*Clare’s Orlaith Duggan. Photograph: Caroline O’Keeffe
Clare made it two wins from two in the 2020 Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League when overcoming All-Ireland finalists Kilkenny in the Marble City.
Venue: UPC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny
Impressive results between Clare and Kilkenny in Nowlan Park are nothing new so far as camogie is concerned. During Patricia O’Grady’s reign in charge, they recorded a draw against the Cats who ironically were All-Ireland finalists again at the time. Nonetheless, Sunday’s two point victory is a special moment for the game in Co Clare.
Hard work and honesty accompanied Clare’s opening half display. They were rewarded for their efforts as they lead four points to two at the interval. The increase in workrate was noticeable from their perspective but the old flaw of being reliant on frees for scores continued with Eimear Kelly accounting for their entire first half tally, all from placed balls.
Katie Nolan and Michaela Kenneally pointed for Kilkenny on seven and twelve minutes. Brian Dowling’s side had a penalty disallowed, Denise Gaule brought the sliotar over the 21m line when striking past Shauna Canny. A certain goal chance was prevented by an excellent flick from Ciara Grogan earlier in the half with their more widespread scoring options evident from early on.
As expected, Kilkenny came out firing in the second half. They mounted a goal chance straight from the throw in but an excellent save from Shauna Canny denied Aoife Doyle a green flag.
Panic didn’t set into Clare’s performance in anyway with Gretta Hickey hitting their first point from play on thirty nine minutes. The Whitegate attacker rproduced an industrious display and added the score of the game on sixty minutes.
An Orlaith Duggan pass on forty six minutes was intercepted by Emma Kavanagh but the Kilkenny netminder was dispossessed by Áine O’Loughlin who struck for goal in her first shot of the encounter.
Towards the final stages, Clare increased the amount of bodies in defence with Laura McMahon dropping back. Kilkenny looked menacing and had goal chances including the last strike of the game from Denise Gaule which Orlaith Duggan deflected out for a point.
Work-rate across the field proved crucial as Clare collected a sweet win. The challenge now for Ger O’Connell is to ensure this is not the highlight of their year, it is a result they must build upon. Ciara Grogan, Gretta Hickey, Clare Hehir and Shaunna Canny were best for the winners.
Scorers Clare: E Kelly (0-07 4f 3’45), A O’Loughlin (1-00), G Hickey (0-02)
Scorers Kilkenny: D Morrissey (0-05 5f), D Gaule (0-02 2f), K Nolan (0-01), M Kenneally (0-01), K Doyle (0-01)
1: Shauna Canny (Feakle/Killanena)
2: Ciara Grogan (Clooney/Quin)
3: Clare Hehir (Inagh/Kilnamona)
4: Róisín Minouge (Bodyke)
5: Alannah Ryan (Kilkishen)
27: Ciara Doyle (Scariff/Ogonnelloe)
15: Sinead Conlon (Tulla)
9: Orlaith Duggan (Clooney/Quin)
8: Michelle Caulfield (Truagh/Clonlara)
10: Greta Hickey (Whitegate)
7: Laura McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
12: Máire McGrath (Sixmilebridge)
11: Eimear Kelly (Truagh/Clonlara)
14: Áine O’Loughlin (Truagh/Clonlara)
19: Laura McGrath (Feakle/Killanena)
13: Robyn Conway (Feakle/Killanena) for McGrath (HT)
25: Lynda Daly (Scariff/Ogonnelloe) for M McGrath (50)
20: Bridín Dinan (Tulla) for O’Loughlin (54)
24: Susan Daly (Scariff/Ogonnelloe) for Caulfield (56)
1: Emma Kavanagh (Rower-Instioge)
2: Ciara O’Shea (Dicksboro)
3: Davina Tobin (Emeralds)
4: Michelle Teehan (James Stephens)
5: Niamh Deely (James Stephens)
6: Claire Phelan (Lisdowney/Freshford)
7: Aoife Prendergast (Dicksboro)
8: Colette Dormer (Paulstown)
9: Kellyann Doyle (Piltown)
11: Aoife Doyle (Piltown)
14: Denise Gaule (Windgap)
15: Danielle Morrissey (Conahy Shamrocks)
13: Katie Nolan (St Martin’s)
12: Michaela Kennelly (Windgap)
10: Miriam Walsh (Tullaroan)
16: Aoife Norris (Piltown) for
20: Laura Norris (Piltown) for Kenneally (50)
Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare)