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Match Report Clare Ladies Football 2009 U-12 Division 1 Final

Match Report Clare Ladies Football 2009 U-12 Division 1 Final

Venue: Gurteen
Referee: Rosie Currane

Banner Ladies 8 – 10 St. Joseph’s Doora / Barefield 1 – 0

There’s an old adage that says ‘one should never judge a book by its cover’ and this could very well be applied to this Division 1 championship final played in balmy conditions in Gurteen on Thursday last.

The final score-line does scant justice to the magnificent effort of the home side and indeed the game was hugely in the balance up until just before half time. The Banner Ladies were raging hot favourites going in to the game but they were quickly knocked back by a first minute Doora / Barefield goal. This score really set the cat amongst the pigeons as the Ennis side were clearly rattled and found possession hard earned.

Slowly the more experienced Banner girls clawed their way back in to the game and by the twentieth minute had levelled affairs thanks to points from Gráinne Nolan, Aoife Keane and Andrea O’Keeffe. With just five minutes remaining in the half the teams were deadlocked on a 1-0 to 0-3 score and an intriguing second half looked in prospect. Suddenly and out of nowhere newly introduced Banner Ladies substitute Maria Clune found the net with a stinging effort from twenty yards. This score suddenly appeared to open the floodgates and was quickly followed by goals from Eva O’Dea and Gráinne Nolan and a point from Aoibheann Malone to change the whole complexion of the game.

The Banner Ladies thus retired at half time with a 3 – 4 to 1 – 0 advantage and Doora / Barefield were suddenly left with a mountain to climb in the second half. As can often happen in underage games a sudden burst of scoring can alter things dramatically and the Gurteen side did not deserve to be so much in arrears at the interval as they had matched the town side in every aspect of play except on the scoreboard.

Buoyed on by their pre-interval scores the Banner Ladies came out all guns blazing in the second period and despite a dogged Doora / Barefield resistance the Ennis team eventually gained the upper hand. Second half substitute Claire Hehir notched up two goals and a point and further goals from Eva O’Dea, Aoife Keane and Gráinne Nolan eventually sealed the game. Apart from their excellent forwards the winners were well served by Emily Tone and Emma Neylon in defence. However the defender most to catch the eye on the night was full back Elaine Casey who was simply outstanding and is surely a county prospect of the future.

Doora / Barefield however will have the consolation of qualifying for the 2009 Clare U-12 Division 2 Final and this is a reward they richly deserve given their play in the first twenty minutes of this game. They are a super side and will improve as time goes on.

The Banner Ladies team were worthy winners on the night and their captain Eimear Rutherford was an excited and delighted young lady when accepting the trophy from Michael Edwards-Murphy of the Clare Ladies Football Board. Speaking in Irish and English Eimear paid great tribute to the Doora / Barefield team and also the excellent referee Rosie Currane.

Banner Ladies: Aisling Maher, Elaine Casey, Emily Tone, Emma Neylon, Teresa O’Keeffe, Eimear Rutherford, Aoibheann Malone (0-3), Aoife Keane (1-2), Gráinne Nolan (2-2), Eve Copley, Andrea O’Keeffe (0-1), Eva O’Dea (2-1), Jessica Donnellan.
Subs: Maria Clune (1-0), Niamh O’Brien, Claire Hehir (2-1), Jane Fitzgerald, Eadaoin Hennessy, Sinéad Rooney, Nicole Talty, Sarah O’Sullivan.

Banner Ladies captain Eimear Rutherford receiving the trophy from Michael Edwards-Murphy PRO of Clare Ladies Football Board
Banner Ladies winning team with 2009 Clare Championship Trophy

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