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Tipperary defeat piles pressure on Clare

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*Orlaith Duggan hit two points from play. Photograph: Martin Connolly

Clare fell to their second defeat in three games losing by eight points to Tipperary in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship on Saturday evening. 

Tipperary 2-12
Clare 1-07
Venue: O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge

A goal from Eilibhis McDonnell in the opening ten minutes assisted Tipperary in getting an early foothold on proceedings in Sixmilebridge. During this spell, the visitors had 1-04 on the board with Clare’s account consisting of a Fiona Lafferty point from play and a Chloe Morey free.

Liz Dempsey awarded Clare a penalty and a glimmer of hope on twenty minutes when Lafferty was brought down, the subsequent shot was expertly dispatched to the net by Morey to reduce the deficit to two points.

Two Orlaith Duggan points on either side of a Cait Devane white flag left Clare within a point of Tipperary at the break.

Five points in succession saw the Premier County regain their dominance and undo the hosts’ hard work at the conclusion of the opening half.

Morey would convert two frees in the second half but Tipperary upped the ante with Devane firing over several frees and McDonnell raided for another green flag in the closing stages to give them their second win of the campaign.

For Clare the defeat is of concern and not just because of the result. Tipperary’s preparation for the game was questionable at best, just last week Bill Mullaney was forced to step down as manager for health reasons. His departure came as a shock sending ripples through the squad, fortunately for them selectors Niamh Lillis, Dinny Ferncombe, Carmel Bradshaw, Eddie Costello and Cian Treacy are able to remain in situ for the senior and intermediate sides.

The run-in to this game was far smoother for the Banner but it did not show on the field. They finished the game with only three scorers and just three points from play in sixty minutes. Despite the months of work invested in the set-up, it is both baffling and distressing how the Clare management are unable to put their players in their best positions.

Ger O’Connell’s side have two more games to play, travelling to both Waterford and Dublin needing a win in both outings to keep their hopes of making the knockout stages alive.

Earlier in the day, Clare’s Junior side lost their opening game by a point against Roscommon. FT: Roscommon 2-08 Clare 0-13.

Scorers Clare: Chloe Morey (1-4, 4f 1’Pen), Orlaith Duggan (0-2), Fiona Lafferty (0-1).

Tipperary: Caoimhe Bourke (Drom/Inch); Julieanne Burke (Borrisoleigh), Gemma Grace (Burgess/Duharra), Eimear Loughman (Clonoulty); Clodagh Quirke (Clonoulty), Karen Kennedy (Thurles Sarsfields), Aoife McGrath (Drom/Inch); Megan Ryan (Borrisoleigh), Mary Ryan (Moneygall); Eilibhis McDonnell (Annacarty), Cait Devane (Clonoulty), Ereena Fryday (Knockavilla); Grace O’Toole (Newport/Ballinahinch), Niamh Treacy (Drom/Inch), Miriam Campion (Drom/Inch).

Clare: Sarah Loughnane (Sixmilebridge); Laura McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus), Clare Hehir (Inagh/Kilnamona), Ciara Doyle (Scariff/Ogonnelloe); Michelle Caulfield (Truagh/Clonlara), Alannah Ryan (Kilkishen), Teresa O’Keeffe (Inagh/Kilnamona); Amy Barrett (Scariff/Ogonnelloe), Roisin Begley (Truagh/Clonlara); Orlaith Duggan (Clooney/Quin), Andrea O’Keeffe (Inagh/Kilnamona), Niamh Corry (Sixmilebridge); Fiona Lafferty (Inagh/Kilnamona), Eimear Kelly (Truagh/Clonlara), Chloe Morey (Sixmilebridge).

Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny)

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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