*A dejected Siofra Ní Chonaill at the final whistle. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

HAVING COME SO CLOSE to a first All-Ireland final appearance since 2016, there was obvious disappointment within the Clare ranks when extra time denied the intermediate ladies footballers a place in the decider.

An outstanding display from Mo Nerney who kicked 1-14 led Laois to a 2-21 2-19 victory over Clare on Sunday in Roscommon. Clare had kicked six of the last seven scores in normal time to force extra time and even led at halfway stage but were outscored 0-05 0-01 in the second period of extra time.

“We had twenty wides and they had ten, that’s outside of goal scoring, I think we created ten goal scoring opportunities, we took three and ultimately we never put them out of sight which is the reality,” Banner boss Evan Talty reflected afterwards.

A nine-time Clare SFC winner with Kilmurry Ibrickane, Evan added, “In extra time we went four points up but it could easily have been eight or nine points, big games and we missed easy enough scores. For me, I think, I said to the girls when we went in at full-time before extra time, I said win, lose or draw we’re proud of ye because everything was against them, momentum and we were down to fourteen but we kicked six of the last seven scores to draw the game, that is unbelievable character from them girls to do that, it could easily have been a ten point loss but to bring us to where we brought it and I think the momentum carried through. I said to the girls not to fear the finish line and I think Laois showed great mental strength to fly out of the blocks to kick those two scores”.

Speaking on Clare FM, Talty noted that the suspected broken collarbone injury sustained by Orla Devitt during the game was a blow, coupled with the injury to the experienced Ellie O’Gorman. “We were four up before Orla went, it was a big momentum swing, Orla was coming out with the ball and flying, we were on the attack, it was a free, she went off and lost the next ball, thy turned it over and got the next score. Small margins in tight games”.

Talty concluded, “I thought it was a great advertisement for ladies football, it was a super game to be involved with, the heart isn’t great after it. Overall, I’m disappointed, I thought we deserved to get to the All-Ireland final but I’m still very proud of them”.

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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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