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Clare's Player of the Match Caoimhe Harvey avoids the challenge from Roscommon's Rachel Fitzmaurice during the Division 3 League final. Photograph by Willie O'Reilly

Harvey and Considine delight in league triumph

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Clare captain Caoimhe Harvey knows more than most the pain of final defeats.
After last year’s league and Championship deciders ending in agonising losses to Kildare, Harvey was delighted to come out the right side in a national final.
The Player of the Match certainly led from the front as her driving run played a vital role in Ailish Considine’s 15th minute goal. It was Clare’s first score of the day and gave them a lead they would never relinquish.
Harvey was quick to spread the praise elsewhere though as she praised a rock solid defence that did not concede a score from play until the 59th minute.
“It is just about giving the girls light and hope and show that we are actually good enough and that we can actually put it up to the opposition. Even a girl that turns the ball inside in the backs. Siofra and Grainne, Laurie, Teresa Collins blocked a ball. That is as good as a score. You are not letting them score. The girls really tried hard and worked for the full 60 minutes. For me it is just an absolute privilege.”
Having already secured promotion before last Saturday’s success, Harvey was delighted to secure a return to Division 2 as champions.
She states this victory gives her side an invaluable confidence boost, ahead of a defining Summer.
“We have been knocking at an Intermediate Championship. It wasn’t a great time when we got relegated (from Division 2 in 2022) and there is no point hiding it, so it is great to be back up and back up winning. We are not just being promoted on merit, but we are being promoted while we won so it is absolutely fantastic.”
“It makes things a lot easier and exciting going into Championship. It just gives us the buzz that we need and the confidence. It is absolutely huge. That is what it is about at the end of the day is winning and enjoying football with our friends. It is a great feeling, and we will really look forward to it going into Championship.”
Clare defender Róisín Considine is currently based in England and commutes over as often as she can to don her county’s colours.
She believes her side’s fifth Division 3 league title and first since 2011 makes the sacrifices worthwhile as the defender insists her side’s triumph will give them added incentive to achieve the goal of Intermediate glory this Summer.
“I have been coming as often as I can. I am lucky enough that I have been quite flexible and I am grateful for Seán Lenihan (County Board Chairman) for organising Shannon Airport for sponsoring my flights and my family for collecting me. It has been challenging but it is worth it now.
When you lose and you are constantly losing you question why you do this especially the travelling but now you have a reason to keep driving on.”
Considine praised the character within the squad as a Clare side without Chloe Moloney claimed top honours with the two point winning margin in no way flattering the Banner.
“The girls could have dropped their heads, but management just instil confidence in us all. They are just so positive, and they tell us the good things about us which keeps you going. It is brilliant and hopefully this is the start of s good year. Winning is a habit so hopefully we get used to it now.”

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