All Ireland U-16 B Final Preview

All Ireland U-16 B Final Preview

All Ireland U-16 B Final Clare .v. Tipperary

Venue:              Claughaun, Co. Limerick.

Date:                Sunday, August 10th

Time:                5.00pm

What a thrilling game is in prospect as the current Munster champions Tipperary face the reigning All Ireland champions Clare for All Ireland glory.  Given the recent history between both counties in a totally different but related code there should be no quarter asked for or given when both these teams meet on Sunday.

The Clare girls will be anxious to overturn their replay loss to the Premier County side in the Munster final while Tipperary will be equally motivated to confirm their superiority over the Banner County and prove that their Munster crown was no fluke.  Either way it has the ingredients of a thrilling final match and hopefully many Clare supporters will travel on Sunday.

Although somewhat small in stature this Clare team is brimful of talent.  Players such as Naomi Carroll (Banner Ladies), Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Niamh O’Dea (Banner Ladies), Ailish Considine (Kilmihil), Laurie Ryan (Banner Ladies), Toni Lagan (Wolfe Tones na Sionna), Megan Hough (Banner Ladies), Sally Glynn (Cooraclare) and Louise Woods (Banner Ladies) have all had plenty of high grade inter-county and club experience to assist them in overcoming the Tipperary girls on Sunday next.  Add in the return to form of Shannon Gaels’ Sarah Bohannon and Miltown’s Niamh Pender plus the dependability of Siobhán Talty (Miltown) in goal and you see a serious team in the making.  When Aoife Murphy (Doora/Barefield) and Katie Cahill (Banner Ladies) are added to the defensive line-up the hopes of a Clare win are added to greatly.

Tipperary are the favourites however thanks to their emphatic Munster final replay win and Clare, despite their strong lineout will have it all to do.  Can they curb the influential play of the Tipperary midfielders, centre forward and centre back that proved such an influential diamond in both the draw and replay of the Munster final?  Clare must outwit the physically stronger Tipperary team through using their speed of foot and also by keeping play to the wings and away from the Tipperary strength through the middle.

Clare may well be underdogs for this game but if they play to their collective full potential, and play to the direction of their astute manager JJ O’Dea, they stand every hope of overcoming the favourites.  To win an All Ireland is a great achievement but to retain that title earns one a special place in football history – expect Clare to gain this special commendation on Sunday by a narrow margin.  But hey, a win is a win.  Ask the U-21 hurlers.

Dr. Paul McKenna,
PRO Clare Ladies Football

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