National Camogie League Division 3 Round 2
Clare 3-11 Waterford 1-09
CLARE deservedly bounced back to winning ways when timely goals ensured the hosts kickstarted their season in Fr McNamara Park in Ennis this afternoon, reports Eoin Brennan.
A first home tie in seven months, nothing but a victory would suffice for the Banner to remain in contention for a Division 3 Semi-Final spot. That extra pressure did surface momentarily but thanks to an early brace of Sarah Loughnane goals and a crucial clinching strike through Sinead O’Keeffe by the two-thirds marks to catapult Clare to their opening points of 2021.
Loughnane displayed the full array of skills as her rebound goal after only six minutes was bettered by a worthy two point converted sideline cut from 40 metres in the next passage of play.
The Sixmilebridge player did receive a large dollop of luck for her second goal by the ninth minute that appeared to sneak into the right corner of the net from a 50 metre free but Clare were dominant by this stage at 2-3 to 0-1.
A defensive lapse did allow Waterford to grab a lifeline scrambled goal through their most impressive performer Roisin Kirwan and it would aid the visitors to cut the deficit to just four by the break at 2-6 to 1-5.
With momentum behind them, Waterford continued on the front foot on the restart but an early brace of points were followed by three wides at 2-6 to 1-7.
Clare required a spark and it duly stemmed from a moment of magic from Sinead O’Keeffe who meandered through Waterford’s last line to grab a vital goal in the 40th minute.
Inspired by that major, O’Keeffe and substitute Carol O’Leary turned the screw, with the latter raiding for three points while the O’Gorman sisters Kate and Niamh also chipped in with points as Clare fleshed out the final margin.
With two semi-final places up for grabs, it all to play for next Saturday when Clare travel to Carlow for a winner-takes-all group finale.
Clare: Joanne O’Gorman (Kilkishen); Rebecca Crowe (Ruan), Katie O’Flanagan (Newmarket-on-Fergus), Deanna Considine (Sixmilebridge); Aoife Griffin (Newmarket-on-Fergus), Sarah Ní Cheallaigh (Kilmaley), Ciara O’Dell (Clarecastle); Niamh Mulqueen (Broadford), Caoimhe Kelly (Kilkishen); Kate O’Gorman (Kilkishen) (Captain), Sinead Power (Inagh-Kilnamona), Siobhan Lenihan (Kilkishen); Sinead O’Keeffe (Kilmaley), Sarah Loughnane (Sixmilebridge), Grainne Nolan (Éire Óg)
Subs: Carol O’Leary (Newmarket-on-Fergus) for Lenihan (HT), Aleisha Malone (Corofin) for O’Dell (38), Finia O’Brien (Sixmilebridge) for Loughnane (51), Ciara Halpin (Clooney-Quin) for Mulqueen (57), Niamh O’Gorman (Kilkishen) for Nolan (62)
Scorers: Sarah Loughnane (2-4, 1-2f, 0-2 /sl); Sinead O’Keeffe (1-1); Carol O’Leary (0-3); Grainne Nolan, Kate O’Gorman, Niamh O’Gorman (0-1 each)
Waterford: Sally Kelly; Izabela Markievicz, Hannah Flynn, Emily Mahony; Ellen Curran, Ciara Jackman, Leah Sheridan; Sadie Mai Rowe, Niamh Murphy; Abbie Dunphy, Sarah Morrissey, Niamh Ahearne; Saoirse O’Brien, Heather Hayes, Roisin Kirwan
Subs: Ciara Sheehan for Ahearne (37), Valerie O’Brien for Hayes (42), Alannah Jones for O’Brien (47)
Scorers: Roisin Kirwan (1-2); Niamh Murphy (0-3f); Sarah Morrissey (0-2); Heather Hayes, Valerie O’Brien (0-1 each)
Referee: Enda Loughnane (Galway)