*Laurie Ryan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Title holders Banner ladies will take on Kilmihil in the final of the Clare ladies senior football championship.
They overcame Kilmurry-Ibrickane and St. Josephs respectively in last Sunday’s semi-finals and are set to clash in a final which is scheduled for Shanahan McNamara Park in Doonbeg on Sunday week.
From the outset they have been tipped to make it through to the latter stages of the competition. They came through the same group with the champions coming out on top when they met in the final group game
Banner ladies in control
The title holders laid down a marker from the start in this semi-final and they were well on their way to the final by half time when they were 1-12 to 0-0 in front.
Aoibheann Malone was the team’s first half goalscorer in a tie they dominated throughout against Kilmurry-Ibrickane who had been promoted to the senior grade this year as a result of their intermediate championship success last year.
Despite being without their most decorated player, Niamh O’Dea who has been out of action for the past number of weeks due to injury, Banner Ladies had far too much experience for their opponents.
The foundation for the win was laid in a strong half back line of Lisa Ryan, Eva O’Dea and Sarah Ni Cheallaigh with great assistance from midfielder Laurie Ryan who regularly dropped back to help the defence.
Grainne Nolan was the side’s top scorer with 0-6, three from frees while Aoibhin Ryan landed 0-5 with Aoibheann Malone hitting 1-2.
Banner: Emma O’Driscoll; Siobhan McMahon, Clare Hehir, Sinead O’Keeffe; Lisa Ryan, Eva O’Dea. Sarah Ni Cheallaigh; Laurie Ryan. Louise Henchy; Aoife Keane (0-1), Grainne Nolan (0-6). Shona Enright (1-0); Aoibhinn Ryan (0-5), Aoibheann Malone (1-2), Louise Woods;
Subs: Alannah McNamara (0-1) for A. Malone (inj); Leah Talty for L. Ryan (inj); Sinead Power for Henchy; Helen Hehir for Enright; Emily Cahill for A. Keane;
Kilmurry-Ibrickane: Katie McMahon; Jessica Doohan, Rebecca Doohan, Rachel Tubridy; Ciara McCarthy (0-2), Maeve Foley, Emma Coughlan; Siofra O’Dea, Joanna Doohan; Chloe Moloney (0-3), Sophie Daly, Amy Sexton; Caitlyn O’Connor. Karen Galvin (0-2), Karen Coughlan.
Subs; Marie Garvey for Jessica Doohan; Ellie Hanrahan for Emma Coughlan
Kilmihil on top in extra time
St. Josephs Doora/Barefield 3-4
Venue: Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay
Favourites Kilmihil needed extra time to overcome St. Josephs Doora/Barefield on Saturday.
A late goal from Amy Lenihan briefly led to St. Josephs being in a position to cause a major shock and send Kilmihil crashing out of the title race.
Clearly stung by this Kilmihil stormed into extra time and landed four points in quick succession to kill off any hopes St. Josephs might have been entertaining of getting to the decider.
The sides went to the break on level terms, 1-6 to 2-3 but Kilmihil had enjoyed the better of the exchanges and would not have been flattered to have been ahead. That said, Doora/Barefield struck for goals from Amy Lenihan and Aishling Hannon at crucial times.
In difficult weather conditions with a strong wind causing a lot of problems for the players, the second half was a low scoring affair. Kilmihil looked to be on their way to the final as the game reached the final minute but then Amy Lenihan produced a powerful strike for her second goal which forced the game into extra time.
A minute into extra time Kilmihil were back in front with a point from substitute Carol Browne and like scores followed from Ellie O’Gorman and Becky Mahon (2) to give them a four point lead midway through the extra period, they continued to dominate to the end with St. Josephs’ only score in extra time coming in the final minute.
Kilmihil; Micaela Glynn; Cathy Keating, Rosie Kirrane, Elaine O’Halloran; Kate Coughlan, Megan Downes-Rigney Aoife McNamara; Laura Egan (0-1), Ellie O’Gorman (0-2); Dearbhla Higgins, Catriona Callinan (0-2), Chloe Devitt; Katie Mullen, Becky Mahon (1-6), Edel McNamara (0-1);
Subs: Sara Browne (0-1) for C. Devitt; Carol Browne(0-1) for E.. McNamara; Catriona O’Gorman for K. Mullen; Natasha Murray for A. McNamara;
St.Josephs Doora/Barefield: Caoifhlinn Ni Chonnaill; Sinead O Connor, Megan O’Brien, Kate Dillon; Hannah Doyle (0-1), Eimear Casey, Maedhbh O’Connor; Emer Hanrahan, Siofra Ni Chonaill; Ciara Cahill, Ashling Reidy (0-2), Ciara Guilfoyle; Ashling Hannan (1-0), Caoimhe Hoey, Amy Lenihan (2-1).
Subs: Lyndsey Clarke for Emer Hanrahan; Shauna Moloney for Eimear Casey; Ciara Duggan for Ashling Hannan;; Hannah Meaney for Caoimhe Hoey; Aoibhinn O’Loughlin for Ciara Guilfoyle;