2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

D-Day for Clare footballers


D-Day for Clare Ladies Football


Clare .v. Leitrim All Ireland Intermediate Semi-Final preview

Venue: Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan

Date: Saturday September 1st

Throw In: 5.15pm

TV: Live TG4

Saturday next is D-Day for Clare Ladies Football when the county’s
flagship team face down the ladies of Leitrim in the All Ireland
Intermediate Championship semi-final in Kingspan Breffni Park
in Cavan. This match, which will be broadcast live on TG4, is
definitely Clare’s most important hours football for many a year
as a win will guarantee their place on the hallowed turf of Croke
Park on September 23rd. So Saturday’s match therefore take’s on
a significance of seismic proportions for the Bannerettes.

The Clare Panel

Under manager Deirdre Murphy and coaching staff
David Browne and Helen Murphy this team has worked hard all year
and a victory on Saturday would be just rewards for all their
hard effort. Victory won’t come easy though as the Leitrim side
come into this semi-final with significant previous championship
experience and will be determined to avenge their Suzuki League
Final defeat at the hands of Clare last season. In 2006 Leitrim
also reached the All Ireland Junior Final when they went down
to near neighbours Sligo and this defeat will also be a motivational
factor as they will be anxious to have another chance at a Croke
Park appearance to make amends for last season’s loss.

Clare enter Saturday’s game on the back of a very convincing win
over Westmeath in the quarter final. A feature of this game was
the good opening period achieved during which Clare put the game
more or less beyond Westmeath. This was a welcome change as in
too many matches this season Clare had been slow starters and
ended up chasing games they should have won comfortably. A recent
run of wins against Cavan, Fermanagh, Longford and Westmeath sets
them up nicely for the Leitrim match and hopefully they can add
one more win and secure their Croke Park place. Such a scenario
would be a great boost for all involved with the game in the county
especially as the U-16 footballers have already qualified for
the All Ireland U-16 B final on September 15th.

As usual Clare will be relying
on some of their big names to produce the goods on Saturday.
Captain and inspirational forward Majella Griffin will play
a central role if Clare are to progress and if Majella can
produce a big game (which in fairness she usually does) then
Clare eyes could be smiling on Saturday evening. Majella possesses
a style and a skill level which is unequalled within the county
and she is ‘The Gooch’ of the ladies game in Clare at present.
Her foresight, distribution and score taking are exemplary
and she is a deadly accurate freetaker. But for Majella’s
unfortunate early injury in last year’s Junior semi-final
against Sligo Clare would surely have emerged victorious.

Louise Henchy also picked up an early injury to force her
withdrawal in last year’s semi and again she will be a central
player on Saturday if Clare are to progress. Louise has a
tremendous work ethic and can kick invaluable scores from
distance. While not the fastest of players her strength on
the ball and her accurate foot-passing make her a very difficult
opponent and a match for any player at inter-county level.
Clare have had difficulty in finding a suitable midfield partner
for Louise this year but dual player Fiona Lafferty could
be an option here on Saturday.

Up front Marie Kelly and Niamh Keane are having good seasons
to date with Kelly having a great knack of being in the right
place to squeeze home some invaluable goals this year. Hopefully
she will find herself with goals-coring opportunities again
against Leitrim as she really is a deadly finisher when on
song. Defensively Clare have looked vulnerable on occasions
this year and this is something they have worked hard on in
training of late. Grace Lynch, Sinéad Kelly, Lorraine Kelly,
Carmel Considine and Michelle Delaney are all great defenders
in their own right but they must operate as a cohesive unit
if they are to keep Leitrim at bay and their concentration
levels must be at an all time high right from the start. Goalkeeper
Denise Walsh is having a good season since replacing the injured
Emma O’Driscoll but she must watch the quality and accuracy
of her clearances and kickouts.

Captain Majella Griffin
Úna Downes, Myra Daly, Helen Quinn, Jane Kennedy
and Áine Kelly are other players expected to make the first
fifteen on Saturday with Olivia Lucas and Ciara Cleary also
fighting for a starting place. Saturday’s game will be a close
affair and victory will ultimately go to the team who wants
it most and who shows the desire and the appetite to carry
the game to the opposition right from the start. Hopefully
it will be the the Martin Donnelly sponsored outfit who will
go the extra mile and earn a place in Croker on TG4 All Ireland
Football Final day.
Úna Downes
Lorraine Kelly

Dr. Paul McKenna, PRO Clare Ladies Football Tel:
086 6036385

E-mail: mckennapc@eircom.met

Web: www.bannerladiesfootball.com


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