O’Grady’s Clare off to a winning start

O’Grady’s Clare off to a winning start


Roisin McMahon in possession. Picture: Caroline O'Keeffe
Roisin McMahon in possession. Picture: Caroline O’Keeffe

The belated commencement to the season wasn’t a problem for Clare as they beat Offaly 0-18 to 1-8 in Corofin on Sunday afternoon.

Irish Daily Star National League Div 1 Grp1
Clare 0-18  
Offaly 1-08
Venue: Corofin

It was a comfortable first day at the office for new manager Patricia O’Grady as her side saw off a team that had begun with an excellent win over Dublin, following an impressive second half performance.

The visitors began well with points from Tina Hannon and Lisa Gorman but Clare were level by the end of the opening quarter, thanks to Chloe Morey and local girl Aoibheann Malone. It was nip and tuck from there to the interval, Niamh O’Dea edged the Banner in front in the 17th minute following a well timed pass from Aoife Keane. Offaly’s Michaela Morkan levelled matters in the next passage of play and the sides traded points over the last eight minutes of the half, O’Dea and Keane both pointing for the home side while for the visitors it was Tina Hannon who fired over a brace as the sides went in deadlocked at the break on 0-5 apiece.

Clare opened up after the resumption, Morey and Malone in similar fashion to the first half, firing over from a placed ball and play respectively before Morkan pulled a point back for the visitors. Five unanswered points from the Banner girls, Morey with four placed balls and Kate Lynch from play following a period of dominance saw the scoreboard register double scores in favour of the home side Clare 0-12 Offaly 0-6.

Ellen Horgan & Debbie Flynn contest the aerial ball. Picture: Caroline O'Keeffe
Ellen Horgan & Debbie Flynn contest the aerial ball. Picture: Caroline O’Keeffe

The only goal of the game came midway through the second half, Morkan on the stand side of the field sent her shot across and Cailin Fitzgerald gathered to send her shot goalbound. Offaly followed up with a point from Christine Cleary to narrow the deficit to 2 points. However this was as good as it got for the Faithful County as again the Banner rallied and 4 more points, Morey with 3 frees and Ellen Horgan from play stretched Clare’s lead back to 6 points. Offaly minor star Aisling Brennan had her side’s last score of the game as the game entered the 59th minute. Clare weren’t finished yet though and as Offaly continued to be punished by referee Cathal Egan for their indiscretions, Morey ended with a personal tally of 11 points, adding a brace in injury time to see Clare run out comfortable winners

Offaly may have got off the mark first but once Clare got going they never looked like reeling their opponents in. Clare will play Wexford next weekend and this opening win will give them confidence as they travel to the south East to meet their opponents who had a 4 point win over Tipperary on Sunday.

Clare Scorers: C.Morey 0-11 10F 1’45, A.Malone 0-02, N.O’Dea 0-02, A.Keane 0-01, K.Lynch 0-01, E.Horgan 0-01

Offaly Scorers: A.Brennan 0-01F, M.Morkan 0-02, C.Fitzgerald 1-00, C.Cleary 0-01, L.Gorman 0-01F, T.Hannon 0-03

Clare: Denise Lynch Kilmaley; Aoife Griffin Newmarket on Fergus, Laura McMahon Newmarket on Fergus, Carol O’Leary Newmarket on Fergus;  Katheleen Horgan, Truagh Clonlara, Roisin McMahon Newmarket on Fergus, Maire McGrath Sixmilebridge; Kate Lynch Kilkishen, Orlaith Duggan Clooney Quin; Gráinne Nolan Eire Og, Niamh O’Dea Kilmaley, Chloe Morey Sixmilebridge; Ellen Horgan Truagh Clonlara, Aoibhean Malone Corofin, Aoife Keane, Inagh Kilnamona. Sub: Eimear Kelly Truagh Clonlara for K Horgan H/T, Zoe McInerney Wolfe Tones for K Lynch 59 mins.

Offaly: Eleanor Clendennen Kinitty; Fiona Stephens Drumcullen, Jean Brady St Sinchills, Debbie Flynn Kilcormac/Killoughey; Marion Crean Shinrone, Siobhan Flannery St Rynaghs, Orlaigh Kirwan Birr; Deirdre Cashen Birr, Aisling Brennan St Cillians; Michaela Morkan Shinrone, Cailin Fitzgerald St Cillians, Christine Cleary Shinrone; Lisa Gorman Tullamore, Arlene Watkins Birr, Tina Hannon Naomh Brid. Sub: Lorraine Keena Kilcormac/Killoughey for Cashen 50 mins

Referee: Cathal Egan, Cork