For the fourth year in a row, Clare have lost their opening game in the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship.
Venue: Pearse Stadium
Missed chances and poor distribution from Clare were costly as they slumped to a ten point defeat at the hands of Galway on Saturday evening in their opening game of the 2018 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship.
Up front Clare lacked the required workrate and only two of their six starting forward registered on the scoreboard whereas Galway had five of their six scoring throughout the hour.
It took just forty five seconds for Galway to goal. Clare failed to rise the ball in the middle third and their opponents were more than happy to dispossess them, launching a high ball on top of Niamh Hanniffy who held off the challenge of Máire McGrath and in the one on one battle with Lauren Solon, she tapped home.
Rebecca Hennelly and Niamh McGrath added white flags for the Tribeswomen before Clare got off the mark via wing back Clare Hehir. The sides swapped scores on three further occasions during the remainder of the half to leave Galway ahead on a margin of six points at the half-time whistle.
Galway always had an answer for Clare and in this regard it was only going to be difficult for them to chip away at the margin. What could have helped would have been Clare taking every opportunity that presented itself. A well worked team move almost resulted in a goal on the forty fourth minute but Chloe Morey struck to the left of the goal, the Sixmilebridge woman missed three frees and at this level every scoreable placed ball must be executed.
Hanniffy would have picked up her second goal only for Lauren Solon to deny her effort on fifty three minutes. An increased amount of stoppages in the second half sucked life out of the contest and Clare found themselves down to fourteen when Eimear Kelly was shown a red card for a late strike. Both sides were awarded penalties in the second thirty, Ailish O’Reilly tapped her effort over the bar while a strong shot from Chloe Morey was kept out by Galway goalkeeper Sarah Healy.
Cathal Murray’s first championship campaign as Galway manager has got off to a winning start and they were in control from start to finish. They conceded nineteen frees over the hour and had Clare been more clinical they would have been under more pressure. For them, Niamh Kilkenny, Sarah Dervan and Ailish O’Reilly stood out.
Next weekend’s home game versus Limerick will be one Clare will fancy winning. The same standard of display will not be good enough against the women from the Treaty County. While their forwards bar Eimear Kelly were guilty of letting the ball out too easily, the defence was as culpable when it came to distributing the ball, too often they cleared the ball straight to Galway allowing them to mount their own attacks. Niamh O’Dea finished with three points while Máire McGrath was reliable when at full back and midfield, Clare Hehir and Laura McMahon did ok in patches.
1: Sarah Healy (St Thomas’)
2: Tara Kenny (Sarsfields)
3: Sarah Dervan (Mullagh)
7: Lorraine Ryan (Killimordaly)
6: Shauna Healy (Ardrahan)
4: Heather Cooney (St Thomas’)
5: Roisín Black (Oranmore/Maree)
11: Niamh McGrath (Sarsfields) (0-02)
8: Anne Marie Starr (Killimor)
10: Aoife Donohue (Mullagh)
14: Rebecca Hennelly (Ardrahan) (0-02)
9: Niamh Kilkenny (Pearse’s) (0-05)
15: Ailish O’Reilly (Oranmore/Maree) (0-04)
12: Niamh Hanniffy (Oranmore/Maree) (1-00)
13: Carrie Dolan (Clarinbridge) (0-03 2f)
24: Cliodhna Walsh (Ardrahan) for Starr (46)
23: Orlaith McGrath (Sarsfields) for Dolan (47)
21: Catríona Concannon (Cappataggle) for Hennelly (53)
19: Ciara Murphy (Clarinbridge) for Kilkenny (59)
20: Finola Keeley (St Thomas’) for
1: Lauran Solon (Whitegate)
4: Ciara Grogan (Clooney/Quin)
3: Máire McGrath (Sixmilebridge) (0-01)
2: Carol O’Leary (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
6: Clare Hehir (Inagh/Kilnamona) (0-01)
5: Laura McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
9: Ciara Doyle (Scariff/Ogonnelloe)
8: Orlaith Duggan (Clooney/Quin)
7: Roisín McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
14: Chloe Morey (Sixmilebridge) (0-03 3f)
10: Eimear Kelly (Truagh/Clonlara)
12: Andrea O’Keeffe (Inagh/Kilnamona)
13: Roisín Begley (Truagh/Clonlara)
11: Niamh O’Dea (Kilmaley) (0-03)
15: Orlaith Devitt (Éire Óg)
17: Doireann Murphy (Clarecastle) for Begley (40)
23: Emma Kennedy (Sixmilebridge) for Grogan (57)
Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny)