenna, PRO Clare

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