Senior Ladies’ Football
West Clare Gaels 2-8
West Clare Gaels and Banner ladies will meet in the Clare ladies’ senior football final this Saturday evening after they overcame Kilmihil and Cooraclare in their respective semi-finals.
Kilmihil went into this semi-final at Doonbeg on Saturday carrying the favourites’ tag to win through to the decider. After all, they were in the final last year and had never hid their determination to go one better this time around.
Conditions were good for football despite a strong breeze. Eimear Considine won the throw-in but West Clare Gaels were quick to win back possession through Rita Boland, who passed to Niamh Lardner, who opened the scoring with a point in the first minute.
Kilmihil corner-forward Ailish Considine was next on the scoreboard after a goal attempt was saved by Megan McGrath and Ailish got a boot to the rebound. West Clare Gaels were to dominate scoring for the next period, starting off with a pointed free from Majella Griffin. A ball in from Michelle Downes to Bríd Troy led to another point for the Gaels. Maria Kelly then intercepted a Kilmihil pass, finding Bríd Troy, who again pointed for the West Clare side.
In the 11th minute, Maria Kelly won the Kilmihil kick-out, found Katie Geoghegan, who made a run and found the back of the Kilmihil net. Niamh Lardner was next to score with a point from play. In the 21st minute, Kilmihil’s Orla Keane responded with a point from play into a strong breeze. A ball from Brid Troy to Katie Geoghegan put another point on the board for the winners and they went on to hold a six-point advantage when referee Michael Talty signalled for half-time with the score at 1-8 to 1-2.
Two West Clare Gaels attempts into the wind failed to find the target at the start of the second half. It was Kilmihil’s Ailish Considine who opened the scoring with two pointed frees. In the ninth minute, West Clare Gaels were reduced to 14 when Fiona Troy was sin binned. However, the West Clare side ploughed ahead, defending their lead and the next score didn’t come until Fiona Troy was back on the pitch when she intercepted a ball in front of her own goal. She passed to Sinéad Kelly, who made a run, passing off to Maria Kelly, who found the Kilmihil net, putting the Gaels seven points ahead.
Kilmihil hit back immediately and Eimear Considine scored a goal, which was followed by a point from Kilmihil wing-forward Sarah Cahill. Kilmihil piled on the pressure and saw an effort rebound off the crossbar to Kathleen Foley, who cleared the danger just before the final whistle sounded.
West Clare Gaels: Megan McGrath; Kathleen Foley, Sinead Kelly, Rita Boland; Fiona Troy, Deirdre Troy, Shauna Harvey; Michelle Downes (capt), Maria Kelly; Leanne Lynch, Denise Geaney, Majella Griffin; Niamh Lardner, Bríd Troy and Katie Geoghegan.
Subs: Ciara Harvey for Rita Boland.
Kilmihil: Edel McMahon; Siobhán Egan, Niamh Keane, Fiona O’Neill; Linda Russell, Rosie Currane, Sarah Cahill; Dympna Walsh (capt), Yvonne Downes; Maria Keane, Orla Keane, Una Downes; Eleanor O’Gorman, Eimear Considine and Ailish Considine.
Subs: Miriam Frawley for Siobhán Egan and Denise O’Halloran for Yvonne Downes.
Banner ladies 4-9
With just a point between the sides at half-time in this semi-final at Doonbeg, followers expected a very exciting second half. Banner Ladies had other ideas, however, and they dominated the second period to run out comfortable winners and confirm their place in this weekend’s final.
Cooraclare started well with points from Eithne Morrissey and Niamh Chambers but then the Banner struck for their first goal, which came from Niamh O’Dea.
Cooraclare hit back with a Niamh Chambers goal but the Banner Ladies responded and Naomi Carroll goaled, a score which helped them to a one-point half-time lead.
With Louise Henchy in sparkling form, the Banner ladies dominated the second period. Substitute Megan Haugh goaled and she followed with another inside the final quarter.
Cooraclare’s only score of the second half came from Niamh Chambers.
Banner Ladies: Emma O’Driscoll; Laurie Ryan, Jane Kennedy, Aoife Cavanagh; Sarah Hoey, Michelle Delaney, Aoife Martin; Louise Henchy, Emma Glynn; Mary Tierney, Niamh Keane, Sonya Maher; Irene Hehir, Niamh O’Dea, Naomi Carroll.
Subs: Claire Walsh, Megan Haugh, Rebecca Coughlan, Niamh Walsh and Susan McNamara.
Cooraclare: Mairéad Griffin; Shareena Clarke, Louise Murrihy, Orla Reidy; Danielle Dillon, Bernie Kelly, Lourda Lillis; Róisín Looney, Eithne Morrissey; Dympna O’Dwyer, Patricia Callina, Noreen McGuane; Rachel Garry, Niamh Chambers, Helen Quinn.
Subs: Orla Kelly, Ann Marie Callinan, Aoife O’Gorman, Niamh Donnellan.