Clare Ladies Board Press Release

Clare Ladies Board Press Release 18/11/2006
County Minor A Semi-Final
St. Joseph’s Miltown 3 – 5 The Banner Ladies 2 – 7
Reigning champions and red hot favourites Miltown
can thank both their lucky stars and a brilliant individual second
half performance from Fiona Lafferty that just about saw them through
after a tremendous joust with the banner in this exciting county
championship semi-final played in Coolmeen on Saturday.

Wind assisted in the opening half the Banner piled on the pressure
and showed scant regard for the reigning champions. Early pressure
was rewarded with two pointed frees from the boot of Niamh O’Dea.
Miltown were as sixes and sevens in this early period as the banner
completely dominated affairs up the middle. Staunch defending and
some wayward banner shooting threw Miltown a lifeline however they
looked in deep trouble on fourteen minutes when referee James Murrihy
pointed to the penalty spot following a foul on the inrushing Catríona
Connellan. Cool as you like midfielder Mary Tierney stepped forward
and dispatched a low drive to the left hand corner of the net. The
Banner followed this up with another Niamh O’Dea point and were
coasting at this stage. The Ennis girls were to be soon rocked however
when a breakaway Miltown move saw Niamh Reddan crash the ball home
for a tonic of a goal.

The Banner continued to press forward however and had an excellent
Tierney point from play before they conjured up a defence splitting
movement which saw corner forward Megan Hough get through for an
excellent goal on twenty four minutes. Niamh O’Dea was to add another
point from a free a minute later before Miltown struck again. Following
a close in free which came back off the posts a goalmouth scramble
ensued and when the Banner failed to clear Aisling McCaw was on
hand to force the ball home past despairing banner keeper Sharon
Bradley. The half time whistle sounded shortly afterwards leaving
the score at the break 2 – 5 to 2 – 0 in favour of the Banner. Miltown
scarcely deserved to be still in touch at this stage such was the
dominance of the Ennis girls in the opening half and the two goals
that they poached against the run of play were to prove vital as
the game wore on.

Miltown need a good start to the second half if they were to retain
their minor title and they could not have dreamed for a better one
than what they got. Directly from the throw in they secured possession
and drove forward at the Banner with Sandra picking out Fiona Lafferty
and Lafferty dispatched an unstoppable shot to the back of the Banner
net. Game on in earnest with only two points between the teams.
The banner were not for giving in easily though and had the next
two scores on thirty three and thirty eight minutes from the unerring
boot of Niamh O’Dea. The Banner were still dominating at this stage
but many of their attacks were wasteful with the final pass often
going astray. The superior physical strength and fitness of the
Miltown girls now began to show and between the fortieth and fiftieth
minute Fiona Lafferty rattled over three points without reply (two
from frees – one of these a hotly disputed decision which referee
Murrihy ordered to be retaken when the initial kick rebounded off
the upright to safety). The Banner were now struggling to get the
ball out of their own half yet they defended grimly and still held
a one point advantage with five minutes remaining. On fifty six
minutes Sandra Malone cut up the right wing to score an excellent
equaliser and two minutes later Miltown’s hero of the day Fiona
Lafferty put her team ahead with a super match winning point from
play. A short time later referee Murrihy sounded the final whistle
to the delight of the Miltown team. The Banner ladies were naturally

Goals win matches and Miltown’s two goals either side of half time
were the killer blows that sunk the Banner. Credit both teams however
for an excellent game of football. Miltown now proceed to meet Cooraclare
in this years ‘A’ final while the Banner have the consolation of
a ‘B’ final contest against Wolfe Tones na Sionna. For the winners
there were good displays from Fiona Lafferty, Sandra Malone, Lorraine
Griffin, Tara Glynn and Niamh Reddan. The Banner had great displays
from Niamh O’Dea, Sarah Hoey, Naomi Carroll, Laura Brennan, Niamh
Martin and Eimear O’Connor.

Miltown: Catherine Shannon, Claire Curtin, Lorraine Griffin, Helen
Burke, Tara Rynne, Marie Lenihan, Sharon Rynne, Sandra Malone (0-1),
Tara Glynn, Niamh Reddan (capt.) (1-0), Edel Hynes, Niamh Coyne,
Aisling McCaw (1-0), Fiona Lafferty (1-4), Jean Talty.

Subs: Suzanne Murphy for Sharon Rynne, Katie Curtin for Tara rynne.

The banner: Sharon Bradley, Niamh Martin, Rachel McGann, Laura
Brennan, Shonagh Enright, Sarah Hoey, Niamh Cavanagh, Mary Tierney
(1-1), Eimear O’Connor, Naomi Carroll, Marie Raftery, Niamh O’Dea
(0-5), Lorna Higgins, Catríona Connellan (0-1), Megan Hough

Sub: Lauren Dooley for Marie Raftery.

Referee: James Murrihy

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