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Niamh O Dea celebrates her first goal for Clare during their All-Ireland semi final win over Tipperary at The Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly.

Magnificent Clare ladies are Croke Park bound

Clare 3-14 Tipperary 2-16

THE Clare lady footballers will contest the intermediate All-Ireland final in Croke Park on September 25 following a sensational semi-final win over Tipperary in Limerick on Saturday afternoon. At the end of a dramatic hours football, with both teams executing superb scores and exceptional instances of skill and bravery, Clare overturned their Munster final defeat to Tipperary.

Two magnificent Niamh O’Dea goals, late in the first half, helped Clare into 2-7 to 1-9 lead, while an early Niamh Keane goal after half-time, was also vital.

Twelve minutes from time, Clare goalkeeper Emma O’Driscoll made a critical save from Tipperary’s Orla O’Dwyer. Tipperary led 2-14 to 3-10 at the time and from the clearance, Niamh O’Dea pointed Clare level.

The Kilfenora girl also kicked the winning score, two minutes from the end of normal time. The score was brilliantly executed by O’Dea but it was made by a Niamh Keane run, in which she held off three Tipperary defenders. Gráinne Nolan and Ciara Hickey were also involved in the move, which was a perfect example of a team season defining team score.

This win was based on Clare’s refusal to wilt and their spirit, guts and footballing quality was commendable. Tipperary were devastated at having lost but contributed hugely to an engrossing contest.

Thursday’s Clare Champion will feature a more detailed report, along with post match interviews and analysis.

Clare: Emma O’Driscoll (Banner); Eva O’Dea (Banner), Laurie Ryan (Banner – captain), Laura Egan (Kilmihil); Róisín Considine (Liscannor), Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil), Gráinne Harvey (West Clare Gaels); Louise Henchy (Banner), Kayleigh McCormack (Burren Gaels); Sarah Bohannon (Shannon Gaels), Ailish Considine (Kilmihil), Niamh Keane (Banner); Ciara Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Niamh O’Dea (Banner) and Gráinne Nolan (Banner).

Subs: Caoimhe Harvey (West Clare Gaels) for Eva O’Dea (inj-18), Becky Mahon (Kilmihil) for Laura Egan (half-time), Aoife Keane (Banner) for Sarah Bohannon (47) and Claire Hester (Fergus Rovers) for Róisín Considne (60).

Scorers: Niamh O’Dea (2-5), Niamh Keane (1-1), Gráinne Nolan (0-4), Ciara Hickey (0-2), Louise Henchy (0-1) and Ailish Considine (0-1).

Tipperary: Patricia Hickey; Laura Morrissey, Bríd Condon, Samantha Lambert (captain); Clíona O’Dwyer, Anne O’Dwyer, Jennifer Grant; Lorriane O’Shea, Sheelagh Carew; Edith Carroll, Máiread Morrissey, Eimear Moyles; Orla O’Dwyer, Aisling McCarthy and Cathríona Walsh.

Subs: Emma Buckley for Laura Morrissey (35), Róisín Howard for Edith Carroll ((36) and Kate Davey for Cathríona Walsh (53).

Referee: Garryowen McMahon (Mayo).

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