*Ailish Considine. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE are Division 3 National Ladies Football champions for the fifth time.

Clare 1-6
Roscommon 1-4
Venue: St Brendan’s Park, Birr

It finished honours even when the counties met in the group stages of the Lidl Ladies Football National League Division 3 earlier this season but there can be no disputing that Clare were deserving winners when they clashed in the league final on Saturday evening.

Having come up short in both championship and league deciders last season, getting some silverware is a big plus for Wayne Freeman and his panel of players.

Central to their success was the strong platform laid out in the opening half when they played against the breeze and kept Roscommon scoreless from play but as important went in on level terms thanks to scores from Ailish Considine and Aisling Reidy.

Roscommon goalkeeper Helena Cummins was called on to make early saves from Fidelma Marrinan and Louise Griffin by the third minute as Clare put a strong attack in place from the off.

A foul by Siofra Ní Chonáill allowed Laura Fleming to open the scoring with a free on four minutes.

Clare’s first score arrived on the fifteenth minute and it was a green flag. Captain Caoimhe Harvey made a powerful run through the spine of the opposing defence, she offloaded to Laurie Ryan who managed to maintain possession before finding Ailish Considine and she delivered an excellent effort to the roof of Cummins’ net.

Fleming responded with two frees in succession to get the Connacht side back on level terms by the twenty first minute.

Midfielder Aisling Reidy who was growing in prominence as the half progressed kicked the equalising score a minute later and this is how it remained until the sounding of the hooter in Birr to signal half-time.

Defensively Clare remained very strong on the restart, keeping Roscommon scoreless for the bulk of the second half, apart from Aisling Hanley’s late goal with ninety seconds remaining.

At the other end, Ailish Considine and substitute Ciara McCarthy added two scores each while Reidy strengthened her tally. This left them five points in front approaching the final ten minutes and that advantage proved vital when Hanley struck for goal in the closing stages.

For Freeman’s side, captain Caoimhe Harvey was exceptional while Ailish Considine, Áine Keane and Aisling Reidy were to the fore.

Scorers Clare: A Considine 1-2, A Reidy 0-2, C McCarthy 0-2

Scorers Roscommon: L Fleming 0-4 4f, A Hanley 1-0

Clare:
1: Amy Lenihan (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)

4: Grainne Harvey (West Clare Gaels)
3: Siofra Ní Chonaill (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
2: Áine Keane (St Joseph’s Miltown)

5: Laurie Ryan (Banner Ladies)
11: Caoimhe Harvey (West Clare Gaels)
7: Roisin Considine (Tir Chonaill Gaels)

6: Joanne Doohan (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
9: Aisling Reidy (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)

10: Louise Griffin (Fergus Rovers)
8: Sinead Considine (Liscannor)
12: Amy Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

13: Teresa Collins (Burren Gaels)
14: Fidelma Marrinan (West Clare Gaels)
15: Ailish Considine (Kilmihil)

Subs:
19: Ciara McCarthy (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Griffin (39)
21: Orla Devitt (Éire Óg) for Sexton (46)
22: Laura Griffey (Burren Gaels) for Collins (49)
20: Katie Mullen (Kilmihil) for R Considine (56)

Roscommon:
1: Helena Cummins (Michael Glaveys)

18: Aisling Shanagher (Kilbride)
6: Saoirse Wynne (Boyle)
4: Judy McDermott (Strokestown)

15: Aisling McAuliffe (Castlemackross)

2: Áine McGrath (St Brigid’s)
3: Ellen Irwin (St Faithleach’s)
7: Caoimhe Cregg (Boyle)

5: Rachel Fitzmaurice (St Ciaran’s)
8: Lisa O’Rourke (Castlerea St Kevin’s)

10: Laura Fleming (St Ciaran’s)
13: Aisling Hanly (Kilbride)
11: Lauren Shanagher (Northern Harps)

9: Kate Nolan (St Brigid’s)
27: Aisling Feeley (Boyle)

Subs:
12: Sinead Farrell (Clann na Gael) for Feeley (13)

Referee: Barry Redmond (Wexford)

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

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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