Tipperary 4-12 Clare 2-9
IN winter-like conditions at Garryspillane on Wednesday, Clare’s dream of capturing the Munster Minor A Camogie Championship title was dashed by a stronger and better-balanced Tipperary.
The sides had met in the All-Ireland championship earlier in the season, when Tipperary were somewhat fortunate to record a one-point win.
Not surprisingly, Clare supporters travelled with good hopes of reversing that result but the damage was done in the first half, when Tipperary built up a 13-point lead with the aid of the strong wind.
It left Clare with a mountain to climb and while they battled bravely to the end, they just could not get through for the goals they needed to get back into contention.
Tipperary led by 1-6 to 0-0 before Clare opened their account, a goal from Doireann Murphy. Tipp corner-forward Sinéad Maher caused huge problems for the defence and she finished the game with a tally of 4-2, the four goals all coming from open play.
It didn’t come as any great surprise when the Kildangan player was named as the player of the game, an award richly deserved.
Clare needed a good start to the second half and this they got when substitute Róisín Begley applied the finish for a goal, after great work by Amy Keating.
Clare’s joy was shortlived, however, as Tipperary hit back and Maher struck for her fourth goal in the third minute. It was a real killer blow for Clare and while they responded with some great points, they failed to get through for any more goals.
To their credit, they did pick off some grest points through Laura McGrath, Regan Conway and Áine O’Loughlin.
The evening, however, belonged to Tipperary, who deservingly lifted the trophy, helped by great displays from Sinéad Maher, Orla O’Dwyer, Ciara Maher, Caroline Mullaney and Karen Kennedy.
Clare’s best were Claire Hehir at full-back, Emma Kennedy, Laura Foley, Laura McGrath and Amy Keating.
Tipperary: Caoimhe Bourke; Emer Murphy, Caroline Mullaney, Maureen Ryan; Hazel McAuliffe, Karen Kennedy, Emer Loughman; Ciardha Maher, Jean Kelly; Keely Linehan, Orla O’Dwyer, Eibhlis McDonald; Sinéad Meagher, Grace O’Brien, Claire Stakelum.
Scorers: Sinead Maher (4-2); Grace O’Brien, Eilish McDonald (0-3 each); Orla O’Dwyer (0-2), Ciara Maher, Keely Linehan (0-1 each).
Clare: Rebecca Keating (Inagh-Kilnamona); Aoife Tuohy (Feakle), Claire Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona), Ciara Doyle (Bodyke); Amy Barrett (Scarff-Ogonnelloe), Emma Kennedy (Sixmilebridge), Ciara Grogan (Clooney-Quin); Laura Foley (Truagh-Clonlara), Corina McMahon (Corofin); Saoirse Glynn (Kilmaley), Sinéad Power (Inagh-Kilnamona), Doireann Murphy (Clarecastle); Regan Conway (Feakle), Amy Keating (Inagh-Kilnamona), Laura McGath (Feakle).
Subs: Áine O’Loughlin (Truagh-Clonlara) for Glynn; Róisín Begley (Truagh-Clonlara) for Power; Rachel Kelly (Sixmilebridge) for Tuohy); Louise Egan (Truagh-Clonlara) for McMahon; Lauren Solan (Whitegate) for Conway.
Scorers: Regan Conway (0-5), Doireann Murphy, Róisín Begley (1-0 each); Laura McGrath (0-2), Aine O’Loughlin, Laura Foley (0-1 each).
Referee: John Kirby, Waterford.
By Seamus Hayes