*Clare’s Maire McGrath and Alannah Ryan with Leah Butler of Dublin
An eleven point winning margin saw Clare’s senior camogie side book their spot in the All-Ireland quarter-finals for the first time in six years.
Venue: Fr McNamara Memorial Park, Doora
Far superior in the second half, Clare eliminated Dublin from the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie championship on Saturday evening outscoring them 1-12 1-03 during this spell.
Their reward for upping the ante is a first quarter-final appearance since 2014 and ensures Clonlara’s Ger O’Connell follows in the footsteps of his clubman Colm Honan in achieving the feat of leading the county side to the knockout stages.
By no means was this a complete display from Clare, possession is not being maximised most particularly in attack while there is also a tendency to over play the ball when emerging from defence. However, on a bright note the entire panel is much stronger than it has been in recent seasons and thus their passage to the knockout stages is no major surprise.
Overnight rain led to patches of water remaining on the county grounds and as it would happen neither side were able to gain a solid footing in controlling the game throughout the opening half. They were level on four occasions in the first twenty six minutes although this period of the game was a poor advertisement for the sport.
Chloe Morey with two frees and Aine O’Loughlin’s only score of the game saw Clare fire three points without reply at the conclusion of the first half to hold a 0-06 0-04 advantage.
A noticeable improvement in Clare’s display was evident on the restart as they fired three scores on the trot, Morey adding to her tally with Mairead Scanlan and Maire McGrath also getting in on the act.
Dublin’s inability to win their own puckouts allowed the hosts to keep the scoreboard ticking over, as they hit 1-06 in the first ten minutes of the half. Orlaith Duggan added two long range points while Scariff’s Mairead Scanlan finished well past Rosie Kinneally to burst the air from Dublin’s challenge.
It was effectively game over from here but Eimear Kelly, Chloe Morey and substitutes Gretta Hickey and Robyn Conway would tip over further points for the Banner. A slight regret from their end will be the concession of a goal that saw Sinead Wylde react much quicker than Clare’s defence to a breaking ball as she slotted the sliotar past Aisling Corbett on fifty seven minutes.
Disappointment over Clare’s inability to progress to the knockout stages in recent seasons has been justified simply because reaching the quarter-finals should be the primary objective for the senior side every year. Now that Ger O’Connell’s side have reached this juncture, they must build on it and give a display fitting of the stage.
Niamh O’Dea, Ciara Grogan, Orlaith Duggan and Maire McGrath were most impressive over the hour as Clare bounced back from their opening round defeat to Tipperary.
Scorers Clare: Chloe Morey (0-06 5f 1’45), Eimear Kelly (0-04), Mairead Scanlan (1-02), Orlaith Duggan (0-02), Aine O’Loughlin (0-01), Maire McGrath (0-01), Gretta Hickey (0-01), Robyn Conway (0-01).
Scorers Dublin: Aisling Maher (0-05 2f 1’45), Sinead Wylde (1-00), Niamh Gannon (0-01), Ali Twomey (0-01).
1: Aisling Corbett (Scariff/Ogonnelloe)
2: Ciara Grogan (Clooney/Quin)
3: Clare Hehir (Inagh/Kilnamona)
17: Roisin Minogue (Kilkishen/Bodyke)
5: Roisin McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
6: Niamh O’Dea (Kilmaley)
7: Alannah Ryan (Kilkishen/Bodyke)
8: Susan Vaughan (Scariff/Ogonnelloe)
9: Orlaith Duggan (Clooney/Quin)
10: Laura McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
11: Eimear Kelly (Truagh/Clonlara)
12: Maire McGrath (Sixmilebridge)
13: Chloe Morey (Sixmilebridge)
14: Aine O’Loughlin (Truagh/Clonlara)
15: Mairead Scanlan (Scariff/Ogonnelloe)
22: Robyn Conway (Feakle/Killanena) for O’Loughlin (43)
20: Gretta Hickey (Whitegate) for Scanlan (43)
18: Michelle Caulfield (Truagh/Clonlara) for Vaughan (47)
4: Ciara Doyle (Scariff/Ogonnelloe) for Grogan (47)
19: Sinead Conlon (Tulla) for R McMahon (47)
1: Rosie Kinneally
2: Orla Gray
3: Dee Johnston
4: Ash Carolan
5: Niamh Gannon
6: Emma Flanagan
7: Grainne Quinn
9: Leah Butler
8: Hannah Hegarty
12: Ellen McGovern
11: Aisling Maher
10: Ali Twomey
14: Laura Quinn
13: Roisin Baker
15: Sinead Wylde
19: Gabby Coch for McGovern (35)
21: Zoe Couch for Butler (39)
24: Kerri Finnegan for Baker (42)
17: Emily Browne for Gray (46)
Referee: Andy Larkin (Cork)