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Clare seal Munster Minor B Ladies Football title and now look towards All Ireland final

Munster Minor B ladies football final
Clare 3-7 – Tipperary 1-6

Whilst the eyes of the county were 30 miles further down the N20 to leeside for a tiny parcel of GAA followers Mallow GAA complex was the centrepoint of their sporting existence last Sunday and success too was the end result as a stronger Clare side overcame Tipperary. In the near future a west of Ireland semi final will take centre stage against Connacht opposition for a place in the Al- Ireland decider. Following on 24 after the U14 side won Munster C honours and the U16s also successful there was a need for the minor side to maintain a high level of consistency at representative level.

Intended or not the Clare girls had the start one can dream of in a final as Aine McNamara blasted the ball past Sarah Smith in the Tipperary goal with just 30 seconds gone in the game. This was a huge boost as Clare at time in other games worked hard and did not show the fruits of their labour with scores. For Tipperary the story of their game revolved around getting the ball to Ciara O’ Hara and the proficient corner forward responded with (1-1) between the 5th and 7th minute to take the lead. Tipperary’s only other scorer on the day Ellie Franklin was on hand with her score in the 12th minute to leave Tipperary (1-2) to (1-0) in front and attacking with some regularity but not gaining any freedom from a strong Clare defence led by Abbie Cahill and Ella Nagle.

Hazel O’ Shea drew a big cheer from the travelling Clare support when she pounced for Clare’s second goal and this sent Clare ahead. Seven minutes later Ellie Hanrahan who 24 hours later alongwith a number of others were in Cusack Park for the school’s final pointed in the 19th minute. Sophie Culleton, another who played on Monday rounded off the first half scoring to send Clare (2-2) to (1-2) in front facing the second half.

Similar to the first half Clare took the game to Tipperary early in the second half with scores from Ellie Hanrahan and Lucy Shanahan by the 37th minute. Whatever fading semblance of hope for a sustained title challenge existed for a Tipperary side that were in second gear disspated with certainy after a 47th minute goal from Emer Burke. Two minutes previous Ciara O’Hara had ended a 33 minute Tipperary scoring drought with a much needed point.

There were six further scores witnessed in the final quarter in Mallow. Aine McNamara, Lucy Shanahan and Emer Burke were on hand to seal down the win as they matched three further scores from Ciara O Hara but it was merely cosmetic dressing as Clare had tied down the title with 20 minutes to play.

The champions no more so than the U16s have had a busy productive season preparing players for senior intercounty grade in the coming seasons and for the Minors it is not over yet. Best for the winners were Aoife Griffin, Abbie Cahill, Ella Nagle, Eimear Burke, Ellie Hanrahan, Lucy Shanahan, Ria Meaney and Hazel Keating,

Clare scorers: Aine McNamara, Emer Burke (1-1), Hazel O’ Shea (1-0), Lucy Shanahan, Ellie Hanrahan (0-2), Sophie Culleton (0-1).

Clare: Aoife Griffin (Fergus Rovers), Caitriona Byrne (Miltown Malbay), Aisling Kelly (Cooraclare), Abbie Cahill (Fergus Rovers), Lucy Power (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield), Serena Clancy (West Clare Gaels), Hazel Keating (Fergus Rovers), Ella Nagle (West Clare Gaels), Eimear Burke (Fergus Rovers), Clodagh Keane (West Clare Gaels), Ellie Hanrahan (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Niamh Miller (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Lucy Shanahan (Doonbeg), Grainne McMahon (Newmarket on Fergus), Ria Meaney (Fergus Rovers). Subs: Sophie Torpey (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Burke, Hazel O’ Shea (Kilrush) for Meaney, Sophie Culleton (Fergus Rovers) for Nagle, Aisling Crowe (Kilrush) for Nagle, Aine McNamara (Kilmihil) for McMahon, Shauna Melican (Fergus Rovers for Miller, Emer Burke (Banner) for Keating, Lynsday Clarke (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Power.

Tipperary scorers: Ciara O’ Hara (1-5), Ellie Franklin (0-1).

Tipperary: Sarah Smith (Fethard), Leanna Coppinger (Thurles Sarsfields), Sarah Luttrell (Moyle Rovers), Caitlin Shelly (Moycarkey), Emaleigh Cuddihy (Fethard), Eva Cremins (Arravale Rovers), Paula Quirke (Boherlahan Dualla), Sinead O’ Carroll (Ardfinnan), Ellie Franklin (Moyle Rovers), Lucy O’ Brien (St Patricks), Issy Carr (Holycross Ballycahill), Emily Spillane (Fethard), Emer Dwan (Boherlahan Dualla), Aedin McCormack (Moyle Rovers), Ciara O’ Hara (Arravale Rovers).

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