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.

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