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Kildare Leave Best to Last as they Defeat Clare


Clare 1:12 Kildare 2:19

Kildare Ladies finished off their Tesco Homegrown National Football Division 2 campaign with an impressive win in Kilmihil, Clare on Sunday.  Their campaign will show they played 7 and won 3 and every one of them away from home which resulted in them travelling over 2,000km to all corners of the country. With their division 2 status secured the last day with their victory over Down, the girls wouldn’t have been blamed for taking this last game easy. Clare also were secure in division 2 so this really was a game of pride for two  teams who will have their respective Intermediate Provisional Championships on their minds.


The game was played in breezy yet sunny conditions and it was Kildare who opened the brighter as Aisling Curley intercepted a clearance from Clare’s Laurie Ryan, she hand passed to Maria Moolick who opened the scoring with a point. On the third minute Kildare again recycled the ball with good passing from Roisin Byrne and Mikaela McKenna who found Maria Moolick on the left and she cut inside and added her second point. While things were looking good for Kildare; they did receive a reminder of Clare’s ability when Roisin Howley dinked a ball over Tara Hallinan for Grainne Nolan to run on to but she dragged her shot left of the post. From the kick out Joanna Timmons found Aisling Holton running through and she passed to Maria Moolick who kept her shot low to beat Ciara Coughlan in the Clare goal. Kildare were dominating play all over the pitch and had hemmed Clare in to their own half, this dominance was rewarded with two quick points from Roisin Byrne to stretch the lead to seven points. Clare players were working hard to get into their opponents half and Ellie O’Gorman and Niamh Keane combined for the latter to open Clare’s account with a  point. A minute later Roisin Howley put Niamh Keane straight through on goal but her shot just went over the bar to the relief of the Kildare defence. It was Clare’s turn to dominate as Kildare again struggled to get the ball clear, after 12 minutes Paula Keatley fouled Emma O’Driscoll thirty meters out; Ailish Considine added the point. Ailish was called upon again a minute later after Sean Joy, the referee, blew for another foul this time by Tara Halligan. Half way through the first half the sides were level after Becky Mahon beat Joanna Timmons to the kick out and she found Emma O’Driscoll who ran at Paula Keatley who got wrong footed and the referee awarded the penalty when the Clare girl went to ground. Ailish Considine struck her shot straight at Becky McGuirk who failed to hold it and it spilled out for Ailish to poke the ball into the net.


Kildare’s response was immediate and Molly Price put them back in front again, it was quickly followed  with another two points from Roisin Byrne and Maria Moolick to put the visitors three ahead again. Clare made a change bringing in Roisin Considine for Eimear Hillery in midfield and the sub caught a clearance and found Grainne Nolan with a pass and ran at Kildare again but put her shot over the bar when a goal looked on. Kildare then went on a scoring spree with three more points from Mikaela McKenna and two from Grace Clifford. Just when the game looked to be slipping away from Clare they replied with three of their own before the break as Becky Mahon, Roisin Howley and another free from Ailish Considine left it 1:10 to 1:08 at half time.


The second half opened very well for Kildare when Aisling Holton went on a trade mark burst through the middle and while being fouled she pointed only for the referee to call it back for the free which Grace Clifford added. Roisin Byrne was working hard throughout the game and was rewarded with another well taken point. Kildare continued their pressure game and some good movement of the ball release Aisling Holton who was fouled. Grace Clifford looked to have added the point but her free hit the post and fell to Mikaela McKenna to add another point. Clare kept pressing and were working hard to get through the Kildare defence who lived on the luck on a couple of occasions when goals looked on only to be missed.Ailish Considine was the main target for Clare and she won herself a free which she popped over.  Kildare were now four points clear and both managers rang the changes and introduced some substitutes. The pace of the game dropped a bit as the changes took their time to get to the pitch of the game but it was Kildare who got the upper hand when Aisling Holton added two points and were followed by another Roisin Byrne point before Maria Moolick put Kildare seven points in front with eight minutes left. Niamh Kane was the next scorer for Clare when again she was in behind the Kildare defence but shot over when it looked like a goal was on. Kildare were on the attack again and worked the ball well to Niamh Mulhall was slipped in, with Roisin Byrne running off her shoulder but Mulhall took her own point. As kildare’s midfield tired Clare won the kick out and were on the attack again with some fast running play from  local girl Kate Coughlan to add the point. The kick out was won by Michelle Curley who passed to Roisin Byrne who quickly passed forward to Mikaela McKenna and ran on for a pass and the Sarsfield’s girl turned and hit an unstoppable to the top corner of the net. Kildare were full of belief and Grace Clifford closed their scoring with the final point of the day. Clare to their credit worked hard and it was Niamh Keane who finished the scoring with a well taken point from out on the right.


Both teams can take plenty of positives from today and yet both managers will know they have work to do to get the squads ready for the pace of their Intermediate Championships.


Final score from Kilmihil Clare 1.12 Kildare 2.19

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