All Ireland Minor A Camogie Shield
Match Report by Derek Dormer
These two sides served up a cracking contest last Sunday in the final game of the round robin series. However,as always in sport, there is a twist in the tale as this draw means they will now face each other again this weekend in the All Ireland semi final.
This was most certainly the proverbial game of both halves as manager Eleanor Walsh alluded to afterwards.
" With the swirling wind wreaking havoc, this was a case of how much of a lead one could build up. I'm so proud of these girls as we finished the group stages unbeaten. We had a decent lead built up at half time, but in fairness to Limerick they dominated that second half, especially the first twenty minutes of it. We did battle back to take the lead in injury time, but in truth a draw was probably the fairest outcome and it really sets it up now for this weekend."
Limerick did in fact open and close the scoring with a point from full forward Lilly Duggan and an injury time free by Roisin 0'Brien. Clare will need to improve on their starts to matches for the all important semi final as they conceded an early goal despite having that huge wind, but once they settled they completely took control of proceedings. A Caoimhe Cahill goal was quickly followed by a superb Sophie Conway major and at the end of the opening quarter Clare led 2-4 to 1-2. Again though concentration levels dipped as the Treaty County grabbed another major against the run of play. Clare responded swiftly with Conway again blasting home and some super points from Sophie Torpey ensured an interval lead of eight points on a 3-7 to 2-2 scoreline. In truth though this wasn't enough of a lead as the strong wind was worth at a minimum those eight points.
So it transpired, as Limerick came storming out of the blocks at the start of the second half scoring 1-1 almost immediately. The Treaty County were totally on top and a series of points followed. By the end of the third quarter the teams were deadlocked at 3-7 apiece but it's here where the Banner showed great character. An Aoibhin McNamara point came in the 49th minute but was followed by another brace of Limerick points. Approaching full time, Clare trailed by two, but substitute Maeve Millea, who couldn't start due to illness, came off the bench to superbly assist Caoimhe Cahill for her second major. This looked like securing victory and top spot but for O'Brien's last gasp free.
One will hope the Banner will have learned more than their neighbours from this clash and if manager Eleanor Walsh has a full deck to choose from, one would be confident Clare can advance to the All Ireland final.
Clare: Eva O'Halloran (Inagh-Kilnamona), Lauren Slater (Truagh-Clonlara), Grainne McMahon (Newmarket on Fergus), Aine Longe (Inagh-Kilnamona), Caoimhe Ryan (Banner), Cliodnan Queally (Inagh-Kilnamona), Neasa Ni Lachtnàin (Ruan), Caoimhe Cahill (Kilmaley), Aisling Moloney (Ruan), Sarah Meade (Truagh-Clonlara), Sophie Conway (Feakle-Killanena), Sophie Torpey (Doora Barefield), Evie Scanlon (Clarecastle), Danielle Beston (Scariff-Ogonolloe), Aoibhin McNamara (Sixmilebridge)
Subs: Clodagh Quinn (Clooney-Quin) for E Scanlon, Elisha Rynne (Inagh-Kilnamona) for D Beston, Alison Collins (Scariff-Ogonolloe) for G McMahon, Maeve Millea (Parteen) for S Meade
Scorers: Caoimhe Cahill 2-3 (1f), Sophie Conway 2-1 (1f), Sophie Torpey 0-3, Aisling Moloney, Aoibhin McNamara 0-1 each
The All Ireland Minor A Shield Semi Final v Limerick takes place this Saturday 22nd @ 3pm in St Mary’s Hurling Club, Clonmel
Tickets available here