2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Clare .v. Fermanagh All Ireland Junior Championship Quarter Final

Clare .v. Fermanagh All Ireland Junior Championship Quarter

Venue: Páirc Chiaráin, Athlone

Date: Sunday 20th @ 2.00pm


The All Ireland Junior Championship has now begun in earnest
for the Clare ladies team as they face into a quarter final
meeting with Fermanagh on Sunday next. Gone is the safety
net of a backdoor for losing teams from here on in and from
now until October 1st it’s winner takes all so Clare minds
must be focused on Sunday.

Clare come into this game off a very successful Munster
Junior Championship and manager Deirdre Murphy will be hoping
that the recent good form of the team will be maintained.
Deirdre is conscious however that the team have had a very
long and hard season to date and she hopes that tiredness
won’t be a factor against a very fit and especially fast
Fermanagh team. Clare’s long season, which saw them crowned
Suzuki Division 3 National League champions back in May,
started with a first game loss to Leitrim back in February
and since that opening game it has been all go since with
little or no breaks in competitive action.

Deirdre’s worries have also been compounded with the recent
commencement of the Clare county senior championship and
already injury worries are mounting ahead of Sunday’s fixture.
Both Tammy Hehir (ankle ligaments) and Grace Lynch (knee
ligaments) are extremely doubtful for the Fermanagh match
while there are also serious fitness concerns regarding
team captain Majella Griffin (hamstring), Sonia Maher (groin)
and Monica Lillis.

Clare ladies will be anxious to go one better that their
county male counterparts when it comes to playing Fermanagh
in the championship knockout stages. The Banner team and
management will be well aware however that this will be
a vastly improved Fermanagh team than the one Clare overcame
in the league earlier in the season. Even in the league
contest one could see that Fermanagh were teambuilding for
championship action and have a great mixture of youth and
experience in their panel. Fremanagh play a fast slick running
game and their forwards are especially quick so the Clare
rearguard will have to be on their toes on Sunday.

Clare Captain Majella Griffin

Crucial to the overall outcome of this quarter-final will
be the performances in and around the midfield area. Louise
Henchy, Grace Lynch and Eithne Morrissey have been outstanding
for Clare in this department all season (hence the huge loss
to Clare if Grace Lynch is unavailable on Sunday) and if this
trio can win quality ball for their forwards then Clare should
have the scoring power up front to see off the northern team.
However if Fermanagh get a good supply of ball to their forwards
they too have some clinical finishers. Wing forward Caroline
Little scored seven points in their recent Ulster final against
Cavan and Little will have to be watched closely on Sunday.
Aisling Moane and Donna Maguire are other Fermanagh forwards
that Clare will have to pay special attention to.

Clare were very sound defensively against Limerick
in their Munster final appearance so hopefully the likes of
Sinéad Eustace, Lorraine Kelly and Sinéad Kelly
will be well up to the job of protecting Emma O’Driscoll’s
goal. Our defensive lynchpin will again be the outstanding
Eithne Morrissey who as usual will be expected combine her
commanding central defensive role with that of a third midfielder.
Eithne has been brilliant for Clare all year and hopefully
there is another big game in her on Sunday.

Up front Clare will look to captain Majella
Griffin to lead the way and big performances will also be
looked for from the likes of Niamh Keane and Myra Daly. If
Myra Daly can repeat her two goal Munster final performance
then all will be happy in the Clare camp. Dashing corner forward
and Suzuki league final player of the match winner Áine
Kelly could have a big influence on Sunday’s match if she
gets quality quick ball. The outstanding Lissycasey lassie
is a tremendous footballer and can cause headaches for any
defence when on song.

So it’s all to play for on in this TG4 All Ireland
quarter final Sunday. A one hundred percent effort is what’s
required and nothing less will be acceptable to Deirdre Murphy
and her backroom team. The players themselves know this and
with the ultimate prize of an eventual All Ireland place in
Croke Park on the first Sunday of October now at stake I cannot
see Clare slipping up in this match. As they have done with
so many teams all season Clare must exert their dominance
from the word go and not allow Fermanagh to settle into any
sort of rhythm. Clare support play will also be of critical
importance and all girls must be fully conscious of their
team obligations even when not in possession of the football.

Now that the lady footballers are the only Clare
county team still in the running for national championship
honours this year it would be great if a large number of supporters
turned up in Athlone on Sunday to encourage and support the
team. I predict a Banner win on the day but it will be no

Clare Junior Ladies Panel 2006

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