Banner Ladies retain their U-16 title

Banner Ladies Retain their U-16 title


Clare Ladies U-16 A Football Championship
Final 2007.

Venue: Newmarket on Fergus

Referee: Johnny Hayes (Fergus Rovers)

The Banner 5 – 19 Wolfe Tones na Sionna 3 – 2

Sometimes when your luck’s not in nothing
goes right for you. So it was for a hapless Wolfe Tones
in this U-16 A final played in glorious sunshine in Newmarket
on Wednesday evening. Ever before a ball was kicked the
Tones knew they had a mountain to climb with the loss
through injury of three influential players including
the gifted Toni Lagan. To have any chance against their
vaunted Ennis rivals the Tones knew that they had to be
at full strength and as such these player losses were
ultimately catastrophic to their chances of victory. The
game opened at a brisk pace and the Banner were in front
inside a minute when a Wolfe Tone defender was guilty
of playing the ball while on the ground and Niamh O’Dea
tapped over a simple close in free for the Ennis side.
O’Dea was on hand again to finish an intricate passing
movement to the Shannon net three minutes later and this
score was quickly followed by a Louise Woods point from
play. Shannon were giving it everything at this stage
however and were rewarded in the eight minute when their
diminutive but excellently skilful corner forward Rachel
O’Brien found the Banner net. Two points followed for
the Banner on ten and thirteen minutes from O’Dea and
Aidín Shannon to leave the score 1 – 5 to 1 – 0 after
the first quarter.

The Banner Ladies U-16 Clare Champions

As the Ennis team had a significant wind
advantage the game was still very much in the melting
pot at this stage. From here to the interval however the
Banner took control of things. With captain Shonagh Enright
and dual player Naomi Carroll dominating affairs at mid-field
the Tone’s defence was put under severe pressure. Megan
Hough landed a point for the winners on sixteen minutes
and when Aidín Shannon landed their second goal a minute
later the Shannon side were in serious difficulty. The
reigning champions added seven further unanswered points
before the interval from Naomi Carroll (2), Aoife Davoren
(2), Megan Hough, Louise Woods and Niamh O’Dea to retire
at half time 2 – 13 to 1 – 0 to the good. Even having
to face the wind in the second half it was clear to all
in attendance that the 2007 championship honours were
heading to Ennis for the second season in succession.
Credit Wolfe Tones however for their second half performance.
They continued to carry the game to the Banner right to
the final whistle and although lacking in firepower through
the enforced absence of injured players they were determined
to let neither themselves nor their club down. Goals from
Saoirse Lenihan and Leona Regan and points from Regan
and Harriet Flynn were a reminder to the Banner that had
the Tones a full squad available for selection this could
have been a much more competitive game. Credit the winners
however for maintaining their concentration; this was
rewarded with second half goals from Aidín Shannon (2)
and Megan Hough while points were added by Naomi Carroll
(5) and Louise Woods.

Finalists Wolfe Tones
Following the game the
U-16 trophy was presented to the Banner captain Shonagh
Enright by the secretary of the Clare Ladies Board
Michael Fitzpatrick. Best in defence for the winners
were Niamh Martin, Niamh Cavanagh, Caoimhe O’Dea and
Lorna Higgins while up front and at midfield all played
well but an especial mention must go to three goal
heroine Aidín Shannon of Clancy Park in Ennis. For
the Tones Catherine Danaher, Harriet Flynn, Saoirse
Lenihan, Rachel O’Brien and Leona Regan did very well
and all other panellists fought bravely to the end.
It really was a pity that Wolfe Tones were deprived
of three first choice team players as this is a huge
loss at underage level. Still congratulations to the
Banner for retaining their title and next year they
will try to emulate Miltown who won three titles in
a row between 2003 and 2005.

However both these clubs are well off the record of
the Crusheen Ladies who won the title five times in
a row in the late 1990’s.

The Banner: Ciara McCarthy, Caoimhe O’Dea, Niamh Martin,
Marian Conway, Lorna Higgins, Niamh Cavanagh, Deirdre
Kelleher, Naomi Carroll (0-7), Shonagh Enright, Aoife
Davoren (0-2), Louise Woods (0-3), Kim Moloney, Niamh
O’Dea (1-3), Megan Hough (1-3), Aidín Shannon (3-1).
Subs: Meave McCarthy, Ellen Minogue, Laura Brennan

Dr. Paul McKenna, PRO Banner Ladies Football Club
01/05/2007 Tel: 086 – 6036385


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