2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Clare 4 - 7 Tipperary 0 - 8

Match Report All Ireland U-16B Ladies Football Final

Date: September 7th
Venue: Feenagh, Co. Limerick
Referee: James Flood (Wexford)

Clare 4 – 7 Tipperary 0 – 8


When referee James Flood blew the final whistle of this All Ireland U-16B Football Final nobody in attendance was in any doubt but that Clare were worthy winners. Rarely has a panel of players played so well as a collective unit in an underage All Ireland final but each and every Clare player called to action on Sunday were magnificent. That every girl won her individual personal battle with her direct opponent is testimony to how well focused each player was for this game. That Clare shunned any individualism in their play and combined and supported excellently as a team is great testimony to their management and coaching team.

Played on an energy sapping sod in dry but overcast conditions Clare set out their stall right from the throw. Though physically lighter than their Tipperary opponents, Clare played a wonderful brand of one touch football with emphasis on early delivery into the danger area and full utilisation of the flanks to attack their opponents. Megan Hough opened Clare’s account after just two minutes with and excellent score from play but Tipperary equalised three minutes later with Shauna Ryan score. Clare appeared to be dealt a serious blow when their talismanic captain Niamh O’Dea had to be helped off the field a minute later following an accidental but very heavy collision with Tipperary’s Kelly Maher. The game resumed after a prolonged injury stoppage and the Kilfenora player received intensive treatment on the line. Following the restart Ailish Considine fired Clare ahead again with a close in free but a minute later Tipperary levelled again to make it two points apiece on the quarter hour mark.

A minute later Clare were given a tremendous boost with the return of O’Dea to the field of play and the Banner Ladies Club player marked her return by shooting Clare into the lead with a point on twenty three minutes. Better was to come from the team captain however and two minutes later she prized open the Tipperary defence to draw a great save from keeper Jennifer Russell – O’Dea was alert to the rebound and fly kicked to the roof of the Premier net to put daylight between the teams for the first time. Tipperary responded as would befit a Munster championship winning team and put over two points in rapid succession to again narrow the Clare lead. Just as quickly the momentum changed in Clare’s direction once again when Ailish Considine finished a superb passing move to the net having been put through by great combination play from Megan Hough and Naomi Carroll. Clare were on fire now and delivered another serious body blow to Tipperary when newly introduces substitute Toni Lagan of Wolfe Tones fired to the net two minutes from the interval. Tipperary had the last score of the half from a Cliona O’Dwyer free to leave the interval score-line at 3-3 to 0-5 in favour of Clare.

Credit to both teams for serving up a fantastic first half of football played at a blistering pace. The goal-scoring ability of Clare’s forwards was the difference on the scoreboard at half time but this masked the contribution of their defence and especially their half back line that thwarted Tipperary at every opportunity. Centre back Louise Woods was simply unbeatable and she was ably assisted by Katie Cahill and eventual ‘Player of the Game’ recipient Sarah Bohannon. Behind them Aoife Murphy was commanding at full back and beside her Laurie Ryan ferreted out and mopped-up any loose ball in the danger area. Clare were also dominant at midfield with Eimear O’Connor having a fine match. Wing forward Niamh Pender was also excellent both in her attacking distribution and her defensive covering thus preventing any Tipperary attack-launches from their half back line.

The second half opened just as tentatively as the opening period with both sides eager to assert supremacy. Playing a true captains part Niamh O’Dea put Clare further ahead with an opening point after two minutes and her banner club-mate Naomi Carroll added another a minute later. When O’Dea added her third point of the game on the halfway mark the game was well and truly turned in Clare’s favour. Tipperary responded as best they could but could not prise open the resolute Clare defence and the single half-chance at goal they created was expertly saved by goalkeeper Siobhán Talty. Tipperary finally opened their second half account with a point from mid-fielder Eimear Myles and had two late pointed frees from their best player on the day Cliona O’Dwyer. The final script was written by Clare however and who better to feature than captain O’Dea with an exquisite late point which was epilogued by a Naomi Carroll goal from the last play of the game. Clare were richly deserving winners when Wexford referee James Flood called full time.

This was Clare’s second All Ireland U-16 title in a row and for most of the team their third All Ireland title in a row as they had also won national honours in the U-14 grade two years ago. This is a truly remarkable footballing achievement for a Clare representative side. Credit to all the team from Siobhán Talty in goals, to Katie Curtin at corner back through to Megan Hough at number fifteen, for a truly great display. Toni Lagan also gave an excellent performance when introduced as a first half substitute and Gemma Quinlan and Niamh O’Connell also played their parts when introduced. Sally Glynn fetched some great catches around the middle and Áine Burke played her heart out for the county’s cause until her eventual replacement.

Apart from the inspirational display by captain Niamh O’Dea the foundation of this win was laid by the excellence of the team’s half-back line on the day. The trio of Louise Woods, Katie Cahill and Sarah Bohannon were outstanding and gave as fine an exhibition of half-back play as was ever witnessed at this level.

Following the game Uachtarán Cumann Peil Gael na mBan Geraldine Giles presented the ‘Player of the Match Award’ to a delighted Sarah Bohannon and then presented the All Ireland Championship trophy to worthy captain Niamh O’Dea.

Clare: Siobhán Talty (Miltown), Katie Curtin (Miltown), Aoife Murphy (Doora/Barefield), Laurie Ryan (Banner Ladies), Sarah Bohannon (Shannon Gaels), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies), Katie Cahill (Banner Ladies), Sally Glynn (Cooraclare), Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Áine Burke (Liscannor), Niamh O’Dea, capt. (Banner Ladies, 1-4), Niamh Pender (Miltown), Naomi Carroll (Banner Ladies, 1-1), Ailish Considine (Kilmihil, 1-1), Megan Hough (Banner Ladies, 0-1).

Subs Used: Toni Lagan (Wolfe Tones na Sionna, 1-0), Gemma Quinlan (Wolfe Tones na Sionna), Niamh O’Connell (Coolmeen).

Tiperary: Jennifer Russell, Deborah Kenneally, Rachel Kennedy, Nollaig Butler, Maeve Hacket, Kelly Maher, Danielle Nevin, Kelly Hacket, Eimear Myles (0-1), Shauna Ryan (0-3), Siobhán Condon, Cliona O’Dwyer (0-4), Shauna Maher, Katie Crowe, Lydia Ahearne.

Dr. Paul McKenna,
PRO Clare


Captain Niamh O’Dea being presented with All Ireland trophy
by Uachtarán Peil Gael na mBan Geraldine Giles.

‘Player of the Match’ Sarah Bohannon receives her trophy

Clare U-16’s 2008 All Ireland Champions

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