Suzuki National League Division Two Round 3

Suzuki National League Division Two Round 3

Date: Sunday February 24th
Venue: Cooraclare, Co. Clare.
Referee: Richie O’Connor (Limerick)

Clare 3 – 10 Leitrim 1 – 3

Though the final score reflects a deserved and comprehensive win for Clare in this Suzuki National league Division 2 game played in blustery conditions at Cooraclare on Sunday – one must give credit to a Leitrim side that provided gritty opposition until the final ten minutes or so of this entertaining contest.

The introduction of experienced players such as Marie Kelly, Tammy Hehir, Majella Griffin and Ann Marie Callinan for the final stages of this game saw Clare rattle off an unanswered 1 – 4 in the last six minutes of the match to well and truly put the tie beyond Leitrim’s grasp.

Clare faced a stiff breeze in the opening half and did well to lead by 1 – 2 to 0 – 3 at the interval. Clare’s goal came from the boot of Áine Kelly in the sixth minute when she was alert to a quickly taken free and ghosted in behind the Leitrim rearguard to slot home a well taken score. Niamh Keane and Áine Kelly were Clare’s other scorers in the first half with all of Leitrim’s points coming from the boot of Naomi Lee from placed balls.

Clare had the ideal start to the second half when upcoming talent Eimear Consdine was first to react to an Áine Kelly shot that cannoned off the Leitrim crossbar in the sixth minute. Eimear duly dispatched the ball past the helpless Louise Loughlin in the Leitrim goal to give Clare a commanding advantage. Points from Áine Kelly and Jane Kennedy saw Clare extend their lead but tey were rocked right back in the ninth minute of the half when Leitrim corner forward Michelle Reynolds blasted the ball to the roof of the Clare net from a close in free. Eimear Considine settled the ship a minute later to leave the score 2 – 5 to 1 – 3 ten minutes into the half.

Leitrim continued to pressurise Clare however and kept the Banner county defence on its toes. Some stout defending by the Clare backs and some poor finishing by the Leitrim attack kept Clare in the driving seat at this stage and Eimear Considine again lifted the siege for the Bannerettes with a great point on forty six minutes.

Clare’s devastating finish was soon to follow with two points from West Clare gaels star Marie Kelly and a goal and a point from Cooraclare’s Ann Marie Callinan. Eimear Considine also added another point to leave the final score 3 – 10 to 1 – 3 in Clare’s favour.

Both sides will have learnt from this game. Leitrim, although well beaten at the finish, will be pleased that they were competitive for most of the game. This is a big step forward from their disastrous display against Westmeath a week previously. Clare will be uplifted by the performance of their returning experienced players when introduced in the latter stages of the match. This demonstrates that Clare have a measure of strength in depth this year – a feature they lacked in their campaigns over the past two years.

A word of praise too for Cooraclare GAA Club who had the pitch and facilities in fine order for the game. Referee Ritchie O’Connor from Limerick handled the game efficiently and with the minimum of fuss.

Clare: Denise Walsh, Carmel Considine, Lorraine Kelly, Bernie Kelly, Aifric O’Neill, Lorraine Griffin, Michelle Delaney, Sandra Malone, Jane Kennedy (0-1), Úna Downes, Louise Henchy (capt), Marie Considine, Eimear Considine (1-3), Áine Kelly (1-2), Niamh Keane (0-1).

Subs: Tammy Hehir, Marie Kelly (0-2), Ann Marie Callinan (1-1), Majella Griffin, Orla Kelly, Rachel Garry

Leitrim: Louise Loughlin, Máiréad McCawley, Sinéad Brennan (capt), Teresa Moylett, Deirdre McDermott, Anna Conlon, Claire Owens, Aisling Brennan, Sarah McManus, Naomi Lee (0-3), Sarah McLaughlin, Sinéad McWeeney, Sinéad Fowley, Miranda Burke, Michelle Reynolds (1-0).

Sub: Sinéad Tighe

Dr. Paul McKenna,
PRO Clare Ladies Football

086 6036385

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