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Clare’s Fidelma Marrinan with Leitrim’s Clare Owens. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

LIFE in the Connacht Ladies Football intermediate championship began on a winning note for Evan Talty’s Clare.

Clare 1-14
Leitrim 1-07
Venue: Bornacoola GAA , Dromod

Last year, Clare suffered a costly 4-07 2-09 defeat at the hands of Leitrim in the championship but they were by far the dominant side on Sunday to begin with a win their first of the year and a much needed boost following their relegation to Division 3 of the National League.

From the off, Clare were on top and outmatched their opponents with the speed at which they carried and moved the ball.

A superior middle third ensured Clare rarely let their opponents inside their own half with Sinead Considine, Aisling Reidy and Laurie Ryan ruling supreme. The shooting of Fidelma Marrinan and Niamh O’Dea ensured their account was kept ticking over.

Roisin McHugh finished to the net for Leitrim following a Leah Fox pass, the move occurring moments after Clare spurned a goal chance of their own. At half-time, the gap was still comfortable with the visitors 0-11 1-02 ahead notching four points without reply before the break.

Aided by a deflection, Fidelma Marrinan finished a well-worked Banner move to the net to effectively end the contest early in the second half.

While they would arguably claim provincial success in Connacht, Clare are ineligible from competing in the decider, their move from Munster stems from the fact that they are the only intermediate side in their own province. They face Sligo and Roscommon in the coming weeks.

Scorers Clare: Fidelma Marrinan 1-5; Niamh O’Dea 0-7, 1f; Grainne Nolan 0-2, 1f; Catriona Callinan, Chloe Moloney (f) & Amy Sexton 0-1 each
Scorers Leitrim: Scorers: Roisin McHugh 1-0; Michelle Guckian 0-3, 3f; Shaylyn Ward 0-1

Clare: Micaela Glynn, Orla Devitt, Tara Kelly, Grainne Harvey, Siofra Ni Chonaill, Laurie Ryan, Amy Sexton; Aisling Reidy, Sinead Considine, Catriona Callinan, Rebecca Doohan, Chloe Moloney, Niamh O’Dea, Fidelma Marrina, Grainne Nolan. Subs: Emma McMahon & Lauren Griffin for Callinan & Sexton (47), Cliodhna Blake & Ailish Kenny for Doohan & Moloney (50)

Leitrim: MIchelle Monaghan, Eimhin Quinn, Ailish Cornyn, Siobhan McCartan, Marina Grey, Clare Owens, Siobhan McCartan, Megan McGovern, Elise Bruen, Shaylyn Ward, Michelle Guckian, Siomha Quinn, Roisin McHugh, Leah Fox, Niamh Tighe. Subs: Carla Le Guen for Grey (21), Mary Alice Maguire for E Quinn (28); Bronagh O’Rourke for S Quinn (29); Aisling Quinn for Bruen (50); Vivienne Egan for Fox (53)

Referee: Kevin Corcoran (Mayo)

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