Clare have exited the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie championship following a two point defeat to Waterford who are now quarter-final bound for the first time in their history.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
One week on from recording their first win at senior level, Waterford knocked Clare out of the All-Ireland camogie championship having led from start to finish. Freetakers Beth Carton (1-09) and Chloe Morey (0-10) completed the bulk of the scoring with Carton’s goal on the fifth minute decisive.
Still reeling from their drubbing at the hands of Kilkenny last weekend, Clare were very slow out of the traps and shipped 1-04 before they opened their account. A lack of confidence was evident from their poor start, they needed someone out the field to step up and set the tone but this never materialised.
Goalkeeper Lauran Solon denied Beth Carton a second green flag on the seventeenth minute, the De La Salle woman was bearing down on the Whitegate custodian’s goal but Solon pulled off a vital save which in itself gave the hosts a much needed lift. From here, they scored four points on the bounce, their spree was ended with another Carton free and Clare replied via a Morey effort to leave it 1-05 0-05 at half-time.
Inside the first ten minutes of the second half Clare were back on level terms with Ciara Grogan picking up her first score in senior championship as Morey converted two further frees.
Their cause was dealt a significant blow with the dismissal of captain Orlaith Duggan following an off the ball altercation. Referee Liz Dempsey had to consult with her umpires before making the decision and a mixed response followed from the crowd.
Carton and Morey traded scores on two occasions before the Déise found another level in the final six minutes hitting four of the final six scores to secure their place in the quarter-finals.
Reaching the knockout stages is a landmark moment for camogie in Waterford, their place is well earned having put together stronger displays than Limerick and Clare to pick up the final spot. Tougher tests lie ahead but having won their last two games, confidence is high within Donal O’Rourke’s panel.
Throughout their year, Clare have not possessed enough of an attacking threat. Nine of their twelve scores were from frees and their reliance on placed balls has been ever present. This game was theirs for the taking but the result should prompt plenty of reflection for all involved.
It’s been four years since Clare have made the knockout stages of this championship. The big change in this period has been the deterioration in the strength of their panel. For various reasons camogie players around the county are opting not to commit, proven players such as Fiona Lafferty, Kate Lynch, Aimee McInerney, Aoife Griffin, the Considine sisters, Niki Kaiser, Louise Woods, Aine O’Brien and Roisin O’Brien have a lot to offer Clare camogie, some of them have been approached by Patricia O’Grady and must be again.
Anyone that has followed camogie in Clare knows that they are more than capable of having a say in the senior championship but the panel must become stronger if they are to really compete. Worth noting is the involvement of many players with the recent UL Ashbourne Cup success, the ability is there. Several current players will be considering their future following the end of this campaign, the window of success is narrowing with some of them pushing on in age, therefore it is imperative that every effort is made to have the best players in the county on the Clare panel in 2019. Only then will they come close to doing themselves justice.
1: Ciara Jackman (Gaultier)
2: Kate Lynch (Gaultier)
3: Iona Heffernan (Ferrybank)
4: Sibheal Harney (St Annes)
7: Shauna Kiernan (Lismore)
6: Aine Lyng (Gaultier)
5: Claire Whyte (St Anne’s)
8: Lorraine Bray (Cappoquin)
9: Deidre Fahey (An Rinn)
12: Fiona Morrrissey (An Rinn)
11: Annie Fitzgerald (Gaultier)
10: Niamh Rockett (St Anne’s) (0-01)
15: Orla Hickey (Dungarvan)
14: Beth Carton (De La Salle) (1-09 7f 1’45)
13: Kaiesha Tobin (Dungarvan) (0-01)
18: Aoife Landers (An Rinn) for Hickey (35)
19: Catríona McGlone (Lismore) for Morrissey (38)
17: Mairead Power (Piltown) for Kiernan (51)
1: Lauran Solon (Whitegate)
9: Ciara Doyle (Scariff/Ogonnelloe)
3: Máire McGrath (Sixmilebridge)
2: Carol O’Leary (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
7: Roisin McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
6: Clare Hehir (Inagh/Kilnamona)
5: Laura McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
8: Orlaith Duggan (Clooney/Quin)
4: Ciara Grogan (Clooney/Quin) (0-01)
15: Orla Devitt (Éire Óg)
30: Áine O’Loughlin (Truagh/Clonlara)
12: Andrea O’Keeffe (Inagh/Kilnamona)
11: Niamh O’Dea (Kilmaley)
14: Chloe Morey (Sixmilebridge) (0-10 9f)
13: Roisin Begley (Truagh/Clonlara)
28: Sinead Conlon (Tulla) for O’Loughlin (47)
10: Doireann Murphy (Clarecastle) (0-01) for Devitt (53) (Inj)
Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny)
*Photograph: ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo