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VHI Healthcare Leinster Senior Club Final 2008


SARSFIELDS (Laois) 1-16. CLONEE (Wexford) 2-3

Sarsfields of Laois took a further step on their journey towards taking their place in the all Ireland club championship final, when they beat Clonee of Wexford on Sunday last in Fr. Maher Park, Graiguecullen, County Carlow.
Its hard to believe that a match could be lost or won in the first ten minutes, but, on reflection that was how it panned out for Clonee on Sunday last.
The Wexford senior champions were on top for the first ten minutes, but they were unable to convert at least four scorable chances, including a penalty, that would have given them a dream start against a strong Sarsfields side.
Sarsfields came into this game on a high after dumping hot favourites Ballyboden St. Enda’s out of the championship the previous weekend, and in fairness they had done their home work coming into this game, after weathering the initial storm, they did not allow the North Wexford side to get into their own style of fast free flowing football, as pass after pass was intercepted by a Sarsfields side that showed a greater hunger throughout the game. The O’Moore club side went in at the break with a commanding lead of 1-7 to 0-2.
Throughout the match Clonee fought hard to get themselves back into the game, Caroline Murphy, Josie Dwyer, and Mary Lacey worked tirelessly as they searched in vain for the spark that would launch their side into this final, but unfortunately it came too late, two consolation goals in the second half from Lacey, took a little of the gloss off Sarsfields final tally of 1-16 to 2-3.
Within five minutes of the start Clonee had failed to convert two scorable 45m frees, a minute later the Clonee captain Liz Evered picked the ball up out on the left, and watched in disbelief as Lisa Guinane tipped the ball off her cross bar and cleared to safety by their number six Lorraine Muckian. Muckian was in action minutes later, clearing the ball off the goal line to further frustrate the Clonee forward line. Sarsfields response came in the eight minute when their top scorer Tracey Lawlor tapped over to open her account. A major turning point for Sarsfields came seconds later when referee Keith Tighe awarded the North Wexford side a penalty, after Sarsfields full back Mags McEvoy fouled Josie Dwyer.
Clonee’s number nine Caroline Murphy stepped up to take the spot kick, but Murphy’s attempt clipped the outside of the Sarsfields upright to register Clonees fourth wide of the half.
For the next ten minutes it was all one way traffic as Sarsfields took control of the game, tagging on five points with out reply, one apiece from Claire Conlon, Claire O’Loughlin, Aileen O’Loughlin, and two from Tracey Lawlor.
The minute hand on the clock had slipped into the second quarter before Clonee managed to raise the white flag, the hard working Caroline Murphy off loaded to Josie Dwyer, Dwyer firing over the first of two.
However , Sarsfields Tracey Lawlor continued to torment the Clonee defence and she twisted the knife further in the twenty third minute, when she drove the ball across Marian Brownriggs goal mouth into the bottom left hand corner of the net, Sarsfields Claire Conlon notched up her second point of the game to bring the half to a close. (0-2 to 1-7) in Sarsfields favour.
The Laois club side continued where they had left off in the first period, adding a further four points courtesy of Rosie Bermingham, Ciara O’Loughlin and a brace from Tracey Lawlor to leave the Clonee girls twelve points adrift ( 0-2 to 1-11).
Una Lacey notched up Clonee’s third and final point in the ninth minute, however it was quickly cancelled by Claire Conlon, who was having an excellent game in the number thirteen shirt.
Clonee’s Mary Lacey assisted by Josie Dwyer fired home two goals one in the sixteenth and twentieth minute, but not before Rachel Williams, Tracey Lawlor and Rosie Bermingham tapped over a point apiece for Sarsfields.
While Una Lacey, Ceri McNichol, Ali Evered, Georgina Moore and Josie Dwyer never gave up the chase, forcing Sarsfields keeper Lisa Guinane to pull off a number of saves in the final ten minutes.
The O’Moore girls lost the services of Clare O’Loughlin in the twenty third minute, O’Loughlin was ordered to the sin bin by referee Keith Tighe for a foul on Caroline Murphy, however the girls from the model county failed to take advantage,
For Clonee, the sound of the final whistle was a blessing, and I’m sure that over the next couple of weeks Video’s will be studied and scrutinised, tactics discussed and dissected, but at the end of the day and despite their best efforts it was not to be for the Wexford girls, and as the Van Morrisson song says ” there will be days like this.”
Leinster President Bill Daly was on hand to commiserate with Clonee and Congratetulate Sarsfield on their excellent win, Bill also thanked Graiguecullen Gaa for the use of their excellent facilities, and all those involved on the day, especially John McGrath from VHI healthcare for their continued support.
Bill presented Ciara O’Loughlin and Emma McEvoy with the VHI Healthcare Leinster Senior club trophy, while John McGrath from VHI healthcare presented Aileen O’Loughlin with the player of the match award.
Sarsfields will travel south for their next match in the club championship, where they will come up against Cork senior champions Inch Rovers.
In the VHI healthcare intermediate quarter finals Kiloe of Longford beat Fr. Murphy’s of London 1-7 to 0-5, while in the VHI healthcare Junior quarter finals Maynooth of Kildare beat J. Mitchells of Liverpool 3-8 to 1-4
Clonee return to the domestic scene, where they are due to take on their arch rivals Shelmaliers in the senior league final, over the next week.
Sarsfields: Lisa Guinane, Amy Grehan, Mags McEvoy, Claire O’Loughlin(0-1), Alison McEvoy, Lorraine Muckian, Grace Weston (0-1), Tracey Lawlor (1-4), Emma McEvoy (V.Capt), Olwyn Farrell, Ciara O’Loughlin (Capt. 0-2), Rachel Williams (0-1), Claire Conlon(0-4), Aileen O’Loughlin(0-1), Rosemarie Bermingham (0-2). Subs: Fiona Whelan for Alison MvEvoy, Emer O’Loughlin for Rosemarie Bermingham, Carol Hughes for Rachel Williams, Ashling Dunphy for Mags McEvoy.
Clonee: Marian Brownrigg, Deirdre Burke, Mary O’Neill, Martina Murray, Orla Furlong, Mary Lacey (2-0), Linda Burke, Ciara Scallan, Caroline Murphy, Liz Evered(C), Mairead Sheehan, Georgina Moore, Caitriona Murray, Josie Dwyer (0-2), Ali Evered. Subs: Ceri McNichol for Ciara Scallan, Una Lacey (0-1) for Cathriona Murray, Helena Murray for Mairead Sheehan.
Referee: Keith Tighe (Dublin).
Leinster PRO.
Mick Forde
Mob: 087-6422658.
e-mail: leinster.pro08@yahoo.ie
web: www.flickr.com/photos/mfordefotos/sets/

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