Clare v Tyrone

Clare Bow Out As Tyrone Advance To Semi-Final

Last year’s beaten finalists Clare are out of the Intermediate Championship, as a spell binding second half from Tyrone inspired by Chloe McCaffrey and Aoife Horisk finding the net, saw them to a one point win.

After a nerve wracking seven minutes of additional time, Tyrone punched their ticket for the last four of the TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Championship. Ranked underdogs coming into the tie they found that early season form to get them over the line against Clare.

Chloe McCaffrey’s inspirational start to the second half cut the deficit which stood at 2-4 to 0-4 to just a single point, the forward striking 1-2 in a two minute window that certainly stunned Clare. Aoife Horisk who played a blinder in the forward line grabbed a vital second goal that kept momentum with Tyrone right to the long whistle, before McCaffrey and Maria Canavan scored late points to secure the narrow win.

It was a slow start for both teams as they struggled to find the posts in the early exchanges. It was Clare who notched the game's opening point when Roisin Considine sent the ball over the blackspot after some patient build up play after five minutes.

Less than 60 seconds later Amy Lenihan produced a strong point blank save to deny Aoife Horisk from close range, Horisk gathered the rebound but was hauled down in the process and referee Ger Canny awarded a penalty. Maria Canavan stepped up and the spot kick ended up sailing over Lenihan’s crossbar.

Caoimhe Harvey nudged Clare ahead a minute later with eight minutes elapsed, ce;ebration short lived as Horisk had the white flag raised seconds later at the other end. Tyrone would take the lead for the first time in the 14th minute when Canavan pointed a close range free after Zoe Loughran was fouled.

By quarters end Tyrone continued to lead by the minimum, it could have been greater had Grainne Harvey not made a vital intervention to punch the ball out of the hands of Emma Jane Gervin.

Fidelma Marrinan soon levelled the tie from a free in the 19th minute as Clare were certainly struggling with their passing when attacking the Tyrone goal. Marrinan almost added a goal seconds later, Chloe Moloney played a beautiful pass inside for Ailish Considine and a slipped handpass to Marrinan brought their first goal chance which Amelia Coyle denied with an outstretched right leg.

The Red Hands kept their heads up and Chloe McCaffrey slotted over a free to restore their advantage in the 22nd minute. Clare needed a response and, like waiting for a bus, two arrived almost immediately, as Laurie Ryan and Ailish Considine found the back of the Tyrone net.

Ryan made a swashbuckling run through the Tyrone rearguard and with a little dummy skipped past Coyle and rippled the net. The second arrived in the 24th minute as Clare again attacked with purpose Marrinan saw Ailish Considine in space and with a hand pass across the face of goal the Kilmihil forward had space to steady herself before firing past Coyle.

The Banner found their rhythm late in the half and Marrinan curled over a free on stoppage time to put the hosts ahead 2-4 to 0-4 at the break. Tyrone in the blink of an eye were six points down at the break but came out fighting in the second half.

McCaffrey struck 1-2 in two points to reduce the deficit to a single point. A point from an acute angle was followed by a goal seconds later as Tyrone turned over the resulting Clare kickout, McCaffrey took aim from range as Lenihan was out of the goal and the ball rippled the net. A free kept the Tyrone momentum going as Clare looked rocked early in that second half.

The Banner did get their opening score of the half in the 38th minute from Marrinan, before Moloney curled over one of the scores of the day in the 41st minute to push the lead out to three points. Again it was short lived as Tyrone found space with a bliseting attack and Horisk this time found the back of the net.

The game again was level as both sides looked to get that key score to take the lead. With six minutes remaining of normal time, Horisk struck the gloves of Lenihan and went over the bar for the lead. Two minutes later McCaffrey again tested Lenihan but again the Clare shot stopper produced a save. The visitors recycled the ball from the rebound and Canavan extended the lead to two from play.

On the hour mark Clare would pull a point back through Moloney, but as they huffed and puffed through seven minutes of stoppage time they could not find the vital score to change the outcome. Clare one of the favourites are out and Tyrone will meet Down in the semi-final.


Clare v Offaly

Clare Secure Home Quarter Final Tie After Offaly Triumph

Last year’s beaten finalists Clare recorded their second win of the All-Ireland series to secure a home quarter final tie. Two opening half Goals from Ailish Considine gave the Banner a strong lead in the tie which they failed to squander.

For Wayne Freeman’s charges it is another case of job done. The Division 3 League Champions have continued to start the year on a high and now have the home advantage in Ennis as they await just who will face them for a shot at the semi-final.

After last year’s crushing defeat Clare wanted to come back with a point to prove and again looked impressive, tough conditions made for slippy underfoot and ball conditions and both sides battled hard in this second round tie.

For Offaly it was their first outing in over a month and they found it difficult to find the scores, not only in the conditions but also a very ironclad Clare backline. Despite notching the first score of the tie in the first minute, they only managed two points in each half, falling in the end to a nine point defeat.

After winning early possesion, a quick first foray into the Clare half, ended with Ellee McEvoy raising the white flag for the opening score. Clare had plenty of possession but with the swirling wind and rain conditions for both parties would be tricky.

The first score would arrive for Clare when Chloe Moloney delivered an incisive pass into the full-forward line for Ailish Considine, with the Kilmihil forward rippling the Offaly net after seven minutes with her first touch.

Points were in short supply for Clare however their second goal chance had the same outcome as the first, Considine again blasting the ball past Chloe Sherdian from close range to end the opening quarter ahead 2-0 to 0-1.

Sheridan however did have to be alert minutes later to deny Clare a third goal of the contest, the Clara net minder raced out to put her body in the way of Sinead Considie’s effort from close range. 

Roisin Cockram reduced the arrears as Offlay kicked their second point shy of the twenty minute mark. The final ten was all Clare on the scoreboard, Chloe Moloney converted a free from close range before two monster scores from Roisin Considine furthered the Banners advantage to lead 2-3 to 0-2 at the intermission stage.

It took ten minutes for the scoreboard to change in the second half, Clare would grab that crucial opening score when Orla Devitt fisted over a point from close range. As the third quarter neared an end, Offaly through substitute Emily Bailey striking a point with her first touch managed to get on the board.

Michele Mann was putting in an incredible shift marking Fidelma Marrinan, the ace forward was unable to cause Offaly torment with her scoring form, that was until the West Clare Gaels star curled over a beauty from the left channel in the 42nd minute.

Clare had that momentum going into the third quarter and started in strong fashion when Ailish Considine and Marrinan both raised the white flag. As the game entered another lull period, the Banner were still on top as their defensive prowess thwarted a sniff of a goal chance for Offaly.

We had just one final score on a testing afternoon in Ennis, Nicole Buckley with the fourth point of the afternoon for Offaly as they have to face Monaghan next weekend in what is a must win scenario to make the last eight.


Clare v Offaly


Clare v Roscommon


Clare 3-14 – 3-8 Westmeath

Banner advance over tricky Westmeath test

Clare are semi-final bound, overcoming Westmeath by six points as Fidelma Marrinan scored 2-9 in a player of the match display.

Antrim now await Clare, who made the semi-finals last year only to fall at the final hurdle, Wayne Freeman’s charges have been impressive this year, another strong display over a valiant Westmeath side, getting them into the final four.

Aoife Connolly scored 2-6, which kept Westmeath fighting in the tie, but for large spells of the game, Clare were in control after a lightning start and built on that into the second half.

The Banner started as they meant to go on, Ailsing Reidy with the opening score after three minutes, Chloe Moloney stuck to the net seconds later, before Marrinan hit two goals and a point, putting Clare in the driving seat 3-2 to no score after ten minutes.

Connolly got Westmeath on the board after 11 minutes, but Marrinan was quick to cancel out that score, but by the 20 minute mark, the Westmeath forward had three on the board for her side as they trailed by nine.

Marrinan made it ten with another fine score, but Westmeath hit back in the final ten minutes of the opening half, Connolly with a point and two quick goals, before Rachel Dillion added a point and Karen Hegarty hit the back of the net, putting Westmeath ahead, 3-5 to 3-4, but Marrinan at the end of the half added yet another point to level the tie at half time.

Like the first half it was Clare who came out the better, in a ten minute window they kicked five points to build a lead, Marrinan with four along with Amy Sexton chipping in with a point, Vicky Carr ended their wait for a score but Moloney was quick to cancel that out and keep it at a five point game.

Westmeath stayed pushing as Conollly got their next score, but it would be their last until stoppage time, Clare meanwhile in another burst of scoring, found their feet to control the tie and ensure their passage to the next round.

Cliodhna Blake, Reidy and two Marrinan points, giving them the numerical advantage, Connolly would add her sixth point in added time, but it was not to be as Clare now look forward to a semi-final in two weeks.


Clare 4-22 – 0-5 Wicklow

Clare Make Knockout Stages With Comfortable Wicklow Win

Clare booked their place in the Ladies Intermediate Championship knockout stages, as they came out 29 point winners over Wicklow in Ennis.

Two goals in each half really knocked the wind out of the sails for WIcklow, with Clare especially starting the second half with two goals in a matter of minutes.

Fidelma Marrinan notched 2-8, with Chloe Moloney scoring 1-3, while also setting up scores for her teammates, Aisling Reidy was the third Clare goal scorer, just a minute into the second half she fired home, the Banner women never looked troubled in the tie.

They started immediately on the front foot as Lizzy Roche popped over a point after two minutes, Marrinan then ghosted through for two unanswered goals for a 2-1 to no score lead after five minutes.

Marrnian then kicked three points in succession to push Clare further ahead, two Amy Sexton points had them cruising, 2-6 to no score after 17 minutes. The Clare forward could have netted a hat trick during that spell but opted to pass to Roche when a goal looked on but the chance came to nothing.

Helena Dowling ended Wicklow’s wait for a score just shy of the 20 minute mark as her and Roche exchanged points. Clare were still comfortable in the tie, Sarah Delahunt and Laci Jane Shannon both added points for Wicklow but Clare and their direct running, made it a tough day for the scorekeeper in Ennis, 2-11 to 0-3 at the break.

It was still full steam ahead for Clare into the second half, Chloe Moloney kicked 1-1 in the opening two minutes, with Reidy netting her goal, before Moloney sent a shot destined for a point over Ellen Griffin into the net.

Marie Kealy got Wicklow on the board after 37 minutes with a fine score from play, but her side were down 4-18 to 0-4 by the end of the third quarter, with Marrinan leading the charge to score some beautiful points.

Roche was another exceptional forward for Clare as she finished the day on four points, Marrinan kicked her seventh and eight point of the day late in the half, Wicklow kept fighting and Dowling pointed a late consolation, full of spirit they died with their boots on, Emma Healy put the cherry on top of the cake with the final score in added time.

Ciara McCarthy had a late goal chance saved by Griffin, but in the end it was eight different scorers for Clare, they now face Tyrone with both having gone through to the knockout stages, last year’s semi finalists do not look like a side expecting another heartbreak this season.


Clare v Down


Cork 0-17 – 2-13 Mayo

SFC: Mayo down Cork to reach last Four

Lisa Cafferky scored the crucial second goal to help Mayo secure victory over Cork in their TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship quarter-final at Cusack Park in Ennis.


This was always going to be a competitive tie and it proved to be but Mayo were the better side and deserved to advance.

Two minutes in Mayo took the lead when Sinead Walsh scored as the Connacht side were enjoying the better of the early exchanges.

Shauna Howley scored the second point as Cork were finding it difficult to get out of their own half. Mayo kept up the early pressure and Kathryn Sullivan made it 0-3 to 0-0 before Cork got off the mark.

The O’Sullivan sisters combined, with Ciara setting up Doireann to split the posts, before Mayo made it a three-point game again with Howley pointing another free.

Tamara O’Connor got in on the scoring act as Mayo kept up the pressure on the Cork kick-outs.

Doireann O’Sullivan scored Cork’s second point, from a free, but Mayo were in control at this stage and got the game’s opening goal in the 10th minute.

Ciara Whyte’s pass split the Cork defence as she played Walsh in who found the bottom corner, to make it 1-5 to 0-2.

But Cork responded as they began to settle with points from Doireann O’Sullivan and Orla Finn, before they had their first goal chance.

A mistake by the Mayo defence saw Emma Cleary pick up the ball but her effort went just over the bar when it could as easily have gone under.

Doireann O’Sullivan got her third as the frantic pace saw Mayo lead 1-6 to 0-6, with 15 minutes gone.

Libby Coppinger made it a two-point game, a magnificent point from distance from Doireann O’Sullivan put only one between the sides.

Lisa Cafferky replied for Mayo with Melissa Duggan responding to make it 1-7 to 0-9, with five minutes to half-time.

Ciara and Doireann O’Sullivan both pointed for Cork as they led by a point at the break, despite Mayo playing the better football in the first half as it was 0-11 to 1-7 at the break.

The second half saw the return of Hannah Looney to the Cork side but it was Finn who increased their lead before Walsh hit the post when she should have scored. Howley replied from a placed ball for Mayo and she had the sides level, from another free in the 36th minute.

Scores from O’Connor and Tara Needham put Mayo back in front before the decisive score came. A mistake from a Cork kick-out saw Lisa Cafferky pick up the ball and slot home to make it 2-12 to 0-13.

Cork hit back with points from Doireann and Ciara O’Sullivan to put three between the sides with ten minutes to go, 2-12 to 0-15.

Mayo were down to 14 when Ciara Whyte was sin-binned but it mattered little as Sarah Mulvihill rounded off the scoring to see the Connacht side advance.