Banner Ladies celebrate. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

Champions for the fourteenth time in sixteen seasons, that’s the boast for Banner ladies football club after they proved too strong for West Clare Gaels in the Clare senior final.

Banner Ladies 3-8
West Clare Gaels 0-6
Venue: Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay

The winners experience proved decisive as they made it four in a row, leading from the outset against their West Clare opponents.

The challengers started well but they failed to turn early dominance into scores and they had three early wides before Aoibhinn Ryan put the champions into the lead in the seventh minute.

The opening goal came two minutes later when Aoibhinn Ryan applied the finish after a great run through the middle by Niamh O’Dea created the opportunity. Caoimhe Cahill followed with a point and the game had reached the mid point of the half before Fidelma Marrinan opened West Clare’s account when converting a 20m free for what proved to be her side’s only score of the half.

Grainne Nolan, Niamh O’Dea and Niamh Keane responded with points for the winners before Grainne Nolan found the net to push her side ten points clear. This put the winners 2-5 to 0-1 ahead at half time and it could have been a greater lead had Grainne Nolan converted from the penalty spot in near the end of the opening quarter, her effort going narrowly wide.

Shauna Harvey gave her side some hope at the start of the second half with a good point but their task was made much greater a few minutes later when Niamh O’Dea, now operating at full forward struck for her team’s third goal and she quickly followed with a point to put thirteen points between the sides.

In the next ten minutes West Clare made a number of changes in personnell but the Banner continued to dominate in the key areas with their defence very much to the fore shutting out the challengers and ensuring that Fidelma Marrinan got few opportunities.

To their credit West Clare battled to the end and they landed three points in a row inside the last five minutes.

The winners, however, had the final say with Grainne Nolan converting a 20m free in ‘added time’.

Team captain Clare Hehir, Sinead O’Keeffe, Louise Henchy, Niamh O’Dea, Caoimhe Cahill and Aoibhinn Ryan were prominent for the winners throughout.

The Harvey sisters and Fidelma Marrinan played their hearts out for West Clare Gaels with Caoimhe Hrvey being named as the player of the match.

Scorers Banner Ladies: Grainne Nolan, Niamh O’Dea (1-3 each) Aoibhinn Ryan (1-0); Caoimhe Cahill, Niamh Keane (0-1) each

Scorers West Clare Gaels: Caoimhe Harvey (0-3), Fidelma \Marrinan (0-2), Shauna Harvey (0-1)

Banner Ladies;
1: Shannon O’Donovan

2: Aleisha Malone,
3: Clare Hehir, Captain,
4: Sinead O’Keeffe;

5: Laoise Ryan,
6: Louise Henchy,
7: Emer Burkee;

20: Grainne Burke,
9: Niamh O’Dea

10: Grainne Nolan
11: Caoimhe Cahill
12: Keelin Fitzgerald

13: Louise Woods
14: Niamh Keane
15: Aoibhinn Ryan

Subs:
17: Helen Hehir for G. Burke (50)
18: Sara Ni Ceaallaigh for N. Keane (55)

West Clare Gaels;
1: Ciara Harvey;

2: Sarah Marrinan,
3: Ruth Ferguson,
4: Amber Keane Thompson

5: Serena Clancy
6: Grainne Harvey
7: Siobhan Keane

8: Caoimhe Harvey
9: Emer Hanrahan

10: Aine Moloney
11: Shauna Harvey Captain
12: Colette Keniry;

13: Clodagh Keane
14: Fidelma Marrinan
15: Ella Nagle

Subs:
20: Ailish Marrinan for Keane Thompson (half time)
30: Isabella Madigan for A. Moloney (38)
23: Ciara Keogh for E. Hamrahan (43)
18: Amy Hogan for S. Marrinan (52)
19: Kate O’Meara for C. Keane (52)

Referee: Barry Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)

Senor B final ends level

The curtain raiser was the senior B final between Kilmihil and Kilmurry-Ibrickane and this ended in a draw, 1-7 for Kilmihil to 0-10 for Kilmurry-Ibrickane.

40th anniversary

To mark the 40th anniversary of the formation of Clare ladies football, the members of the Clonbony and Michael Cusacks teams that contested the inaugural Clare final were honoured at half time in the senior final.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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