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Chloe Moloney scores Clare’s first goal against Fermanagh on Sunday. Photograph by Eugene McCafferty

LADIES FOOTBALL: High five for better Banner in All-Ireland Championship Round 3

All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football Championship Round 3
Clare 5-8 Fermanagh 3-6

CLARE progress to the last eight of the All-ireland series after comfortably bouncing back to winning ways in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park in Longford this afternoon, writes Eoin Brennan.
The result was never in doubt once the Banner settled with a brace of goals through Chloe Moloney and Niamh O’Dea inside the opening six minutes as they build up a 12 point cushion by the break and still held a double figure lead deep into additional time.
In truth, the only thing keeping Fermanagh in the contest was the bizarre officiating of referee Paul Burke as while Clare dominating possession, the free count was 36 to 10 in Fermanagh’s favour while he also sinbinned two Clare players and in separate incidents gave the Ulster side two penalties.
Still, Clare kept their heads down to take a 2-0 to 0-3 lead by the water break and despite losing Fidelma Marrinan to a ten minute recess, tacked on a further 1-6 without reply in the second quarter.
Again it was scorer-in-chief Niamh O’Dea who applied the clinical finish to take her tally to 2-3 and ensure a 3-6 to 0-3 interval cushion.
Fermanagh did inevitably rally on the resumption, led by AFLW star Joanne Doohan who earned and dispatched a penalty to cut the deficit to just seven by the 36th minute.
However, a more experienced Clare quickly slammed the door of opportunity shut when Chloe Moloney doubled her goal tally with a rebound after club-mate Ciara McCarthy’s effort came back off the upright at 4-6 to 1-5.
With the result put to bed, Clare failed to flesh out the final margin as they kicked five final quarter wides in a contest that understandably dipped in quality amidst the soaring temperatures.
However, there would be an unexpectedly dramatic finish as Aisling Reidy was sinbinned in the 63rd minute followed by three further goals.
Roisin O’Reilly scored the first with a looping effort after the referee already blew the whistle for a foul. Clare substitute Chloe Towey responded in kind from the kick-out while Doonan was given another penalty in the 67th minute.
It would lower the final arrears but wouldn’t be enough to keep the reigning All-Ireland Junior champions out of relegation trouble.
Clare meanwhile contest an All-Ireland Quarter-Final against Westmeath in a fortnight’s time after last year’s finalists topped their group to pip Wexford.

Clare: Micaela Glynn (Kilmihil); Lauren Griffin (Fergus Rovers), Siofra Ní Chonaill (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield), Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil); Roisin Considine (Liscannor), Orla Devitt (Éire Óg), Caoimhe Harvey (West Clare Gaels); Tara Kelly (Cúil Gaels), Chloe Moloney (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Ciara McCarthy (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Aisling Reidy (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield), Lizzy Roche (Burren Gaels); Fidelma Marrinan (West Clare Gaels), Niamh O’Dea (Banner Ladies), Grainne Nolan (Banner Ladies)
Subs: Catriona Callinan (Kilmihil) for Marrinan (34), Sinead O’Keeffe (Banner Ladies) for Griffin (47), Roisin Looney (Cooraclare) for Moloney (47), Laura Griffey (Burren Gaels) for Considine (53), Chloe Towey (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Roche (58)

Niamh O’Dea (2-3, 3f); Chloe Moloney (2-1); Grainne Nolan (0-4, 2f); Chloe Towey (1-0)

Fermanagh: Shauna Murphy (Enniskillen Gaels); Erica Douglas (Aghadrumsee St. Macartan’s), Molly McGloin (Newtownbutler First Fermanaghs), Erin Murphy (Kinawley Brian Borus); Shannan McQuade (Tempo Maguires), Courteney Murphy (Kinawley Brian Borus), Sarah McCarville (Aghadrumsee St. Macartan’s); Roisin O’Reilly (Kinawley Brian Borus), Aoife Flanagan (Aghadrumsee St. Macartan’s); Roisin McDonald (Newtownbutler First Fermanaghs), Joanne Doonan (Kinawley Brian Borus), Sarah Britton (Ederney St. Joseph’s); Sarah McCausland (St. Patrick’s Carrickcruppen), Aisling Maguire (Devenish St. Mary’s), Aisling O’Brien (Devenish St. Mary’s)
Subs: Cliodhna Martin (Newtownbutler First Fermanaghs) for McDonald (HT), Brenda Bannon (Derrygonnelly Harps) for McCausland (39), Caiti Boyle (Brookeborough Heber MacMahons) for McCarville (48), Sarah-Jane Jones (Derrygonnelly Harps) for E. Murphy (53), Donna Feeley (Belcoo O’Rahillys) for Britton (55)

Scorers: Joanne Doonan (2-5, 2-0 Pen, 4f); Roisin O’Reilly (1-1)

Referee: Paul Burke (Louth)

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