National Ladies’ Football League
Division 2 Round 3
Meath v Clare at Páirc Tailteann Navan, Sunday 5.30pm (Kevin Phelan, Laois)
As motivational tools go, there will be no requirement for manager Evan Talty to bring a hair dryer (aside from grooming reasons at least) to Navan this Sunday.
After all, Clare should still bear the scars of their meek 21 point championship exit at the hands of the eventual All-Ireland Intermediate champions at the penultimate stage last November.
Despite hugely encouraging displays against Wexford and Kerry, Clare’s revenge mission will be far from straight-forward however as new senior side Meath also finally flexed their 2021 muscles with a 7-17 to 0-05 defeat of Wexford last Sunday.
However, with his concentration firmly fixed on his own side, that statement of intent is secondary to Clare’s incremental improvement ahead of the All-Ireland series according to Talty after pushing hosts Kerry all the way last Sunday.
“I am very proud of the girls after this performance. Against Wexford last weekend even though we were successful, the performance did not satisfy us.
“Today was a bigger challenge and it would have been easy for us to drop the heads going six and nine points in arrears, but we kept coming back.
“The crucial time of the game was the concession of the second and third goals in a short time spell.
“At times I felt Clare were the better team and the individual errors cost us. This is something we must learn to work on and build on it for the future.
“We possess players who are strong on the ball and can get ball into the opposition half of the field.
“What Kerry do better than us was they take the chances when they come around.
“They make less mistakes that most other teams and if we are to make inroads and move up the grades, we must be able to beat and compete with senior teams and that starts next Sunday against Meath.”
by Eoin Brennan