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VHI Munster Ladies Intermediate Football Final

Cooraclare .v. Inch Rovers match report

VHI Munster Ladies Intermediate Football
Venue: Hospital, Co. Limerick
Date: Sunday, October 22nd.

Cooraclare (Clare) 0 – 2 Inch Rovers (Cork)
2 – 19

Entering this game with influential players Niamh
Chambers and Ann Marie Callinan ruled out through injury one felt
things couldn’t get worse for Cooraclare. In a game that everything
had to go right for the Clare side if they were to put it up to
their formidable opponents it transpired that everything just went
horribly wrong for the Clare representatives on the day.

Two early goal scoring opportunities were missed by the Clare girls
and after Inch Rovers had opened the scoring with points on four
and six minutes further disaster was to befall the West Clare team.
When challenging for possession in the twelfth minute Cooraclare’s
captain and most influential player, Eithne Morrissey sustained
a serious ankle injury. This led to Eithne’s early departure from
the field of play and with it went any hope the Clare side had of
making a serious challenge for honours. Cooraclare were in disarray
following Eithne’s departure and the gap she left a midfield was
soon to be filled with great effectiveness by Inch Rover’s Cork
senior star Angela Walsh. Morrissey had succeeded in keeping good
tabs on Walsh while on the field and had been instrumental in setting
up the early Cooraclare attacks.

Inch Rovers lorded the game from here to the interval and despite
kicking a good number of wides went into the interval break with
a 0 – 7 to no score advantage. Cooraclare came out fighting on the
resumption of play but despite good early pressure they again failed
to score. When Inch Rovers broke up-field in the forty first minute
for full forward Amy O’Shea to find the net the game was well and
truly over from Cooraclare’s point of view. Inch Rovers went on
to score at will from here on in despite some resolute defending
from Cooraclare’s best player Tammy Hehir and also from Aifric O’Neill.
Cooraclare had two consolation points from Áine Pyne and
Noreen McGuane but these were all too little too late for the Clare
representatives. All teams will have off days like this and Cooraclare
should not reflect too much on the final score line. They are worthy
Clare champions and will know deep down that they are a much better
side than this game indicates.

As a neutral observer at the game I feel I much make some commentary
on aspects of this provincial final. The pitch was unlined for the
game and there was no scoreboard in use. The grass was much too
long for playing football and this hindered many of the players.
Most serious of all though for a provincial final, there was no
first aid or stretcher available when Clare’s Eithne Morrissey was
seriously injured. The referee actually suspended the play for eight
minutes or so while she was being tended to and she eventually had
to be carried from the field with assistance of team mentors and
supporters from the stand. This was a totally unacceptable situation
and should be investigated thoroughly by those in authority who
arranged this fixture. Player welfare and safety should always be

Cooraclare: Mairéad Griffin, Aifric O’Neill, Tammy Hehir,
Fiona McMahon, Orla Kelly, Majella Lillis, Monica Lillis, Bernie
Kelly, Eithne Morrissey Liddane, Noreen McGuane(0-1), Aine Pyne(0-1),
Claire Walsh Moroney, Patricia Callinan, Elaine Griffin, Helen Quinn.

Subs: Louise Murrihy, Rachel Garry, Sally Glynn, Aoife Donnellan.

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