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An impressive display from Clare was not enough to get them over the line in their first game in Division One of the National League, following their promotion since last year’s All Ireland junior success. They lost out by the narrowest of margins to Tipperary, 0-8 to 1-6 in Cashel, but were most unlucky not to come away with a draw.


Level at half-time, 0-5 each, the Banner ladies took the lead with a Carina Roseingrave point after the resumption. However, an opportune goal from Jill Horan soon afterwards gave the hosts the initiative. Boosted by strong displays from half backs Trish O’Halloran and Michelle Shortt, they clung on to a one-point lead.


Clare stayed in contention throughout. They had a penalty struck over the bar by goalkeeper Denise Lynch during the opening 30 minutes, and will be pleased with an array of point scorers including Sharon McMahon, Roseingrave, Ruth Kaiser, Laura Linnane and Deirdre Murphy.


Elsewhere, it was two wins out of two for Galway, who always held the upper hand away to Limerick in Ballyagran. Influential midfielders Ann Marie Hayes and Lorraine Ryan ruled the central area, while Sinead Cahalan was commanding at centre back. However, their 3-10 to 0-1 scoreline does scant justice to the home side who fought to the bitter end.


Up front, Orla Kilkenny was the chief predator, amassing 2-3 from play, while her sister Niamh, Jessica Gill, Ryan and Noreen Coen also chipped in with white flags. Brenda Hanney was another to excel, striking 1-3 – two points from frees.


In Division Two, there were triumphs for Tipperary and Waterford, while Antrim and Derry ended all square.


Meanwhile, March 28 is All Ireland junior Colleges’ final day.


The junior A decider will involve St Patrick’s College Maghera and Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny. Grainne McNicholl – daughter of former Derry player Sarah Ann Quinn – hit 1-7 while Shannon Kearney bagged 1-6 ensuring a comprehensive victory over Gort CS, 4-18 to 0-4.

Following a competitive hour, Loreto overcame St Mary’s Charleville on a scoreline of 4-5 to 2-6. Orla Hanrick, Aisling Curtis, Anna Buggy and Aoife Murphy delivered the goals, while Grainne Hanley and Katie Galvin netted for Charleville.


In the B semi-finals, Moira Ryan’s hat-trick helped St Joseph‘s Borrisoleigh emerge over Borris Vocational School (4-8 to 1-2). Meeting them will be St Patrick’s HS Keady after their nail-biting contest with Athenry VS. Just one point separated the teams, 2-11 to 3-7. Goals from Ciara McGuigan and Jane Lavery sufficed despite a late green flag from Mairead Linnane.


Hazelwood College Dromcollogher will contest the C final with St Paul‘s College, Kilrea, County Derry, following their respective wins over St Brendan’s CS Birr and St Cuan’s College Castleblakeny, Ballinasloe.








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