Westmeath Hold Off Clare


LGFA All Ireland R1 Clare v W'Meath-22


Westmeath 1-13              Clare 0-10


A contribution of 1-9 from Westmeath midfield pairing of Maud Annie Foley and Ruth Kearney was enough to see the lakesiders set up a date with Mayo in Round 2 of the TG4 Senior Championship as they overcame Clare.

Clare headed into the game off the back of two heavy defeats from Munster rivals and title contenders Cork and Kerry and they sought to redeem their pride. The Banner played the more enterprising football in the opening quarter, and led 0-4 to 0-3. Eimear Considine and Niamh Keane opened their account inside just two minutes but the concession of scoreable frees was to prove expensive to the Clare side all afternoon. Maud Annie Foley  had the game level by the 6th minute with a brace of pointed frees and despite Aine Kelly putting Clare back into a brief lead, Foley had her third pointed free by the 8th minute to level matters for a second time.

Westmeath struck the first significant blow on the 18th minute when Ruth Kearney got onto a well-timed pass from Foley and from 20 yards, she shot low to the net and out of the reach of Emma O’Driscoll in the Clare goal.

Foley and Claffey added further points but Clare responded well and with Louise Henchy kicking two wonderful late points the sides headed to the break level 1-5 to 0-8.

Westmeath introduced Fiona Leavy at half time in a bid to freshen up the attack, which saw only one forward score from play in the first period, and it seemed to work as Westmeath kicked the first five points of the second half as the Clare challenge began to falter.

Clare had to wait for 17 minutes before they added to the scoreboard when Aoife Keane added a point before midfielder Niamh Keane saw her thundering shot just scrape over the bar and for all Westmeath’s endeavour they was still only a goal to the good heading into the final ten minutes.

However, Kearney, Dolan and the impressive Foley added late points to secure a comfortable win. Westmeath manager, Martin Flanagan was pleased with his side at full time:

“We ground it out there in the end. It was a tight enough game maybe in the last ten minutes we pulled away. Clare missed a few scoreable frees there at the start of the second half. I would not say we were at our best but a win is a win” was the Westmeath’s manager’s initial reaction in the aftermath of his team’s victory.

“We were just a bit sloppy but the girls gave 100% commitment and effort but we just gave easy ball away when we should have kept it in hand but that’s stuff we can work on.” He added


Westmeath: Sarah Keegan, Aileen Martin, Lorraine Duncan, Triona Durkan, Laura Kiernan, Jennifer Rogers, Laura Brennan, Maud Annie Foley 0-7 (0-6F), Ruth Kearney 1-2, Karen McDermott, Johanna Maher, Ciara Blundell 0-2, Karen Hegarty, Fiona Claffey 0-1, Katie Sommers

Subs: Fiona Leavy for Katie Sommers (H/T), Sarah Dolan 0-1 for Karen McDermott (48), Aoife Brady for Ciara Blundell (56)

Clare: Emma O’Driscoll, Eimear O’Connor, Laurie Ryan, Sinead Quinn, Eimear Hillery, Louise Woods, Marie Considine, Niamh Keane 0-2, Roisin Looney, Eimear Considine 0-1, Louise Henchy 0-2, Roisin Howley, Aoife Keane 0-1, Aine Kelly 0-4 (0-3F) Grainne Nolan

Subs: Becky Mahon for Aine Kelly (48), Amy O’Brien for Sinead Quinn (50), Aoibhain Malone for Aoife Keane (53), Orla Devitt for Grainne Nolan (53)

Referee: Keith Delahunty





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