Clare V Sligo U-16B All-Ireland Final Preview

Clare V Sligo U-16B Final Preview


Ladies Under 16B All Ireland Football Final Clare
V Sligo at Tuam Stadium, Co. Galway on Saturday, September 15th
@ 1.15pm

Clare will take on Sligo on this coming Saturday at 1.15pm at
Tuam Stadium, Co. Galway in the Ladies All Ireland U16 B Football
Final in what promises to be a thrilling and intruiging encounter.
Both teams enter this final brimful of confidence and with high
expectations of outright victory. A battle royale is expected
for the All Ireland title and a very close game is on the cards
Sligo defeated favourites Mayo in the All Ireland semi final a
few weeks ago on the score line of 4 – 11 to 2 – 10 and thus enter
this final with very strong credentials. Siigo have strength in
depth and especially in their full forward line of Sandra Scully,
Aisling Jacob and Aoife Jacob who scored 4 – 7 between them in
the semi-final win over Mayo.

The Munster B Championship winning team
prior to their final game versus Tipperary at Cusack Park,

They are also very strong down the middle with players
who are very tall and athletic such as Laura Walsh at full back,
Sarah Feeney at centre back and Orlaith Devaney and Shauna Henry
at centre field. Elisha Codd at centre forward is also a very
effective and dangerous player. Thus this is a very good Sligo
outfit and Clare will have to be at their brilliant best to have
any chance of winning and they will have to show significant improvement
on their performances against Wexford and Tipperary to overcome
the Yeats County team. Clare did have an easy quarter final victory
over Longford but really this was a mismatch as the girls in blue
were a weak outfit and very little should be read into this performance.

To win on Saturday Clare must take the game
to Sligo right from the throw in and assert themselves right
from the start. Clare started sluggishly in their Munster
B final against Tipperary and were fortunate not to be punished
more severly. While they turned in a magnificent second half
performance in this game to overturn an eight point interval
defecit they cannot expect the Sligo girls to be so accommodating
if a similar situation arises. Like Sligo, Clare also possess
some outstanding underage players and none more so than Kilmihil
star of the future Eimear Considine and the Banner’s Niamh
O’Dea. Good performances from Eimear and Niamh could go a
long way in assisting Clare to bring home the laurels on Saturday.

However it will have to be an all round team effort if they
are to overcome Sligo. Team captain and full back Niamh Martin
will have to strictly marshal her defensive unit to ensure
that Sligo’s lethal full forward line are kept at bay – thus
Laurie Ryan and Niamh Cavanagh must be on high alert from
the word go. Centreback and dual player Roisín McMahon will
again need to turn in the type of performance she gave in
the second half of the Munster B Final against Tipperary to
ensure that Sligo’s path to goal through the middle is curtailed.
Roisín will be ably assisted by Louise Woods and Catherine
Danaher on either side of her.

Wing back Louise Woods
and team manager James Lafferty.

The mid-field battle could be telling in this game
and while both Sally Glynn and Eimear O’Connor are both excellent
performers in their own right they must see to it that they play
as a unit on Saturday and not be caught out of position allowing
their opposite numbers the freedom to launch uncontested attacks.
Clare could do well to crowd this area of the field through employing
a third midfielder tactic and this could also create space for
their slick inside forwards to do serious damage to the Sligo
rearguard. Clare will have to achieve a break even situation in
the centre of the park if they are to win this game as Sligo will
push very hard to dominate the area and thus deny Clare’s forwards
a supply of quality ball. Up front the half forwards of Shonagh
Enright, Niamh O’Dea and Clodagh McNeilis have been going well
all year but have on occasion suffered lapses in concentration
especially defensively. This was most noticible in the Cork match
when many of the Rebels forays forward started in their half back
line. Thus Shonagh, Niamh and Clodagh will have to pay close attention
to their defensive duties as well as their attacking roles. The
form of our full forward line could well be the deciding factor
on the day and this unit will have to outscore their Sligo counterparts
if success is go the way of Clare. On their day Eimear Considine,
Naomi Carroll and Sinéad Moloney can prove a handful for the most
tighest of defensive markers – Saturday will have to be such a
day. Teamwork and understanding will be the key here for the Clare
girls and unselfish support play and the accurate taking of scoring
opportunities as they arise will be imperative if success is to
be achieved.

All in all this has the making of a very close
and exciting contest between two very skilful and evenly matched
teams. Hunger for success and the will to fight to the death
for every ball may well be the key elements that decide where
the All Ireland title will reside on Saturday evening. The
Clare team will do well to take note of the shatteringly close
defeats suffered by the Clare Intermediate footballers and
the Clare Camogie team in recent games as a pointer to how
difficult it is to gain All Ireland success. Nothing less
than a one hundred per cent effort from goalkeeper Rebecca
Smyth to corner forward Sinéad Moloney, and from any other
members of the panel introduced on Saturday, will do if Sligo
are to be beaten. Clare U-16’s have sixty minutes to deliver
on what is now the county’s only opportunity left to win a
national title in 2007. If they give of their all on Saturday
I think they can achieve this honour.

The Clare Panel has been training hard under its management
team of James Lafferty (Miltown), JJ O’Dea (The Banner), Davie
Browne (Doonbeg), Michael Murphy (Doora-Barefield), John Geraghty
(The Banner) and Diane Kelly(Miltown) who were assisted by
coaches John Fennell (Cooraclare) and Michael Neylon (Miltown).
Dressing room affairs have been looked after by Patricia Ryan
(The Banner) and Margaret Carroll (The Banner) while Dr. Paul
McKenna (The Banner) and PJ O’Halloran (Coolmeen) have looked
after PR matters. Team physiotherapsit is Edel Maher. Supporting
Maoir Uisce for Saturday’s game will be Louise Henchy (The
Banner), Grace Lynch (Coolmeen), Áine Kelly (Fergus Rovers)
and Majella Griffin (West Clare Gaels) The team is sponsored
by James Lafferty & Associates. Mulryan O’Gorman & Associates
are sponsoring team jackets for the teams final appearance

Clare captain Niamh Martin
with her Waterford counterpart and match referee before
their Munster A Championship first round match in Solohead,
Co. Tipperary.
A special word of thanks from the team management
to John Minogue of St. Flannan’s College, Pat Fitzgerald Secretary
of Clare Co. Board and Dan O’Connor of the Roslevan Field
Committee for the use of their pitches for training throughout
the year.Finally both the team players and the team management
hope that there will be a big turn out of Clare support in
Tuam on Saturday as this would really boost the team’s confidence
and chance of success. All players and management are asked
to assemble at the Auburn Lodge Ennis at 10.15am on Saturday
morning in advance of travelling to Tuam.

Path to the Final:

Munster A Championship First Round: Clare 6 – 7 Waterford
0 – 4

Munster A Championship Semi Final Clare 3 – 8 Cork 4 – 10

Munster B Final Clare 4 – 11 Tipperary 4 – 4

All Ireland Quarter Final Clare 3 – 14 Longford 1 – 4

All Ireland Semi Finals Clare 4 – 11 Wexford 2 – 11 Sligo
4 – 11 Mayo 2 – 10

Dr. Paul McKenna, PRO Clare Ladies Football Tel: 086 6036385
E-mail: Web:

The pre-match toss Clare
.v. Waterford 2007



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