*Laura Twomey gets past Chloe Morey & Eimear Kelly. Photograph: Martin Connolly
Clare’s involvement in the 2019 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie championship has concluded following Saturday’s draw with Dublin.
Venue: Parnell Park, Dublin
Of their five games in Group 2, Clare lost three, drew one and won one, such an outcome is not sufficient to see them advance to the knockout stages.
Orlaith Duggan hit the final score of the afternoon to prevent a fourth defeat in this year’s championship, despite outscoring Dublin 13-9, the concession of four goals was detrimental to any hopes of recording an away win.
Having departed Co Clare shortly before 8am this morning, the journey may be attributed as the cause for their sluggish start, they fell 1-02 0-00 behind with six minutes played. However they rallied and would score 1-08 without reply to hold a six point half-time advantage, Scariff/Ogonnelloe’s Mairead Scanlon raising the green flag.
Once again, Clare’s start left a lot to be desired when the sliotar was thrown in for the second half. Within minutes, Frank Browne’s Dublin had raided for two goals via Orla Beagan and Aisling Maher undoing all of the Banner’s ground work in the opening half.
A double save from Dublin netminder – denied both Roisin Begley and Aoife Power on forty minutes, the hosts put together a counter attack which finished in Sinead Wylde slotting past Sarah Loughnane for their fourth goal.
Eimear Kelly would reply with Clare’s second goal to cut the gap to just one point with fifteen minutes of normal time still remaining only for Dublin to add to their tally once again. Andrea O’Keeffe stepped up in the closing stages, the Inagh/Kilnamona attacker was fouled, the resulting free was converted by substitute Chloe Morey.
Captain Laura McMahon would then launch one final attack, picking out O’Keeffe who made the assist to Orlaith Duggan, she made no mistake to give Ger O’Connell’s side a share of the spoils and secure their fifth place finish in Group 2, scoring difference meant the Dubs took fourth spot.
Clare’s Junior side picked up their first win of the year beating Armagh 2-16 1-11 on Saturday evening.
Undoubtedly there is disappointment that Clare have yet again failed to make the knockout stages, their last quarter-final appearance being in 2014, the following year being most memorable for off the field activity and the infamous coin toss debacle.
Subsequent years have not been pretty with a high turnover in players, many of which still have plenty to offer and possess experience that this team is craving. As long as the best players in the county are not featuring on the team or in the panel, Clare camogie will not be progressing.
Having contested two All-Ireland minor finals in the last three years, one can be hopeful that these players will continue to put their hand up for selection with the junior and senior side to assist their development thus strengthening both panels.
Though it would not have panned out as planned, Ger O’Connell is entitled to a second year in the hotseat where he can apply the lessons learned and make renewed efforts to have the strongest squad in place to have a real go in the senior campaign, a grade in which they are more than able of competing in.
Scorers Clare: M Scanlon (1-06 5f), E Kelly (1-02), R Begley (0-01), C Morey (0-01 1f), O Duggan (0-01).
Clare: Lauran Solon; Ciara Grogan, Clare Hehir, Ciara Doyle; Laura McMahon, Alanagh Ryan, Teresa O’Keeffe; Orlaith Duggan, Michelle Caulfield; Fiona Lafferty, Eimear Kelly, Sinead Conlon; Roisin Begley, Mairead Scanlon, Aoife Power.