Clare pay the ultimate penalty for spot kick misses

Clare pay the ultimate penalty for spot kick misses


All Ireland Intermediate Championship 1st Round

Date: Sunday, May 20th. Venue: Kilmihil

Clare 2 – 11 Tipperary 3 – 15

In a game in which three penalties were awarded it was
a case of Clare paying the ultimate penalty for their
dual spot kick misses either side of half time. In contrast
Tipperary took maximum advantage of their penalty award
in the eight minute with star forward Edel Hanly confidently
crashing her effort to the roof of the Clare net past
a hapless Denise Walsh. Played in bright sunshine with
a strong downfield breeze Clare elected to play with the
elements in the first half. Tipperary announced their
intentions however straight from the throw in and in their
first attack full forward Denise Fitzgerald split the
Clare uprights with less than twenty seconds on the clock.
From the resulting kick out the Premier county girls again
gained possession and forced a close in free which Edel
Hanly duly converted. Although clearly shaken by Tipperary’s
whirlwind opening Clare had the next score when Michelle
McCaw had a good point from play after three minutes but
this was cancelled out a minute later when Tipperary’s
Áine O’Dwyer found herself in acres of space to convert
another point scoring opportunity for the Tipp ladies.
Shortly after came the first of the penalty incidents
when O’Dwyer again cut through the flimsy Clare rearguard
before offloading to full forward Fitzgerald – Fitzgerald’s
first effort was bravely smothered by goalkeeper Denise
Walsh but on the rebound the Tipp lass was upended in
the square and a penalty resulted. The kick from Margaret
Morrissey went hard and high into the right corner of
the Clare net and there was nothing Denise Walsh in the
Clare goals could do about it.

The Clare Intermediate Panel

Clare were now 1 – 3 to 0 – 1 in arrears and looked in
much trouble and when Gillian O’Brien soon added another
point for the visitors alarm bells began to ring amongst
the small attendance. Clare did respond with an excellent
Niamh Keane point from play but were still failing to
exert any measure of control over the game. Keane’s point
was cancelled out on the quarter hour when full back Carmel
Considine was harshly adjudged to have played the ball
on the ground and Gillian O’Brien was again on hand to
pop over a simple free. For the following ten minutes
or so Clare gained some measure of control over the game
with the switch of Fiona Lafferty to the centre of the
field beginning to pay dividends. During this period Clare
outscored Tipperary by three points to one with the Clare
scores coming from Michelle McCaw, Áine Kelly and Majella
Griffin. Then came a pivotal two minutes that had a major
bearing on the match’s outcome. Substitute Helen Quinn
was fouled in the Tipperary square and Louise Henchy stepped
up to take the resulting penalty. Unfortunately for Louise
and for Clare she scuffed her attempt and it went harmlessly
wide of the left hand upright. Worse was to come however
as in the following passage of play Tipperary broke down
field and Máiréad Morrissey cut through the Clare defence
to plant the ball firmly in the Clare net. This was a
major double blow for Clare coming as it did right on
the half time whistle – an effective six point turn around.
Clare will also feel aggrieved in that Morrissey took
at least ten steps on her sally through to goal – when
things go against you they really do sometimes but such
is championship football.

Clare now had a major mountain to climb as they retired
2 – 6 to 0 – 7 in arrears and with a stiff breeze to face
in the second half. Tipperary were also dominant in many
pivotal sectors of the field and their forwards always
looked sharp and dangerous and were giving the Clare backs
in general, and the full back line in particular, a torrid
time. In fairness Clare started the second half with renewed
enthusiasm and Majella Griffin had a pointed free on the
board inside two minutes. Playing much better Clare began
to dominate affairs and were rewarded for their efforts
with a second penalty five minutes in. Wing back Grace
Lynch from Coolmeen stepped up to take the kick and was
most unlucky to see her excellent effort rebound off the
butt of the Tipperary upright and deflect off the keeper
out for a forty five. Clare did add another point through
Niamh Keane on thirty nine minutes but that was as good
as it got for the banner county girls. Apparently startled
by Clare’s threatened comeback and with their lead reduced
to just three points Tipperary upped the tempo again and
scored an unanswered goal and six points over the next
fifteen minutes. The Tipp girl’s goal was another excellent
effort from corner forward Edel Hanly who was a real thorn
in Clare’s side all afternoon. Thus with ten minutes remaining
the score read 3 – 12 to 0 – 9 in favour of Tipperary
and Clare’s race was well and truly run.

Clare did finish with a flurry and had points from Henchy
and Majella Griffin and a late Marie Kelly goal but it
was all too little too late and Tipperary were deserving
winners at the end. Clare have much work to do following
this game and the poor overall performance will give their
management much food for thought. Clare were dominated
by their opponents in all pivotal positions especially
at centrefield and in the half back & half forward lines.
Henchy fought well at centrefield but Clare will have
to source an adequate partner for her in this position
if they are to have any chance of progress. The normally
influential Majella Griffin and Marie Kelly had relative
off days and defensively Clare lacked bite and coherence.
Every time the Tipperary full forward line were in possession
there was obvious panic and turmoil in the Clare defence
and although Carmel Considine had a much improved second
half performance this is another area that Clare will
have to improve upon. Up front the forwards did relatively
ok with the possession the received but they were very
much inclined to crowd themselves out in front of goals
which made scoring difficult and played into the hands
of the opposing defence. All these are issues which can
be worked upon and lessons learnt for upcoming games in
the championship.

Clare are much better than the performance they gave today
and I am sure they will improve as this championship progresses.

Clare: Denise Walsh (St. Michael’s), Ciara Cleary (Coolmeen),
Carmel Considine (Liscannor), Úna Downes (Kilmihil), Sinéad
Kelly (West Clare Gaels), Lorraine Kelly (Fergus Rovers),
Grace Lynch (Coolmeen), Louise Henchy (The Banner), Leona
Murphy (Liscannor), Niamh Keane (The Banner), Majella
Griffin (West Clare Gaels), Marie Kelly (West Clare Gaels),
Fiona Lafferty (Miltown), Michelle McCaw (Miltown), Diane
Kelly (Fergus Rovers). Subs: Helen Quinn (Cooraclare)
for Leona Murphy, Michelle Delaney (The Banner) for Úna
Downes,, Bernie Kelly (Cooraclare) for Michele McCaw


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