Clare Ladies Football Senior League Final Report

2007 Clare Senior League Final


Clare Ladies Football Press Release

Venue: Miltown

Referee: Michael Talty

Date: Saturday December 8th

Miltown 2 – 8 Cooraclare 2 – 2

The most amazing feature of this match is that it took place
at all given the prevailing weather conditions. With most other
fixtures in all sports in Clare sidelined last weekend it is a
tribute to the ladies of Cooraclare and Miltown that this fixture
went ahead. It is also a credit to the Miltown GAA Club that their
pitch was in excellent order for the game with not a damp spot
on view despite areas in the surrounding hinterlands being under
several feet of water. A howling gale persisted right through
this game but amazingly the sleet and rain stayed clear (save
for a horrendous shower during the half time break when both teams
had already retired to the relative shelter of their respective
dressing rooms). Cooraclare, having won the toss, decided to face
the elements in the first half – a decision they must have rued
come game’s end.

Their decision to eschew wind advantage in the first half seemed
vindicated however when after fifteen minutes they had limited
Miltown to just three points on the scoreboard. Cooraclare were
defending well at this stage and also launching the occasional
foray forward. Miltown also were guilty of some poor shooting
in front of goals and many of their efforts were either rushed
shots or poor decision taking at attempting scores from impossible
angles. Aoife Healy kicked the opening point from play for the
eventual winners after five minutes but the reigning league champions
had to wait a further five minutes before their second score from
the boot of Suzanne Murphy. Aoife Healy extended this lead with
another point on the quarter hour before adding another point
from a free a minute later. Then on nineteen minutes player of
the match Niamh Coyne cut in from the right wing to shoot an unstoppable
shot to the roof of the Cooraclare net. Miltown seemed to be really
getting on top at last but far from pressing home their advantage
they were guilty of some silly wides in the minutes that followed
Coyne’s goal. Cooraclare took due note of the home side’s profligacy
in front of goals and punished them dearly in the twenty fifth
minute with a well worked forward move which ended with the experienced
Niamh Chambers planting the ball in the left corner of the Miltown
net. With the scoreline now showing just four points between the
sides and less than five minutes to the break the game was now
wide open. Miltown however showed true grit in these final minutes
of the opening half and managed to rattle off four points from
play without reply. These points, two apiece from Aoife Healy
and the ever dominant Fiona Lafferty, ensured that their 1 – 8
to 1 – 0 interval lead was a reasonable platform from which to
defend against the elements in the upcoming second half.

As expected Cooraclare threw all bar the kitchen sink at Miltown
on the resumption but the Willie Clancy lassies stood steadfast
in defence. Try as the may Cooraclare struggled to make a breakthrough
against the home side’s rearguard for whom transformed forward
Niamh Coyne, now playing a defensive role, stood out. Sandra Malone
and Lorraine Griffin upped their performances also during this
period and were constant thorns in the Sky Blue’s forays forward.
However on eleven minutes Cooraclare eventually did make the breakthrough
when they capitalised on a loose pass from goalkeeper Catherine
Shannon to put Ann Marie Callinan in for an easy goal. When Majella
Lillis added a point a minute later there was just four points
between the sides with eighteen minutes or so remaining. Miltown
however, far from losing their composure as they had done in the
championship final, gritted their teeth and resolved to battle
back against their foremost rivals of recent years. Their tenacity
and dogged persistence paid off in the seventeenth minute when
Fiona Lafferty was at the end of a great move to emphatically
crash the ball to the Cooraclare net for what was to prove the
match winning score. Cooraclare battled hard all the way to the
end but found the superior fitness and possession play of the
Miltown girls just too much to overcome on the day. Niamh Chambers
did add another point on twenty two minutes for the losers but
as the final minutes ticked away there was only going to be one
winner. When Michael Talty blew for full time the Sráid na Cathrach
side were the deserving winners.

Following the game Clare Ladies Board Chairman Johnny Hayes presented
winning captain Aoife Healy with the league trophy. On this display
and on the display of their minors in winning the Minor A title
Miltown will be a serious threat to all comers in the year ahead
and will go a long way towards regaining their 2006 Clare championship

Miltown: Catherine Shannon, Claire Curtin, Siobhán Lafferty, Karen
Egan, Laoise O’Malley, Lorraine Griffin, Katie Curtin, Deirdre
Killeen, Sandra Malone, Edel Hayes, Aoife Healy (0-5), Suzanne
Murphy (0-1), Fiona Lafferty (1-2), Niamh Coyne (1-0), Karen Galvin.
Cooraclare: Mairéad Griffin, Fiona McMahon, Tammy Hehir, Orla
Reidy, Sally Glynn, Aifric O’Neill, Orla Kelly, Eithne Morrissey,
Bernie Kelly, Rachel Garry, Patyricia Callinan, Majella Lillis
(0-1), Niamh Chambers (1-1), Ann Marie Callinan (1-0), Helen Quinn.

Dr. Paul McKenna, PRO Clare Ladies Football 086 6036385

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