Clare 1 - 8 Tipperary 1 - 8

Press Release Clare Ladies Football Board 24/06/2006 

Match Report Clare .v. Tipperary 1st Round Munster Junior


Clare 1 – 8 Tipperary 1 – 8


Clare will have mixed feelings following this exciting
draw in the Munster Junior Championship game played in a sunny Bansha
on Saturday evening. That when fourteen woman Tipperary equalised
with the last kick of the game really stung Clare cannot be denied
but equally Clare will accept that they were hanging on for dear
life during the tense final ten minutes of this game. 

Clare, playing into a slight breeze, started brightly and the
ever industrious Áine Kelly scored their opening point
in the third minute. Clare continued to dominate the early exchanges
and were further rewarded with points from Louise Henchy in the
fifth and seventh minutes. A flowing Clare move then saw Áine
Kelly upended in the Tipperary square and referee Pat White immediately
pointed to the penalty spot. Midfielder Sonia Maher dispatched
the spot kick with due aplomb and the Banner ladies appeared to
be cruising with a 1 – 3 to no score advantage. From the kickout
however Tipperary won possession and forced a close in free from
which their deadly accurate markswoman Edel Hurley opened their
account with a point. Hurley added a further pointed free in the
fifteenth minute to further narrow the gap before the Tipperary
forwards completely opened up the Clare defence to put Gillian
O’Brien through for a wonderful goal on sixteen minutes.

In fairness Clare responded immediately with a Majella Griffin
point but Tipperary were now beginning to dominate affairs. Clare
were decidedly unlucky to have midfielder Sonia Maher sin-binned
on twenty three minutes for what appeared to be a genuinely accidental
clash with a Tipperary player. With a numerical advantage Tipperary
piled forward and despite some magnificent defending by Clare’s
player of the match, Eithne Morrissey, Tipperary drew level with
points on nineteen and twenty three minutes. Clare continued to
defend bravely and were rewarded when the excellent Áine
Kelly scored a great point just on the stroke of half time. Thus
Clare went in at the break with a 1 – 5 to 1 – 4 advantage.

Tipperary came out fighting in the second period and Edel Hurley
levelled the game in the thirty fourth minute with a good point
from play. However the game was turned on its head with the dismissal
of their influential midfielder Máiréad Hennessy
in the forty first minute. Hennessey received a straight red card
for a retaliatory blow to Clare’s Tammy Hehir. Hehir was a second
half substitute for midfielder Sonia Maher. Clare immediately
took advantage of their numerical superiority and by the forty
eight minute had raced into a three point lead with scores from
Niamh Keane, Majella Lillis and Áine Kelly. Things were
looking good for Clare at this stage but suddenly the wheels seemed
to come off the Clare wagon.

Visibly tiring the Banner outfit completely lost their shape
in the final ten minutes and the fitter and now faster Tipperary
girls launched wave after wave of attacks on the Clare goal. Eithne
Morrissey again excelled during this frantic period and time after
time she rose high to fetch magnificently and clear her lines.
However not even the brilliance of Morrissey could prevent Tipperary
scoring points in the fiftieth and fifty second minute. Clare
backs were well and truly to the wall at this stage as Tipperary
threw caution to the wind in search of an equalising or winning
score. Clare appeared to have weathered the storm however as the
game entered the second minute of injury time and when Tipperary
won a free on the left wing approximately forty metres from goal
this appeared to be their final chance. Up stepped Edel Hurley
to take the free and when it appeared to be dropping short one
felt the day would be with Clare. The ball did indeed drop short
but the Clare defence failed to clear and in the ensuing melee
for possession a Tipperary boot connected first to send the ball
sailing between the posts for a dramatic equalizer. This was to
be the final act of the match and the score-line read 1 – 8 apiece.

Clare will count themselves both unlucky and lucky with this
result but have only themselves to blame for their loss of momentum
in the final ten minutes of the game. This complete breakdown
of shape and cohesion will be worrying for the Clare management.
Also worrying for the Clare backroom team will be the poor overall
showing of the Clare forwards with only Áine Kelly and
occasionally Niamh Keane showing any degree of form or creativity.
Louise Henchy was excellent for the opening quarter in midfield
but suffered two particularly hard first half knocks and this
appeared to inhibit her for the remainder of the match from which
she faded completely as the game wore on. In defence Eithne Morrissey
was outstanding and Grace Lynch also had an excellent game. Indeed
were it not for the brilliance of this duo Clare could have been
in deep trouble.

Much food for thought then for the Clare ladies as they prepare
for the visit of Cork next weekend. Certainly the team performance
will have to be improved if they are to get anything form the
Cork match and the forward unit will have to be more cohesive
and ruthless next time out. Credit must also go to a well prepared
Tipperary team whose overall level of fitness was astounding.
Referee Pat White of Kerry’s overall handling of the match was
good but Clare will question his harsh decision to yellow card
Sonia Maher in the first half.

Clare: Emma O’Driscoll (The Banner Ladies), Carmel Considine
(Liscannor), Lorraine Kelly (Fergus Rovers), Monica Lillis (Cooraclare),
Grace Lynch (Coolmeen), Eithne Morrissey (Cooraclare), Sinéad
Eustace (West Clare Gaels), Louise Henchy (The Banner Ladies),
Sonia Maher (The Banner Ladies), Niamh Keane (The Banner Ladies),
Majella Griffin (West Clare Gaels), Marie Considine (Liscannor),
Áine Kelly (Fergus Rovers), Majella Lillis (Cooraclare),
Myra Daly (Fergus Rovers).
Subs: Diane Kelly (Miltown) for Marie Considine (25 min.),
Tammy Hehir (Cooraclare) for Sonia Maher (31 min.), Sinéad
Kelly (West Clare Gaels) for Myra Daly (39 min.), Olivia Lucas
(Liscannor) for Monica Lillis (51 min.).

Scorers: Áine Kelly 0 – 3, Sonia Maher 1 – 0, Louise
Henchy 0 – 2, Majella Griffin, Niamh Keane and Majella Lillis
0 – 1 each.

Dr. Paul McKenna,

PRO Clare Ladies Football Board




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