Clare All-Ireland U-14 Blitz Reports

Clare All Ireland U – 14 Blitz Report.

Clare’s lady footballers travelled to Mullingar on Saturday 13th
to compete in the All Ireland U – 14 Blitz competition and for the
second week running the Clare Ladies footballers returned home with
an All Ireland trophy. Thus ended surely one of the finest weeks
ever for the game in the county following on the more senior ladies
win in the Suzuki League a mere six days previously.

Clare 4 – 7 Wexford 0 – 1

Clare’s opening game was against Wexford ladies and in a fairly
one sided game the Banner girls dominated affairs right from the
throw in. Clubmates Niamh O’Dea and Megan Hough, from the Banner
ladies Club in Ennis, were in blistering form for Clare and between
them accounted for 3 – 3 of Clare’s first half total of 3 – 5. Wexford
failed to register a score in this half in which Sarah Bohannon
and Sinéad Sexton were Clare’s other scorers.

Clare fielded a weakened team for the second half but were still
too good for the girls of Wexford outscoring them 1 – 2 to 0 – 1
in this period. Second half scorers for Clare were Megan Hough and
Katie O’Brien a point each and a goal from Laura Meaney. This result
was the ideal start for the team.

Clare 2 – 8 Westmeath 3 – 3

In contrast to Clare’s opener this game was a much stiffer contest
with the issue in doubt right up to the final whistle. Westmeath
were a big strong physical side and neither asked or gave no quarter
in this tough game. Clare were dominant in the early exchanges but
failed to score and Westmeath had theopening point after three minutes
of play. Niamh O’Dea restored patity in the fourth minute and kicked
Clare into the lead with a fine point a minute later. O’Dea’s Banner
Ladies clubmates Laurie Ryan and Aoife Davoren further extended
Clares lead with points in the seventh and eight minutes before
Niamh herself banged home the only goal of the half. Just on half
time both teams exchanged points with the irreppressible O’Dea again
the Clare scorer. The half time score thus read Clare 1 – 6 to Westmeath’s
0 – 2.

Wind assisted in the second half the Westmeath girls piled on the
early pressure and were rewarded with goals in the third and fifth
minute of the half. Clare looked in big trouble at this stage and
although Megan Hough scored a good point to extend their now narrow
lead to two points, Westmeath replied with a goal and a point of
their own to give them a two point advantage with as many minutes
remaining. However Clare refused to lie down and a great goal from
Miltown’s Katie Curtin followed by a Hough point ensured a dramatic
win for the Banner county.

Clare 9 – 9 Louth 1 – 1

Clare were taking no chances with this game and fielded their strongest
team from the start. Clare laid siege on hapless Louth from the
throw in and Megan Hough bagged a goal and two points in the opening
minutes to leave the girls from the Wee County shell shocked. When
Hough’s scores were quickly followed by goals from Katie Curtin,
Niamh O’Connell and Niamh O’Dea and the game was effectively over
as a contest. Louth tagged on a goal (penalty) and a point before
the end of the half but even the these scores were answered by points
from Hough and Sinéad Sexton for Clare. Half time Clare 4
– 7 Louth 1 – 1.

Clare’s second string continued to dominate in the second half
against a now deflated Louth. Further goals from Aoife Murphy, Katie
O’Brien (2) & Niamh Pender (2) and points from Pender and Shauna
Keane completed the scoring.

All Ireland Division 2 Final Clare 4 – 8 Westmeath 2 – 2

Like their earlier encounter this final was another tough affair
with both teams giving their all for their counties. After a tempestuous
opening the game settled into a thrilling contest. Clare opened
well and had points from O’Dea and Hough in the first two minutes.
Westmeath rapidly struck back with two rapid fire goals that would
have ratteled many a side especially as they added a further point
shortly after the second goal. However anything Westmeath could
do so could Clare and the ‘terrible twins’ of The Banner Ladies
Club Ennis, O’Dea and Hough, soon had the Westmeath girls reeling
with two fantastic goals. Hough added two further points to give
Clare an interval advantage of 2 – 4 to Westmeath’s 2 – 1.

O’Dea and Hough continued in the second half as they ended the
first and scored an early goal each to stifle any ambitions the
midlanders harboured about a comeback. It was now plain sailing
for the Clare girls who finished with points from Sally Glynn, Sinéad
Sexton and a point apiece to Hough and O’Dea. Tremendous celebrations
ensued following the final whistle. While Hough and O’Dea were the
players of the tournament and certainly were the most outstanding
forwards on view other girls had fine game for Clare throughout
the tournament. Catherine Danagher was always commanding at centre
back and Sally Glynn did tremendous work at midfield where she worked
tirelessly to ensure a good supply of ball to her forward line.
Up front Sinéad Sexton and Katie Curtin did well. Others
to impress during the tournament were Aoife Davoren, Sarah Bohannon,
Aoife Murphy and Siobhán Talty. It was a full squad effort
though and credit to all the panel for bringing home this All Ireland
victory to Clare.

Clare Panel: Megan Hough, Niamh O’Dea, Laurie Ryan, Aoife Davoren,
Marion Conway, Laura Brennan (The Banner), Siobhán Talty,
Sinéad Sexton, Siobhán Garrihy, Katie Curtin, Niamh
Pender (Miltown), Aoife Murphy, Sarah O’Keeffe (Doora-Barefield),
Rachel Ryan (Doonbeg), Catherine Danagher, Kerrie Quinn (Wolfe Tones),
Deirdre Waters (Kilmihil), Sally Glynn (Cooraclare), Shauna Keane
(Éire Óg), Sarah Bohannon, Sharon Meaney (Shannon
Gaels), Laura Meaney (Fergus Rovers), Katie O’Brien, Tiana Flanagan
(Burren Gaels), Niamh O’Connell (Coolmeen).

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