*Ellie O’Dwyer is left with nowhere to go by Shauna Melican, Gillian Griffin and Louise Griffin. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

Banner Ladies got their challenge for a fourth successive Clare ladies football senior championship title off to a winning start on Sunday morning when they defeated West Clare Gaels at Kilkee.

Elsewhere Kilmihil who interrupted the Banner club’s dominance three years ago when capturing the title, made a winning start when they had a narrow win over St Josephs, Doora/Barefield at Gurteen.

Fergus Rovers marked their return to the top division with their first senior championship win in twelve years when they accounted for Burren Gaels at Lissycasey on Sunday afternoon.

Champions put down a marker

Banner Ladies 4-8
West Clare Gaels 3-3
Venue: Kilkee

Banner Ladies put down a marker that they will be the team to beat again this year when accounting for West Clare Gaels at Kilkee on Sunday morning.

Goals from Aoibhinn Ryan, Caoimhe Cahill and Niamh O’Dea helped the champions to a 3-5 to 1-1 interval lead the home side’s goal having come from Ella Nagle.

O’Dea found the net again in the second half as the visitors maintained the upperhand despite the efforts of the West Clare side who had goals in this period from county players Fidelma Marrinan and Caoimhe Harvey.

However, the Banner’s greater experience proved decisive as they emerged as deserving winners on the day.

Banner Ladies: Aoife Keane; Elisha Malone, Clare Hehir, Caoimhe Ryan; Laoise Ryan, Sinead O’Keeffe, Emer Burke; Caoimhe Cahill, Keelan Fitzgerald; Louise Henchy, Niamh O’Dea; Louise Woods; Aoibhinn Ryan, Grainne Nolan, Helen Hehir.
Subs: Sara Ni Ceallaigh for L. Ryan; Niamh Keane for C. Ryan; Shannon O’Donovan for H. Hehir;

West Clare Gaels: Ciara Harvey; Sorcha Griffin, Ruth Ferguson, Emma McMahon; Serena Clancy, Grainne Harvey, Ella Nagle; Caoimhe Harvey, Emer Hanrahan; Aine Moloney, Shauna Harvey, Colette Keniry; Roisin Brew, Fidelma Marrinan, Siobhan Keane

Subs: Aine Murphy for A Moloney; Sara Marrinan for Sorcha Griffin; Amber Keane Thompson for E. McMahon; Niamh Morrissey for S.Griffin; Clodagh Keane for E. Hanrahan; Clara Keogh for R. Brew; Emma Jane Haugh for R. Ferguson; Grace Marrinan for E. Nagle

Rovers bridge twelve year gap

Fergus Rovers 4-6
Burren Gaels 1-8
Venue: Lissycasey

Fergus Rovers bridged a twelve year gap to their last win in the senior championship when they accounted for Burren Gaels at Lissycasey on Sunday evening.

Points were exchanged in the early minutes before Aisling Costello responded with a goal for the winners after six minutes. Burren struck for a goal from Ellie O’Dwyer soon after before Sadhbh Griffin marked her senior debut with a goal for the winners. Shortly before half time Ellen Griffin had the winner’s third goal and they were 3-2 to 1-3 in front at half time.

Burren had the opening point of the second half before another Rovers debutant, Sophie Culleton struck for her side’s fourth goal which sent the home side on their way to this victory.

The loss of Lizzy Roche who will be out for the season due to a cruciate injury, was a big blow to the North Clare side who were also without the injured Grainne Howley.

Rovers will travel to Gurteen to play St. Joseph’s next week while Burren Gaels will have home advantage in Carron against Kilmihil.

Fergus Rovers; Aoife Griffin, Fiona Breen, Gillian Griffin, Andrea Moloney, Ava Cotter, Louise Griffin, Shauna Melican, Lauren Griffin 0-1 (capt), Orla Hogan; Ellen Griffin, Aisling Costelloe, Sophie Culleton; Hannah Mai Neylon, Ria Meaney, Sadbh Griffin.

Subs: Eimear Burke for A. Moloney; Meabh McCarthy for Ria Meaney

Burren Gaels; Aishling O’Brien; Sadhbh Blood, Aine Hegarty, Shannon McCormack; Aoife Forde, Ailbhe McGann, Caoilinn McCormack; Nora O’Dwyer, Orla O’Gorman; Ellie O’Dwyer, Teresa Collins, Aileen O’Reilly; Laura Griffey, Sally King, Emma Healy;

Subs: Fiona Loughman for O. O’Gorman; Tara Connoll for E. O’Dwyer; Caoimhe Byrne O’Connell for A. O’Reilly.

Referee: Barry Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)

Goals prove vital for Kilmihil

Kilmihil 3-6
St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 0-13
Venue: Gurteen

Gurteen was the venue for the meeting of Kilmihil and St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield on Sunday and at the end of a closely fought contest the visitors were two points ahead.

This was a game of missed chances with both sides guilty in this department.
The home side had the aid of the wind in the opening half but they failed to capitalise and found themselves just a point to the good at the break, 0-6 to 1-2.

Kilmihil’s goal having come from the penalty spot with Becky Mahon converting after rugby star Eimear Considine was fouled. She later suffered a shoulder injury which caused her to leave the action.

The winners had second half goals from Katie Mullen and Laura Egan which helped them to this narrow win.

Kilmihil: Michaela Glynn; Katie O’Halloran, Ellie O’Gorman, Megan Downes -Rigney; Sarah Browne, Rosie Currane, Aoife McNamara; Dearbhla Higgins, Laura Egan; Aine McNamara, Becky Mahon, Catriona O’Gorman; Edel McNamara, Eimear Considine, Katie Mullen

Subs: Una Downes for Considne (inj); Siobhan Carr for Browne

St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield; Jane Quinn; Sinead O’Connor, Hannah Doyle Maedhbh O’Connor; Emer Clune, Ashling McMahon, Roisin Cahill; Ashling Reidy, Anna Courtney; Shauna Moloney, Amy Lenihan, Lyndsay Clarke; Katie Callaghan, Caoimhe Hoey, Siun McNamara;

Subs: Sophie Torpey for K Callaghan; Chloe Towey for S. Moloney; Ava O’Driscoll for Siun McNamara; Ashling Hannon for C. Hoey (inj)

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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