Clare Ladies Gaelic Football Finals Preview

Clare Ladies Gaelic Finals Previews


2007 Clare Ladies Football Senior Championship Final

Date: Sunday September 30th

Venue: Doonbeg

Time: 3.30pm

Referee: Nora Murphy (Banner)

Cooraclare .v. St. Joseph’s

Miltown All roads will lead to Doonbeg on Sunday for what is expected
to be a fascinating Clare County Final. Reigning champions Cooraclare
face their 2005 conquerers Miltown in an eagerly anticipated encounter.
Both sides have much to prove against each other and this will
add that extra bit of spice to Sunday’s game. Their defeat to
Miltown in the 2005 championship decider still rankles in the
Sky Blues memories and especially some controversial refereeing
decisions during that final game. Their win in 2005 also rankles
amongst Miltown folk as they feel due credit was not accorded
them on their victory and that they were classed as a one year
wonder following their shock exit to The Banner a year later in
last year’s semi-final. Thus both teams will want to set the record
straight on Sunday and rest assured that no stone has been left
unturned by either side in their preparation to take home the
James Lafferty & Associates trophy.

Cooraclare have in recent years taken over the mantle of Clare
championship specialists and with a tradition in ladies football
stretching back as far as 1926, when they played against Kilmihil
in the first ladies Gaelic football game on record, it is no wonder
that their proud record continues on. Since contesting their first
Clare senior final in 1993 they have appeared in an incredible
ten county finals, winning eight of them. Their star forward and
markswoman supreme Niamh Chambers will be in search of her ninth
county senior medal on Sunday which must be a record in the annals
of ladies football nationally. Miltown will not be overawed by
the tradition of their near neighbours as they are a young and
emerging side who firmly established themselves as the Clare minor
championship specialists in recent years before capturing their
groundbreaking first senior title in 2005. With emerging underage
stars like Fiona Lafferty, Sandra Malone, Lorraine Griffin and
others amongst their ranks they will hold no fear for their opponents
on Sunday.

Whereas Miltown will have youth on their side one cannot overlook
the wealth of championship experience and craft in the Cooraclare
team. Theirs will be a line up of present and former county stars
with such names as Eithne Morrissey, Tammy Hehir, Claire Walsh,
Monica and Majella Lillis, Ann Marie Callinan, Bernie Kelly and
Helen Quinn tripping easily from the tongue. Add the formidable
emerging talents of Aifric O’Neill, Áine Pyne, Rachel Garry and
Sally Glynn into the mix and one can see that they are definitely
a team to be reckoned with. So Sunday’s game has all the best
ingredients to produce a cracking match and one in which no quarter
will be asked for or given. Expect a tight, hard fought encounter
which will go right down to the wire. Both teams want to win this
game badly but somehow in finals such as this tradition and experience
can be the deciding factor. Miltown will give their all but if
Cooraclare are within reach with ten minutes or so to go I would
fancy their chances to eek out a victory and retain their Clare

2007 Clare Ladies Football Intermediate Championship Final

Date: Sunday September 30th

Venue: Doonbeg

Time: 1.00pm

Kilmihil .v. West Clare Gaels

This game resembles in ways the inter-county All Ireland Intermediate
Final played last week between Leitrim and Wexford. Leitrim had
lost the previous year’s decider yet went into the game as very
much the underdogs with Wexford overwhelming favourites to lift
the title. Something similar applies on Sunday with Kilmihil having
been surprisingly defeated by Coolmeen in last year’s final and
yet they are the outsiders for Sunday’s game. Well the Leitrim
underdogs overcame favourites Wexford on Sunday last so can Kilmihil
do the same? We will know the answer by two thirty or so on Sunday.
West Clare Gaels are favourites by virtue of having Clare captain
and ace sharpshooter Majella Griffin in their ranks. Majella has
been in tremendous form during this year’s championship and when
the sides met earlier in the competition at Labasheeda she helped
herself to an amazing score of 4 – 6.

West Clare won in a canter that evening but Kilmihil while somewhat
wasteful in front of goals still chalked up an impressive 1 –
12 or so. The Gaels are not a one player team however and have
a wealth of talent and experience in the Kelly sisters of Sinéad
and Marie. Add in recent All Ireland U-16 medalist Ciara Harvey
and you begin to see a serious outfit taking shape. Kilmihil will
not be without their stars either and will look to county star
Úna Downes to show leadership. They will also have amongst their
ranks probably one of the finest emerging footballing talents
in the country in the shape of Eimear Considine. Eimear gave an
outstanding display in Clare’s All Ireland U-16 victory over Sligo
and if she repeat’s this on Sunday then Kilmihil will be in with
every chance.

This should be a very entertaining game of fast and open football
and I expect some quality scores in a high scoring game. If Kilmihil
can somehow put the shackles on Majella Griffin then the game
is there to be won by them. Somehow I think Majella may be as
elusive as ‘The Gooch’ on Sunday and will steer a path for the
Gaels into next year’s senior championship. However as Leitrim
deservedly showed last Sunday anything can happen on the day.
Also of interest to those attending Sunday’s finals will be an
exhibition game by the Clare U-12 development squad who are currently
in training for an upcoming inter-county tournament. The prospective
panellists will battle it out for The Michael Cullinan Memorial
Trophy in a game to be played between the two finals. The Clare
U-16 panel with their All Ireland trophy will also be introduced
to the attendance during half time in the senior final and the
Tulla Pipe band will lead the pre-match parades.

All in all an excellent days entertainment lies in store for the
expected large attendance.

Dr. Paul McKenna, PRO Clare Ladies Football 086 6036385


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