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Bord Gais Energy Ladies National Football League Div.3 Round 1

Clare got their season off to great start on Sunday when they recorded a 2-9 to 0-7 victory over Down at Miltown Malbay in the opening round of the League.

Clare had a strong team on duty with just one debutant in Naomi Carroll at full forward. Louise Woods returned to the team for her first match since the All Ireland Intermediate final win over Fermanagh in Sept 09. Colette Corry had her first start since picking up a knee injury against Waterford in the Intermediate Munster Final in July 09 while Grace Lynch also returned to
the starting fifteen. On the other hand it looks like Clare will be without Fiona Lafferty and West Clare Gaels outstanding full back Sinead Kelly for the year from the team that ran Dublin so close in the All Ireland Senior Quarter Final last August.

Midfielder Louise Henchy opened Clare’s account from a free and by the 3rd minute Naomi Carroll had stretched the lead. Down centre forward Kayla Trainor had her sides opening score in the 11th when she pointed. The same player caused many problems for the Clare defence. She added three further points putting her side 0-4 to 0-3 ahead with over twenty played before Eimear Considine levelled. Prior to this Liscannor’s Marie Considine had a fine point.

Wing back Louise Woods ended a strong run from the half back line with a point to put Clare back in front and from here the home side never lost their lead.

A good Clare move involving Eimear and Marie Considine was finished to the net by Niamh O’Dea to send Clare in leading 1-5 to 0-6 at half time with all of Down’s scores coming from the aforementioned Trainor.

The opening twenty minutes of the second half just produced just one score from each side Clare’s point coming from Eimear Considine with Paula Gribban raising the white flag for Down. It may have taken twenty minutes but this score seemed to get Clare going and Ailish Considine justified her introduction when she immediately followed her sister’s score with a fisted point before Niamh O’Dea had her second goal after Eimear Considine had done the spade work. O’Dea followed with a point and the last score of the game fell to All Star Nominee Louise Henchy to see Clare run out comfortable winners in the end.

While Clare did win in the end by eight points it was in the closing minutes they pulled away. Little separated the sides on the scoreboard up until then.
Down kicked a number of wides while Clare missed some glorious goal scoring opportunities with Niamh O’Dea hitting the crossbar and Eimear Considine denied on a number of occasions. In all three players were sin binned for yellow card offences, corner back Kathyrn Boden from Down was first to leave the field of play inside the opening quarter while Clare Hester of Clare
suffered the same fate shortly before half time. Down’s wing back Sinead Fegan became the third player to have to sit out ten minutes of playing time.
Emma O’Driscoll pulled of a fine save for Clare at a crucial time in the second half, Louise Woods and Sinead Eustace were Clare’s best defenders on the day. Eimear O’Connor whose brother Cathal was in action with the Clare footballers in Carraig on Shannon was switched to centre back for the second half in an effort to curb Kayla Trainor. Colette Corry and Louise Henchy worked hard at midfield while the team captain Niamh Keane ran herself in to the ground at centre forward. Niamh O’Dea, Naomi Carroll and Eimear Considine were dangerous in the full forward line and while they did score 2-4 from play
between them they could have scored much more. All in all a great start to the year for David O’Brien’s side which will see them travel to Leitrim on Saturday for Round 2 in confident form.

Kyla Trainors was Down’s best player on the day while their goal keeper Katie Farrell did very well to limit Clare to two goals with some fine saves.

Clare; Emma O’Driscoll (Banner Ladies) , Clare Hester (Fergus Rovers), Sinead Eustace (Coolmeen), Laurie Ryan (Banner Ladies), Grace Lynch (Coolmeen), Carmel Considine (Liscannor), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies) 0-1, Colette Corry
(Shannon Gaels), Louise Henchy (Banner Ladies) 0-2 (0-1f), Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Niamh Keane (Banner Ladies), Marie Considine (Liscannor) 0-1, Niamh O’Dea (Banner Ladies) 2-1, Naomi Carroll (Banner Ladies) 0-1, Eimear Considine (Kilmihil) 0-2.

Subs; Niamh Greene (Coolmeen) for Lynch (25th), Ailish Considine (Kilmihil)

0-1 for Hester (38th), Roisin McMahon (Newmarket on Fergus) for C. Considine (50th), Anne Marie Callinan (Cooraclare) for O’Dea (58th), Kayleigh McCormack (Burren Gaels) for Carroll (58th), Aine Burke (Liscannor) for E. Considine (60th),
Carol O’Leary (Newmarket on Fergus) for M. Considine (60th), Martina Scales (Liscannor)for Ryan (60th)

Down; Katie Farrell, Hannah Murray, Niamh McGowan, Kathyrn Boden, Emma Mulhern, Kerianne McGee, Sinead Fegan, Clara Fitzpatrick, Aine McCurry, Cassie Moana, Kyla Trainor 0-6, Orla Fegan, Louise Kelly, Eimear Kane, Paula Gribban 0-1

Referee: Ritchie O’Connor (Tipperary)

Div 3 Round 1 Results; Leitrim 3-15 Wexford 1-4, Longford 2-8 Wicklow 2-9, Limerick v Fermanagh was postponed.

Mary Keane

Clare Ladies Football Adult P.R.O.

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