All Ireland U16A Championship – Sunday, 21st July 2019
Clare 2-8 Galway 2-7
The Clare U16 team may have exited from their All Ireland campaign at the hands of Wexford the previous weekend, but they finished their Championship in fighting fashion as they defeated Galway in difficult weather conditions on Sunday afternoon in Fr McNamara Park.
Galway came to Ennis with wins over Dublin and Wexford and were expected to make it three from three against the Banner girls, however the memo for the home side detailing this obviously went astray as the Clrae girls, in front of a large home support carried the fight to Galway throughout the game.
The opening half was a tight affair and effectively a shoot out between Clares Emma Considine and Galways Niamh Spellman, with both number 13s providing all the scores. Spellman opened the scoring for the visitors when she converted a free in the opening minutes. Considine replied in kind at the other end following a foul on Aideen Hickey.
Considine added a brace of frees before Galway moved play to the other end and Spellman converted twice from frees. Galway had the opportunity to grab the first score from play with ten minute son the clock however pressure from Tierna Hegarty and Ciara O’Dell saw Ciara Kyne forced out and her shot was wide of the post.
From the puckout Galway won possession but Clare were punished for a late challenge and Spellman converted to put the visitors ahead. Clares Jennifer Daly won the aerial battle for possession and moved play to the Galway danger area with goalie Amy Hawkins deflecting out over the end line.
Considine converted the resulting ’45 to level the sides and then added a brace of frees for the Banner outfit. Galway responded with a free to reduce the deficit to a point.
Galway were on the attack immediately from the puckout and in a similar fashion to what had happened Clare earlier, Brennagh Lees shot was deflected out for a ’45 with Spellman converting the ’45. A Considine free just before the half time whistle saw the Banner go in with daylight between the sides Clae 0-7 Galway 0-6.
From the restart Clare were on the attack, Daly sent the ball down to the wing with Muireann Daffy gathering and playing short to Aideen Hickey who struck for the games first goal. Clare were strong in defence with against the Galway attack with Hegarty winning dropping ball and clearing from danger.
From one of those clearances Clare struck for their second goal, Hickey again raising the green flag. With the game almost at the midway point of the second half Spellman converted a free for the visitors. With conditions deteriorating under a deluge of rain, both teams battled hard.
Galway moved play to the other end and Lucy Gately capitalised to strike to the back of the net to leave a goal between the sides. From the puckout Galway went on the attack, Clare cleared to the wing but Spellman gathered and driving forward added a goal to her haul of seven points to level the game with ten minutes left.
Clare responded well and moved play to the other end from the puckout, Meave Brady and Alva Rodgers working well together but Galway were able to overturn Clares possession.
With five minutes left Clare again returned to the Galway danger area, Lally sent the ball to Hickey and from an awkward angle Hickey sent her shot over the black spot, much to the consternation of the Galway supporters.
Galway tried hard in the remaining minutes but an alert Clare defence ensured that the visitors were denied any attempt to level the game with the home side victors on the narrowest of margins, Clare 2-8 Galway 2-7.
Clare: Laura Ryan Broadford; Hannah Minogue Bodyke, Niamh Melody Kilkishen, Cliodhna Ryan Clooney Quin; Danielle Griffin Inagh kilnamona, Tierna Hegarty Inagh Kilnamona, Ciara O’Dell Clarecastle; Kate Walsh Scariff Ogonnelloe, Jennifer Daly Scariff Ogonnelloe; Caoimhe Lally Newmarket on Fergus, Alva Rodgers Scariff Ogonnelloe, Meave Brady Killanena; Emma Considine Clooney Quin, Aideen Hickey Whitegate 2-0, Muireann Daffy Inagh Kilnamona
Subs: Caitriona Aspel Whitegate for Lally, Caoimhe Longe Inagh Kilnamona for Rodgers, Amy Shannon Inagh Kilnamona for Melody
Galway:Amy Hawkins Killimordaly; Ciara Grealish Liam Mellows, Amy Higgins Abbeyknockmoy, Anna Larkin Eyrecourt; Sara Lyons Multormor, Jacqueline Glynn Skehana, Chloe Quirke Athenry; Chloe Farragher Davitts, Alanna Reynolds Abbeyknockmoy; Brennagh Lee Abbeyknockmoy, Ciara Kyne Sarsfields, Kaci Moran Athenry; Niamh Spellman Kilconieron, Cathy Moran Eyrecourt, Ally Gilcreest Cappataggle
Subs: Jessica Donlon Carnmore for Larkin
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan, Cork