Clare edge Tipp in dramatic fashion to set up final date with Kildare
Tipperary miss three crucial chances to force extra-time in Limerick
Caoimhe Harvey celebrates Clare’s win over Tipperary in the TG4 Ladies Intermediate All-Ireland Football Championship semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Clare 3-14 Tipperary 2-16
Clare will progress to meet Kildare in this year’s Ladies All-Ireland Intermediate football final following a dramatic win over their Munster rivals Tipperary in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Saturday.
The tie was a repeat of the 2008 All-Ireland Intermediate final, but while Tipperary were victorious on that day, Clare reversed the end result today with just the minimum little to spare.
Tipperary had three crucial chances to force the encounter into extra-time but agonising misses from Aisling McCarthy and substitute Roisin Howard condemned Gerry McGill’s side to second best in a high-scoring game.
Clare’s ever potent scorer Niamh O’Dea finished the day with 2-4 from play, the last of which proved to be the decisive score of the game. Grainne Nolan fed the ball into O’Dea and the full forward sent the ball sailing over the bar from distance to leave the final score reading 3-14 to 1-16 with 60 minutes on the clock.
The first half saw Tipperary open their account first through a McCarthy free in the third minute but Clare responded three minutes later when Niamh Keane thundered through the Tipperary cover to drill a right-footed shot over the bar.
Clare took the lead through a Grainne Nolan free, which was just inches away from being a penalty when Niamh O’Dea was bundled to the ground. Tipperary’s defence struggled to cope with O’Dea’s incisive runs and she finished the first half with 2-2 to her credit.
Just as the bulk of Clare’s attacks were going through O’Dea, Mairead Morrissey was the main conductor for Tipperary at the other end. She hit the first of four unanswered scores for the Premier County on 11 minutes, followed by points from Orla O’Dwyer and Catriona Walsh to give Tipperary a two point advantage.
After almost a 10 minute drought of scores, Clare responded through another Nolan free and O’Dea levelled the tie two minutes later.
A goal chance presented itself for Clare in the 13th minute when Keane fed corner-forward Ciara Hickey, but the resultant shot had too much air underneath it and comfortably fell into the arms of goalkeeper Patricia Hickey.
Hickey redeemed herself with a left-footed strike on 28 minutes to put Clare 0-7 to 0-6 in front and marked the beginning of a scoring spree which culminated in 2-2 without reply for the Banner.
They had a goal on the board within a minute when Nolan spotted an incoming run from O’Dea and her high rising shot crashed into the roof of the net. Louise Henchy added a point from the kick-out and O’Dea’s second goal arrived shortly after.
A perfectly weighted long range pass from Ailish Considine landed into O’Dea, who snuck in behind her marker at the edge of the square. She unleashed her shot on the turn to put them three clear.
Similar to Clare’s revival earlier in the first period, Tipperary replied with 1-2 before the break to leave them just one point adrift. The critical goal came from Catriona Walsh, meaning just Edith Carroll was the only Tipperary forward not to register a score in the first half.
It was Clare who took the early initiative in the second half with 1-2 on the board inside the first 10 minutes. Niamh Keane continued her effective display from half forward with a surging run through the Tipperary defence before riffling a shot into the top corner of the net.
McCarthy pulled her side back into the contest with two quick points before Lorraine O’Shea and Jennifer Grant added two more to leave them trailing by just two points.
O’Dea replied with a free to steady Clare’s cause but substitute Howard stole the lead for Tipperary with a well taken goal after bypassing a flurry of Clare defenders in the 34th minute.
The sides traded points until the final stages of the game with O’Dea eventually settling the tie with her sixth point of the day.
CLARE: E O’Driscoll; E O’Dea, L Ryan, L Egan; R Considine, E O’Gorman, G Harvey; L Henchy (0-1), K McCormack; S Bohannon, A Considine (0-1, free), N Keane (1-1); C Hickey (0-2), N O’Dea (2-5, two frees), G Nolan (0-4, three frees).
Subs: C Harvey for E O’Dea (19 mins) B Mahon for L Egan (half-time), A Keane for S Bohannon (46mins).
TIPPERARY: P Hickey; L Morrissey, S Lambert, B Condon; A O’Dwyer, C O’Dwyer, J Grant (0-1); L O’Shea (0-1), S Crew; E Carroll, M Morrissey (0-2), E Myles (0-2); O O’Dwyer (0-1), A McCarthy (0-8, four frees), C Walsh (1-1).
Subs: R Howard (1-0) for E Carroll, E Buckley for L Morrissey ( both 47 mins), K Davey for C Walsh (54 mins), C Mullins for E Myles (59mins)
Referee: G McMahon (Mayo)