*Clare’s Caoimhe Harvey. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Clare’s ladies footballers have sealed their place in the TG4 All-Ireland semi-finals for the first time since 2016.
Venue: St Jarlath’s Park Tuam
An exceptional display from Clare where they completely outclassed Sligo coupled with Laois’ surprise win over Kildare was sufficient to see the Banner progress to the last four.
Six changes were made to the Clare side from the round two win over Laois and this in no way weakened their cause which demonstrates the strength of the county panel.
Their prowess up front was crucial to the outcome. Adapting a ruthless approach worked wonders with Amy Sexton netting a hat-trick as Grainne Nolan and Niamh O’Dea both raided for two goals each.
Although she only played for twenty five minutes, Fidelman Marrinan notched four points from play in a very clinical Clare display.
On occasion after occasion, Clare unlatched the Sligo defence like a bottle opener being put to work during another Zoom meeting which allowed them take control early on.
Not alone this but a patient build-up was visible throughout with Nolan, O’Dea and Caoimhe Harvey most skilled in this regard.
Defensively Clare also dictated and didn’t allow their opponents register a score in the second half.
For James Murrihy’s Clare, Grainne Nolan, Caoimhe Harvey, Niamh O’Dea, Eimear Keane, Amy Sexton and Siofra Ní Chonaill did best.
Focus now switches to the semi-finals where Clare will meet Meath. Perhaps the Sligo outing will be their easiest of the championship, their last League outing was a tense draw versus Meath and their last four clash in two weeks will be a fierce test.
Scorers Clare: G Nolan (2-07 7f), Niamh O’Dea (2-02), Amy Sexton (3-00), Fidelma Marrinan (0-04), Chloe Moloney (0-02), Tara Kelly (0-01), Eimear Keane (0-01), Caoimhe Harvey (0-01)
Scorers Sligo: R O’Brien (0-01 1f), L Kelly (0-01)
1: Michaela Glynn (Kilmihil)
2: Siofra Ni Chonaill (St Josephs Doora/Barefield)
3: Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil)
19: Carol O’Leary (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
6: Orla Devitt (Éire Óg)
17: Roisin Looney (Cooraclare)
20: Eimear Keane (St Josephs Miltown)
21: Louise Woods (Banner Ladies)
10: Eimear O’Connor (Cúil Gaels)
9: Caoimhe Harvey (West Clare Gaels)
13: Niamh O’Dea (Banner Ladies)
18: Tara Kelly (Cúil Gaels)
23: Chloe Moloney (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
14: Grainne Nolan (Banner Ladies)
22: Amy Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
7: Áine Keane (St Josephs Miltown) for Devitt (HT)
11: Fidelma Marrinan (West Clare Gaels) for Kelly (35)
24: Ailish Kenny (Cúil Gaels) for O’Leary (43)
26: Sinead Considine (Liscannor) for Woods (54)
25: Aoibhín Cunningham (Kilrush) for Sexton (54)
16: Rachel Quigley (Drumcliffe Rosses Point)
2: Aoife Morrisroe (Shamrock Gaels)
3: Michelle McNamara (Drumcliffe Rosses Point)
23: Jacqui Mulligan (St Farnan’s)
20: Ruth Goodwin (Coolera Strandhill)
6: Claire Dunne (St Farnan’s)
17: Sinead Regan (Drumcliffe Rosses Point)
18: Sinead Naughton (Eoghan Rua)
9: Louise Lindsey (Eoghan Rua)
8: Nicola Brennan (Tourlestrane)
13: Leah Kelly (St Farnan’s)
14: Lauren Bates (St Michael’s)
12: Aisling Molloy (St Farnan’s)
15: Rachel O’Brien (St Farnan’s)
10: Elise Codd (St Michael’s)
7 for O’Brien (36)
5 for Brennan (52)
19 for Lindsey (56)
4 for Naughton (57)