Saturday 20 January 2018

Clare scoring blitz too much

Dean Goodison

Joanne Dillon is confronted by Clare defender Marie McGrath
Joanne Dillon is confronted by Clare defender Marie McGrath

Clare blitzed Wexford with a run of 1-5 without reply in eleven minutes in the middle of the second-half to take victory in the re-arranged Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 1 tie in the Ferns Centre of Excellence on Saturday.

Clare 1-17 Wexford 0-13

The Slaneysiders looked to be on course for their second victory in as many matches when they increased their 0-9 to 0-6 interval lead to four after 35 minutes, but Clare quickly upped the tempo and Wexford were left chasing shadows for a spell.

There were more impressive performances by the young guns in the first-half.

Amy Cardiff and Doireann Kavanagh won their battles in the half-back line, while both Joanne Dillon and Chloe Foxe had a score on the board and Wexford were motoring.

However, the harsh reality of inter-county camogie at the highest level is that some teams possess the talent to turn on the afterburners, and Clare did just that with a devastating spell that sent them to the summit of Group 1 alongside Galway.

The first quarter was tight as both sides got used to the crosswind. It was a little deja vu for Wexford as Linda Bolger and Shelley Kehoe shared the first four points for their side, as they had done just six days earlier against Tipperary.

Those points were also enough to match the scoreline from their league opener as Wexford edged into a 0-4 to 0-3 lead. Chloe Morey would end with eleven points for Clare, nine from frees, but missed two early on.

The experienced dead-ball specialist did score two of those first three points, while Kate Lynch notched the other one for the visitors, and Wexford were indebted to Laura Brennan for their lead after she made a tremendous low save from Aoibhean Malone.

Wexford owned much of the second quarter and played some really good stuff. Amy Cardiff fed Joanne Dillon and the Rathgarogue-Cushinstown woman made it 0-5 to 0-3 in the 17th minute before Shauna Sinnott and Stacey Kehoe combined to release Foxe for her score.

A long-range Jackie Quigley free was countered by a Morey placed ball but Shelley Kehoe hit right back for the hosts. While Bolger added another before the break, minors from Malone and Morey left just three between the sides at the change-around (0-9 to 0-6).

A Niamh O'Dea point gave Clare the quick start to the second-half that they would have targeted, but a brace from Katrina Parrock looked to have settled the ship with 35 minutes gone as Wexford led by 0-11 to 0-7.

However, Wexford would only add two further Bolger frees as Clare dominated. Cardiff made a great block on Aoife Keane but it didn't deter the Banner women as they soon pointed through Lynch.

The killer goal arrived in the 40th minute when Róisín McMahon's long punt forward was spilled into the path of Niamh O'Dea, and she was able to make enough space close to goal to drill home a low finish past Brennan.

Twice Brennan prevented further damage when saving well from Keane and Malone, but Wexford were becoming indisciplined in the tackle and Morey took full advantage with three consecutive frees and a lovely score from play (1-12 to 0-11).

Wexford had the odd attack as the game wore on but it was a real struggle. Keane added two points from play and Morey brought her tally to eleven in the final quarter to give Clare their first win over the hosts since they made the jump to the Senior ranks in 2009.

There isn't much time for Wexford to lick their wounds with the visit of Dublin scheduled for Sunday. The games are coming thick and fast at the moment, with Galway travelling to the south-east seven days later before the round-robin ends in Offaly on March 27.

Wexford: Laura Brennan; Louise Sinnott, Síona Nolan, Louise O'Leary; Doireann Kavanagh, Jackie Quigley (0-1 free), Amy Cardiff; Shauna Sinnott (capt.), Linda Bolger (0-5, 4 frees, 1 '45); Joanne Dillon (0-1), Shelley Kehoe (0-3), Katrina Parrock (0-2); Stacey Kehoe, Eimear O'Connor, Chloe Foxe (0-1). Subs. - Michelle Martin for Stacey Kehoe (54), Leah Walsh for O'Connor (59), Ellen Roche for Parrock (59), also Ciara Donohoe, Emma Walsh, Katie O'Connor, Mags D'Arcy, Ciara Storey, Marie Morrissey, Deirdre Codd.

Clare: Denise Lynch; Kathleen Horgan, Laura McMahon, Carol O'Leary; Eimear Kelly, Róisín McMahon, Marie McGrath; Kate Lynch (0-2), Orlaith Duggan (capt.); Chloe Morey (0-11, 9 frees, 1 '45), Niamh O'Dea (1-1), Ellen Horgan; Aoife Keane (0-2), Aoibhean Malone (0-1), Michelle Caulfield. Subs. - Aoife Touhy for K. Horgan (31), Zoe McInerney for Caulfield (31), Amy Keating for Kelly, temp. (51-54), Elaine Carey for Malone (60+2).

Referee: Karl O'Brien (Dublin).

Wexford People

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