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Clare's Síofra Ní Chonaill faces into a challenge from Offaly's Caoimhe Lynam during their All Ireland ladies’ football Intermediate Championship round 2 clash. Photograph by Eugene McCafferty

Banner cruise to home All-Ireland quarter-final

In a wet and windy Cusack Park on Sunday afternoon Wayne Freeman’s charges delivered yet another mature performance emerging comfortable nine point winners. This result means the Banner ladies top their group and are another step closer to the holy grail of All Ireland glory with players and management now looking forward to a home quarter final on June 30th. Two opening quarter green flags both courtesy of the left peg of corner forward Ailish Considine laid the foundations for victory and from here until the finish Clare had a veritable monopoly on possession and the result never looked in any doubt.
Similarly to last week’s away trip in Clones it was Kilmurry Ibrickane’s Chloe Moloney who was the provider in chief. In the 3rd minute Moloney showing her incredible vision lofted a forty yard pass over the top of the defenders straight into the arms of Kilmihil’s Considine who coolly slotted home into the bottom corner. We did have to wait nine minutes for the next score but it was worth the wait as in an almost carbon copy of the first goal Moloney and Considine combined once more to devastating effect. This time Moloney sent in a high teasing delivery into the edge of the square with the former Australian rules player plucking the ball from the clouds before once more swivelling onto her left leg and rolling the ball into the bottom corner with aplomb. Not content with just assisting Moloney then got on the scoreboard herself when converting a free before Tir Chonaill Gaels Roisin Considine landed the last two scores of the half to give the Banner a deserved interval lead of seven on a 2-3 to 0-2 scoreline. Showing unbelievable commitment to the Clare jersey Considine travels from London every week. A huge addition to Freeman’s squad she kicked an absolute peach from 35 yards splitting the posts before comfortably slotting over her second after a clever Amy Sexton offload.
During the half time break the heavens opened up and the downpour made conditions extremely difficult for the second half but that didn’t stop Clare dominating possession. Demonstrating good game management skills and great ball retention ability Freeman’s charges kept the visitors pinned inside their own half for lengthy periods. Constantly recycling possession with runners coming from deep the Banner moved through the gears at their leisure. A fisted Orla Devitt point was followed by an outrageous Marrinan touchline beauty from the acutest of angles before a sweeping team move led to Ailish Considine kicking over. Another Marrinan beauty had the lead out to ten points at the three quarter mark and although Clare would fail to score in the final fifteen minutes they limited Offaly to just a solitary point and that only came in additional time.
Overall an extremely comfortable day at the office for the 2024 National league champions as they take another positive step to Jones Road. Best for the Saffron and Blue on a day where all played well were Chloe Moloney, Ailish Considine, Laurie Ryan and Joanna Doohan.

Clare: Amy Lenihan (Doora Barefield), Aine Keane (Miltown), Siofra Ni Chonaill (Doora Barefield), Grainne Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Roisin Considine (Tir Chonaill Gaels), Joanna Doohan (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Orla Devitt (Eire Og), Laurie Ryan (Banner), Sinead Considine (Liscannor), Chloe Moloney (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Caoimhe Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Teresa Collins (Burren Gaels), Amy Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Fidelma Marrinan (West Clare Gaels), Ailish Considine (Kilmihil)
Subs: Ciara McCarthy (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for C Harvey inj (37), Louise Griffin (Fergus Rovers) for O Devitt (45), Rebecca Doohan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for G Harvey (51), Megan Downes (Cooraclare) for T Collins (52), Hannah Doyle (Doora Barefield) for A Sexton (58)

Scorers: Ailish Considine 2-1, Fidelma Marrinan, Roisin Considine 0-2 each, Chloe Moloney (f), Orla Devitt 0-1 each

Offaly: Chloe Sheridan (Clara), Anna Crehan (Naomh Ciaran), Michelle Mann (Naomh Molaise), Nicole Buckley (Naomh Ciaran), Nicole Farrelly (Edenderry), Emma Maher (Naomh Ciaran), Roisin Ennis (Naomh Ciaran), Ellee McEvoy (Naomh Ciaran), Meabh Rouse (Tullamore), Kiah Farrelly (Edenderry), Caoimhe Lynam (St.Manchans), Amy Gavin Mangan (Naomh Ciaran), Marie Byrne (St.Conleths), Emma Hand (Ballinamere/Durrow), Roisin Cockram (Naomh Ciaran) Subs: Ciara Walsh (Naomh Molaise) for R Cockram (40), Emily Bailey (Tullamore) for C Lynam (40), Claire O’Brien (Tullamore) for A Grahan (44), Kelley Cunningham (Tullamore) for C Sheridan (49), Fiona Dempsey (Naomh Molaise) for E Hand (58)

Scorers: Ellee McEvoy, Nicole Buckley, Roisin Cockram, Emily Bailey 0-1 each

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry)

Wayne Freeman
(Clare Manager)

“We had a plan today with the conditions and we stuck to it so we’re really happy with our display. Once we got the goals we were in total control and I felt we were very comfortable out there. We have the skill set for difficult conditions which I feel other teams don’t have. When it’s wet and windy our control of possession is outstanding and we really love playing here in the park. We haven’t lost here since we took over and it’s always nice to play in front of family and friends. We’ll take a week to recover and then get back to work. There’s always stuff to work on and even today we probably left 1-5 or 1-6 behind us so we will have to improve on our shooting efficiency. Overall though today is a good day and we can now look forward to a home quarter final and it’s exactly where we want to be.”

About Derek Dormer

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