CLARE TOO STRONG
Wicklow battle bravely but lose out to Banner side
SOMETIMES you just come up against a superior force on the field of battle and there is very little you can do about the result and this was very much the case for the Wicklow ladies who succumbed to a very impressive Clare outfit on Sunday afternoon in Clane in the All-Ireland Intermediate Qualifier 1 clash.
It’s not that Wicklow couldn’t have improved on their final tally had some key players reached their full potential or converted some missed chances on the day or had those two first half penalties not been conceded, but it would have taken a seismic stroke of good fortune for Wicklow to have emerged victorious in sunny Clane.
The Clare team had talented footballers all over the field but none more so than corner-forward Ailish Considine who finished with 2-04, including two penalties, and who tormented the Wicklow outfit from start to finish.
In truth, Wicklow can also be thankful to Blessington’s Kim Connors for keeping the goal tally down as the Wicklow netminder was in very good form on the line and thwarted a number of goal bound efforts over the course of the hour. She was helped in defence by brave efforts from Sarah Hogan, Emily Mulhall and Jessie Nolan Byrne but they were facing a very sharp Banner attack that was boosted constantly by runners from deep.
Wicklow did open the scoring through Laura Hogan after good work from Amy Murphy and Aoife Gorman but Clare were soon 2-02 to 0-02 up thanks to those two penalties from Considine with Kim Connors remaining far too flat-footed to offer any hope of getting to the well-struck shots.
Wicklow had two points from frees by Georgina Canavan, one either side of the second Clare penalty, and Mick O’Rourke’s side proved to be well up for the clash for the rest of the first half with points from Laura Hogan, Ciara Byrne and an outstanding point from a tight angle from Amy Murphy to go in at the break trailing by 2-07 to 0-06.
A major problem for Wicklow was the ease with which Clare defused the Wicklow attack in the final third and the Wicklow management tried numerous switches, including Catherine Dempsey to midfield and Naoise Baker to centre-half forward, but none of them led to much success to be fair.
Laura Hogan, with two points, and a single from Georgina Canavan completed the Clare scoring not long after the 50th minute of the game and then Clare had midfielder Lizzie Roache sent off on a straight red card for what looked to be verbally abusing the referee. Initially the referee, Niall McCormack, from Laois, had awarded a free against the Clare midfielder but she seemed to say something as she passed him and he called her back.
However, the Clare woman did nothing to help her cause in the next few moments and the Laois official flashed a red card in her direction.
This seemed to rally the Clare players and they went on a bit of a mini rampage from here on in, scoring 1-06 without reply and completely overrunning the Wicklow defen ce.
Scorers – Wicklow: Laura Hogan 0-05 (2f), Georgina Canavan 0-03 (2f), Ciara Byrne 0-01, Amy Murphy 0-01.
Clare: Ailish Considine 2-04 (2 p), Grainne Nolan 0-06 (1f), Sarah Bohannon 0-03, Caitriona Callinan 1-01, Laurie Ryan 0-01, Roisin Looney 0-01, Lizzie Roache 0-01, Becky Mahon 0-01.
Wicklow: Kim Connors; Aoife Gillen, Sarah Hogan, Emily Mulhall; Shauna Byrne, Jackie Kinch, Jessie Nolan Byrne; Aoife Gorman, Naoise Baker; Ciara Byrne, Catherine Dempsey, Georgina Canavan; Amy Murphy, Claire Grace, Laura Hogan. Subs: Alanna Conroy for A Gillen (30min, inj), Marie Kealy for C Grace (30min), Shona O’Connor for N Baker (35min), Amy Ryan for C Byrne (53min).
Clare: Ciara Harvey; Nicole O’Doherty, Laurie Ryan, Gráinne Harvey; Roisin Considine, Ellie O’Gorman, Amanda Mulcair; Roisin Looney, Lizzie Roache; Kayleigh McCormack, Tara Kelly, Sarah Bohannon; Ailish Considine, Caitriona Callinan, Grainne Nolan.
Referee: Niall McCormack (Laois)
The Wicklow Senior ladies side who were defeated by Clare in Clane last Sunday afternoon.