MLGFA U16A Championship Rnd 1
February 11, 2024
Munster U16A Championship Round 1.
Clare v Tipperary
With this away trip to Clare, Tipperary were treated to a blue sky and sunshine filled journey to the Banner County to begin their championship campaign.
Tipperary got straight into the action with an opening shot from Abbie Horgan that sailed left and wide of the post followed by a similar Neasa Dwan effort. The play switched to the Clare attack and they came away with a point from Abi Kellys boot to open their account in the 3rd minute of the game.
Clare, appeared to have the upper hand in the opening quarter with a number of wides before Neasa Meaney further increase the dividend with a well taken goal in the 8th minute. From the resulting kick out Tipperary retained position and Amy O’Connor’s point attempt from the attack brushed the upright on the wrong side.
Tipperary’s Grace Hogan opened the away sides account with a long distance, well appointed score in the 14th minute.
Following sustained pressure for the Tipperary backs they managed to form a very impressive attack that led to a brilliantly worked Abi Ryan goal on the 19 minute mark. The resultant Clare kick out was poached by an ever alert Kate Nevin to slot a second goal in the same minute. Tipperary, unwilling to forego their possession were unlucky to come away without another score at this juncture but the Clare backs retrieved the ball and delivered it to Neasa Meaney who rattled the Tipp net with an unstoppable shot in the 23rd minute.
With tough, physical challenges coming in all over the field Tipperary managed to break away in an attack that led to a Kate Nevin point from a well taken free on 25 minutes.
With the Tipp backs now fully alert to the pace and strength of the Clare forwards they find the space to push forward and following some fantastic ball carrying Abbie Horgan’s shot from distance clears the Clare keeper to give Tipp their third goal in the 27th minute.
HALF TIME SCORE CLARE 2 - 1 TIPPERARY 3 - 2
Both sides returned to the field as intent and invigorated as they had left but it was the Tipp side that registered the opening score of the second half with a Kate Nevin point 1 minute after the restart only to be further denied a net rattler by the Clare keeper who stood her ground and pulled off a great save. Tipperary however retained possession and slotted another point from play in the 3rd minute courtesy of Neasa Dwan.
Clare, having found momentum after the resultant kick out, failed to capitalise on their efforts sending the ball wide on this occasion. An immediate second attack from the home side forced a mammoth effort from Tipperary backs, Tara Bourke and Louise McGrath stopping a certain goal from Clare’s Neasa Meaney. Clare, at this point, capitalised on their possession spell and pointed again from an Aoibhinn Ryan free kick in the 8th minute.
Tipperary handled this period of Clare dominance well and won back possession to get the ball back down the field and find the forwards who were working extremely hard but just finding it difficult to meet the target. The hard work paid off however in the 18th minute when a Kate Nevin delivered ball hung in the air long enough to allow a perfect execution from Abbie Horgan’s palm.
Having weathered the storm to this point Tipperary enjoyed a lengthy purple patch with a point accruing from Lily Flannery in the 19th minute followed swiftly by a marvellous Heather Kiely goal in the same period.
Clare managed to regain further possession and Aoibhinn Ryan secured a point at the 22 minute mark with Neasa Meaney doubling that tally with a point from play a minute later.
Tipperary were still on their toes though and following some serious work from the mid field and forward players, Lily Flannery got in under the radar to pop a lovely point in the 24th minute and while they were up there Abi Ryan got in on the action again with another point a minute later.
Clare again took possession of the ball and were cruelly denied a sure goal only for the bravery of the Tipp keeper, Kate Hennessy. Clare, saw out the remainder of the game in full attack mode and were unlucky to not come away with another score or two.
Tipperary, once dominance was achieved and retained, ran out worthy winners of this encounter but no doubt met formidable opponents today.
FULL TIME SCORE CLARE 2 - 4 TIPPERARY 5 - 7
Kate Hennessy, Ava Gleeson, Tara Bourke, Nicole Buckley, Sienna Ferris, Louise McGrath, Julie Grey, Neasa Dwan (0-1), Abi Ryan (1-1), Amy O’Connor, Eavann Duffy, Sinead Lonergan, Abbie Horgan (2-0), Kate Nevin (1-2), Grace Hogan (0-1).
Lily Flannery (0-2) for Grace Hogan (34 mins), Heather Kiely (1-0) for Neasa Dwan (39 mins), Claire Fitzgerald for Amy O’Connor (50 mins), Rosie O’Brien for Sinead Lonergan (51 mins), Evanne Gleeson for Ava Gleeson (52 mins), Lauren Moore for Tara Bourke (57 mins), Emer Brennan for Abi Ryan (57 mins)