Clare capture U-16B All-Ireland Final

Clare capture All-Ireland U-16B Title


All Ireland U-16 B Championship Final

Match Report Date: Saturday September 15th

Venue: Tuam Stadium Galway

Referee: Joe Murray (Dublin)

Clare 5 – 11 Sligo 1 – 7

Saturday was a truly memorable day for all involved with ladies
football in Clare as a superbly drilled U-16 team delivered
an All Ireland title to the Banner county. To win an All Ireland
football title at any level is great but to win an All Ireland
Final playing with such flair, confidence and panache as displayed
by the Clare girls on Saturday was a really magnificent achievement.
The quality and skill of Clare’s performance in this game
was laudable and augurs well for the future if this outstanding
team can be further nurtured and progressed into minor and
senior level. Facing a physically stronger Sligo team one
worried that the Clare girls might succumb to their opponent’s
physical strength in the heat of battle but any doubts were
quickly cast aside as Clare used their superior skill level
and brilliant footballing nous to completely outplay their
Yeats County opponents. Clare exhibited a hunger for victory
right from the start and had the ideal opening with a Naomi
Carroll point in the first minute. Indeed the Cratloe lass
was to prove a major thorn in Sligo’s side all through the
game and the dashing corner forward ended the game with 2-6
to her credit. After five minutes another of Clare’s heroines
on the day Eimear Considine opened her account with a pointed
free. Eimear was to go and play one of her finest matches
ever for her county and apart from contributing 1 -2 on the
scoreboard her general play and ball distribution were fantastic
and Sligo just had no answer in attempting to curb her powerful

Clare Captain Niamh Martin
raises the All Ireland Trophy Aloft

Though Sligo were slightly dominant at midfield due to the sheer
physical height and strength of their centre pairing of Orlaith
Devaney and Sarah Feeney they got little change from the Clare
defensive unit who were having a great day at the office and none
more so that full back and captain Niamh Martin. Clare got a seventh
minute tonic when after some confusion in the Sligo backline Shonagh
Enright ghosted through to plant the ball firmly to the roof of
the Sligo net to whoops of approval from the large Clare crowd
in attendance. Shonagh’s score was added to by another Considine
free on twelve minutes and Eimear’s shot had point written all
over it before dipping at the last minute and sneaking in under
the crossbar. Clare were now 2-2 to nil ahead and looking good.
However with a significant wind advantage they needed to be clocking
up the scores. Sligo opened their account in the thirteenth minute
with a Sandra Scully free but Clare responded with points from
Considine and Carroll to lead by 2-4 to 0-1 after twenty minutes.

Sligo came more into the game at this stage and had a very well
worked goal on twenty two minutes from centre forward Eilís Leonard.
Clare countered with another Carroll point before Orlaith Devaney
and Aisling Jacob fired over two good points for Sligo. Sinéad
Moloney added a point for Clare just on the half hour and in the
second minute of first half injury time Clare got a tremendous
boost when wing back Ciara Harvey launched forward and lofted
a high speculative lob into the Sligo danger area. Both the Sligo
backs and Clare forwards were confused by Ciara’s shot and the
ball bounced on the edge of the small square before ending up
in the Sligo net. This was as shattering a blow to Sligo as it
was a tonic for Clare coming just on the stroke of half time and
also at a stage when Sligo were gradually getting back into the
match and may have fancied their chances with the significant
wind advantage to come in the second half. Thus the half time
score read Clare 3-6 to Sligo’s 1-3.

Clare had outstanding performances in the first half from
the afore mentioned Eimear Considine and Naomi Carroll but
others to shine in this period were defenders Niamh Martin,
Niamh Cavanagh, Roisín McMahon and the irrepressible Louise
Woods who covered every blade of grass on the park in her
determination to see Clare through. Laurie Ryan and Catherine
Danagher were also coping well against very difficult opponents
and thus the dangers posed by Sligo’s potentially lethal forward
line were being well snuffed out.

As was expected Sligo threw everything at Clare in the opening
minutes of the second half. Clare were resolute in defence
however and none more so than captain Niamh Martin who defended
her patch excellently during this period. For all their dominance
Sligo had only a thirty fourth minute pointed free to show
on the scoreboard. From the kickout from this point came Clare’s
most significant and best score of the game. Picking up possession
on her own forty five Eimear Considine carried the ball forward
before finding Niamh O’Dea on the right wing with an inch
perfect pass, O’Dea in turn floated and exquisite lob into
the path of the inrushing Naomi Carroll and Naomi duly dispatched
the ball to the Sligo net for as good a goal as one will ever
witness at any level of football. This score broke Sligo’s
heart and resolve as they realised that they could not match
the skill levels of their Clare opponents. Shauna Henry had
another pointed free for Sligo on forty four minutes before
Clare completely took charge of affairs. With Considine now
directing operations around the centre of the field and Niamh
O’Dea exuding class on the wing Clare launhed wave after wave
of attacks on the Sligo rearguard. Naomi Carroll had a good
point from play and shortly after she was unceremoniously
upended in the square having been again put through by O’Dea.
Naomi dusted herself down after the foul and clinically dispatched
and unstoppable penalty to the top right hand corner of the
Sligo net.

Louise Woods is presented
withthe Player of the Match award by Uachtarán Peil gael
na mBan Geraldine Giles

Clare were now cruising and 5-7 to 1-5 in front with just over
ten minutes remaining Further points were to come from Carroll
(2), O’Dea and Shonagh Enright answered only by two late Sligo
points. Indeed Clare had the luxury of not converting a second
penalty when Naomi Carrolls second effort (again for a foul on
herself) was well saved by the Sligo keeper Joanne McDonnell.
Finally after three minutes of additional time referee Joe Murray
blew the final whistle and scenes of wild jubilation ensued as
Clare were worthy and deserving winners. Uachtarán Cumann peil
Gael na mBan was on hand to present the All Ireland trophy to
captain Niamh Martin and also to present the Player of the Match
award to Louise Woods of Clare. This accolade was well deserved
by Louise given the tigerish display she gave all through.

On the shortlist also for the award must have
been Eimear Considine, Niamh O’Dea and Naomi Carroll as this
trio gave outstanding individual performances. However football
is a team game and the whole of this Clare team from goalkeeper
Rebecca Smyth to corner forward Sinéad Moloney gave outstanding
performances. Substitutes Megan Hough, Clodagh McNeilis, Rachel
Garry and Rebecca O’Regan all did well when introduced with
Hough and McNeilis replacing Sally Glynn and Sinéad Moloney
at half time.

This Clare team and their management can stand proud of their
achievement in delivering All Ireland success to the county
this year. This is a great and timely boost given the unfortunate
championship defeats recently suffered by the county camogie
and intermediate ladies’ teams. Congratulations all round
to all involved and as stated earlier hopefully this is the
first of many successes this great team will garner.

Clare captain Niamh Martin
is presented with All Ireland trophy by Geraldine Giles
Uachtarán Cumann Peil Gael na mBan
Clare: Rebecca Smyth (Cooraclare), Laurie Ryan (The Banner),
Niamh Martin capt. (The Banner), Niamh Cavanagh (The Banner),
Catherine Danagher (Wolfe Tones), Roisín McMahon (Newmarket),
Ciara Harvey (West Clare Gaels, 1-0), Sally Glynn (Cooraclare),
Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Louise Woods (The Banner), Shonagh
Enright (The Banner, 1-1), Niamh O’Dea (The Banner, 0-1),
Naomi Carroll (The Banner, 2-6), Eimear Considine (Kilmihil,
1-2), Sinéad Moloney (Coolmeen, 0-1). Subs: Clodagh McNeilis
(Fergus Rovers), Megan Hough (The Banner), Rachel Garry (Cooraclare),
Rebecca O’Regan (Liscannor)

Sign up to our email newsletter


Partners & Supporters





See all LGFAClubs