A strong, determined, hard working ethic to the second half of this game ensured victory for the Clare girls and will give them the confidence boost that will be needed before the last group game away to Antrim in the Gala All-Ireland Junior Championship.
While it took the Clare girls almost twenty minutes to settle down into the game they were working very hard and not giving much room to the opposition either. Down were physically strong and looking very comfortable as they took to the field. They opened very brightly and wing forward Karen Tinnelly had the games first score pointing in the first minute. Clare responded quickly with Carina Roseingrave pointing. Both sides were putting pressure on the respective back lines and while Clare were that bit more dominant, they were failing to score with shots going wide and dropping short both from play and the placed ball. Cathy Hally at corner back for Clare was doing very well and cut out a lot of Down attacks with Kate Lynch on the wing outside her strong with her clearances. Chloe Morey and Deirdre Murphy were holding firm in the middle while Aoife Ryan was very strong on the forty.
It took eight minutes for the games next score and Sharon McMahon stepped up to point the way for Clare. Deirdre Murphy who was very strong on the ball cut through for the next score as she shipped the challenge of her opposing number and shot from forty yards with the Down goalie dropping the ball to the net. While this should have settled the nerves Down were on the attack immediately and Caroline Ward had the ball in the back of the Clare net. A Claire McMahon attempt was saved and Deirdre Murphy stepped up to convert with McMahon having the last say of the half when she goaled on twenty five minutes.
This goal gave Clare the breather that they needed and going in at half time with a tough half behind them they now lead 2-04 to 1-01.
Clare continued to work hard in the second half and where the hop of the ball may have eluded them in the first the work was paying off and they turned that hop in their favor. Claire McMahon, Deirdre Murphy and Carina Roseingrave all added early points in the second half. The opposition were held to just two points in the second half with one of these a free in the tenth minute. Roseingrave had moved to full forward in a switch with Claire McMahon and after a neat pass from Aoife Ryan was through on goal and with no room for the hurl had the presence of mind to hand pass to the net. Shona Enright had a deserved point for all her hard work, with Sharon McMahon setting up Roseingrave for a similar score. Claire McMahon with a cutting run through the Down defense that was now giving way blasted past Tereas McGowan and Clare were now in cruise control. Deirdre Murphy tagged on a brave of points before Roseingrave had her second goal and Aine O’Brien put the nail in the coffin for Down with Clare’s sixth goal just before the full time whistle.
Added to the strong displays from Hally, Murphy, Lynch, Morey and Ryan were Sharon and Carina Rosiengrave and Shona Enright who dominated the Clare half forward line and set the platform for the comprehensive win. Claire McMahon has given and added dimension to the forward line and Dee Corcoran and Siobhan Lafferty are getting stronger with each outing at center and full back respectively.
The performance more than the win will be what was most pleasing of today’s outing for the Banner. The clinical, professional performance will be a huge boost in confidence facing into the later stages of the competition. Clare will now face Antrim in two weeks time with the knowledge that they can perform to last years standards again and they will also look forward to the return of Laura Linnane and Amy Colleran who were ruled out of this game with injuries and Fiona Laffety will also be hoping to be back in the frame by then two.
Clare: Denise Lynch, Cathy Hally, Siobhan Lafferty, Aimee McInerney, Kate Lynch, Dee Corcoran, Jane Scanlon, Chloe Morey, Deirdre Murphy(C)(1-05, 1’45, 2 frs), Aoife Ryan, Sharon McMahon(0-01), Shona Enright(0-01), Carina Roseingrave(2-04), Claire McMahon(2-01), Claire Commane Subs: Aine O’Brien(1-00) for Commane, Aiveen O’Shea for Scanlon, Aoife Griffin for Morey, Danielle Sheedy for C McMahon
Down: Tereas McGowan, Emma McCormick, Moya McGinn(), Pauline Green, Karen McMullan, Fionualla Carr, Ciara McGovern, Leanne McParland, Orla McGinn, Karen Tinnelly(0-02, 1 fr), Catherine McGourty, Sara Louise Carr(0-01), Ciara Magee, Cathy Mulholland, Caroline Ward(1-00) Subs: Sheelan Savage for MaGee, Laura Brennan for Mulholland, Naomi Morgan for McParland
Referee: Cathal Egan, Cork
-Orla Considine, Clare PRO