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Easy win for Clare in Leitrim

Clare 6-11
Leitrim 2-10

CLARE collected their second successive win in the Division 3 National League when they recorded a 10- point win over Leitrim in Ballinamore last Saturday. The home side, who had defeated Wexford in their opening game, went 1-1 up in as many minutes, thanks to their sharp shooter Áine Tighe.

Eimear Considine got Clare off the mark with a point before Leitrim’s Deirdre McDermott and Clare’s Niamh O’Dea traded scores. Tighe added another before Niamh O’Dea had her first of two goals, thanks to a perfect pass from a free by midfielder Louise Henchy. The 17-year-old Kilfenora girl shot low and hard to the bottom-right corner. Again Tighe put the home side ahead with another point before West Clare Gaels’ Katie Geoghegan had her second point from play to put Clare 1-5 to 1-4 ahead and from here to the half-time whistle, Clare took over. Ailish Considine, who had a fine hour, scored her side’s second goal in the 17th minute and Louise Henchy executed brilliantly from the penalty spot five minutes later, after Eimear Considine had been fouled.
Róisín McMahon was introduced in the half-back line in place of corner-forward Ann Marie Callinan, with Clare making a number of positional switches. Kilmihil’s Eimear Considine had her side’s fourth goal of the half and Clare retired in a comfortable position, leading on a score of 4-8 to 1-7.
Leitrim needed a good start to the second half and this is exactly what they produced. Their top scorer, Tighe, again got them off the mark with a point from a long-range free and centre-forward Sarah McLoughlin, an All-Star winner in 2008, rattled the Clare net.
Another Tighe point had the gap reduced to five with only six minutes played and Clare looked in trouble. Full-back Carmel Considine, who had been sin-binned for a yellow card offence before half-time, returned to the field of play and soon after came the turning point for Clare. With Leitrim driving forward, the inspirational Henchy, an All-Star nominee for the past two years, intercepted a pass to set up a move which O’Dea finished to the net, putting Clare ahead 5-8 to 2-9 with nine minutes played in the second half.
Niamh Lardner came into the Clare team for Colette Corry and shortly after, Henchy was involved again for the Banner’s sixth goal. There was a bit of luck attached to this one. She took a free off the ground, which didn’t rise too high, and Leitrim keeper Catherine O’Brien failed to hold onto the ball, which ended up in the net. Both sides availed of the closing stages to introduce a number of substitutes. A few of Clare’s subs will be hoping to claim a place in the starting 15 next Saturday when they travel to Bray to play Wicklow in round three.
For the second week in succession, Emma O’Driscoll was solid in goals for Clare. Clare Hester and Eimear O’Connor played well in defence but overall Clare need to improve in this sector. Louise Woods, who is normally a wing-back, did well at midfield, while Louise Henchy, who was moved to the half-back line for the second half, was undoubtedly player of the match. Ailish Considine, Katie Geoghegan, Niamh O’Dea and Eimear Considine were on top of their game in the forwards, while dual player Róisín McMahon also did well when introduced.
Aine Tighe, who finished with a personal tally of 1-7, was Leitrim’s stand-out player, while Claire Owens, Kirby Gilgunn, Sinéad Fowley, Sarah McLoughlin and Deirdre McDermott also played well.
Clare: Emma O’Driscoll (Banner Ladies); Clare Hester (Fergus Rovers), Carmel Considine (Liscannor), Laurie Ryan (Banner Ladies); Niamh Greene (Coolmeen), Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Colette Corry (Shannon Gaels); Louise Woods (Banner Ladies), Louise Henchy (Banner Ladies, 2-2, 1 pen, 1-2f); Katie Geoghegan (West Clare Gaels 0-3), Niamh Keane (Banner Ladies, capt), Ailish Considine (Kilmihil, 1-0); Niamh O’Dea (Banner Ladies, 2-3, 1f), Eimear Considine (Kilmihil, 1-2), Ann Marie Callinan (Cooraclare).
Subs: Róisín McMahon (Newmarket on Fergus) for AM Callinan, Niamh Lardner (West Clare Gaels, 0-1f) for C Corry, Grace Lynch (Coolmeen) for L Henchy (inj), Carol O’Leary (Newmarket on Fergus) for K Geoghegan, Martina Scales (Liscannor) for C Considine, Áine Burke (Liscannor) for E Considine and Ann Marie Callinan for A Considine.
Leitrim: Catherine O’Brien; Mary Farrell, Sharon Kerrigan, Tanya McPartland; Claire Owens (0-1), Anna Cortlan, Kirby Gilgunn; Sinéad Fowley (capt), Deirdre Ward, Sarah McManus; Sarah McLoughlin (1-0), Róisín Curneen; Michelle Reynolds (0-1), Deirdre McDermott (0-1), Áine Tighe (1-7 3f).
Subs: Sinéad McWeeney for R Curneen, Christine Quinn for M Farrell, Mairéad McCawley for T McPartland, Róisín Fowley for D McDermott, Michelle Glancy for C Owens and Sinéad Tighe for K Gilgunn.
Referee: Yvonne Duffy (Cavan).

Division 3 round two results
Fermanagh 4-12 Wicklow 2-7
Down 1-11 Limerick 1-5
Wexford 1-13 Longford 1-7.


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