Considine stars as Clare edge out Sligo in Division 2 opener

Lidl National Football League Division 2 

Clare 0-13
Sligo 2-6

Five points from Ailish Considine helped Clare to a narrow win over a new look Sligo in Clarecastle in Sunday’s Lidl NFL Division 2 opener. 

Sligo manager Paddy Henry made the trip to Clare for a first outing since losing the All Ireland semi-final to Tyrone last August.

It was a new look Sligo, with only 7 of the 15 that started that game with Tyrone starting on Sunday. 

Sligo opened the scoring with a well taken point from Laura Ann Laffey in the fourth minute but it was Clare who showed to be the stronger of the sides in the opening 15 minutes when they led by 0-4 to 0-1. 

The first goal of the game went to Sligo when Sarah Reynolds make a great run through the Clare back line before laying it off to Sinead Naughton, who calmly place the ball to the back of the net.

Sligo added three more points, two from Katie Walsh (one free) and a well taken score from Sarah Reynolds, which left Sligo ahead on a score line of 1-4 to 0-4.

Ailish Considine put over two more points as the half came to a close to cut Sligo’s lead to a point at the break.

Both manager’s made a change at half-time, as Clare brought on Niamh O’Dea while Sligo replaced Aimee Cawley with Elaine O’Reilly  for the second half.

It was Clare that started the better of the sides, hitting a flurry of scores including two from Niamh O’Dea, three from Considine and one each from Catriona Callinan & Emma McMahon, before Sligo got their second goal of the game from Sarah Reynolds.

Both sides had a player in the sin-bin in the second half – Denise McGrath for Sligo and Ailish Considine for Clare.

Sligo pulled level in the last five minutes through a Katie Walsh free and a first point from Louise Merrick on her debut for Sligo.

Clare hit back with a O’Dea point with less than a minute to play and while Sligo did have one last chance when they were awarded a free kick just outside the 13m line, it was placed wide of the mark giving Clare all three points.

Sligo welcome Tyrone in round 2 next Sunday in Collooney at 2pm.

Ref Kevin O’Brien

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