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This article is from page 90 of the 2010-02-23 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 90 JPG

AGAIN, another game that slipped away from Clare inside the final ten minutes, the third of the league. Hav- ing considered themselves unlucky to come away from Down last week- end with a draw after a late, late point from the home side, Clare sensed that Tipperary at home was an opportuni- ty to get their first win and their first three points of the season.

In the end, though, Tipperary pulled away with three points in the closing four minutes and this, essen- tially, was the difference between the sides.

As a whole, the crowd in Meelick was treated to an entertaining and open afternoon of football. Play, particularly in the first-half, weaved from end to end and at the break, GENK crim bomr-i oLeyDeLMneO), sem ouiMmy alan plenty of reason to be hopeful for the remaining half an hour.

Against an impressive full-forward line, Lorraine Kelly stood firm while further out the field, Louise Henchy dropped deep and foraged well, Marie Considine mopped up around the middle while Eimear Considine showed some glimpses of what she is capable of, before stamping her mark on the game in the second-half.

At the other end, Mairead Mor- rissey was giving the Clare defence plenty to think about and she dom1- nated the opening exchanges, but after 11 minutes, Niamh Keane sent a long range shot towards the posts which nestled over Nora Noonan’s head and into the Tipperary net.

With their opening score, Clare led for the first time in the game.

Tipperary then had a fantastic op- portunity to reply with a goal of their own, but Emma O’Driscoll saved brilliantly, diving to her right, to deny Barbara Ryan.

After a couple of points from Mor- rissey and the speedy Gillian O’Brien, Clare forged back after a point from Sinead Sexton. She caught a high pass from Considine over her head,

swiveled and split the posts.

Morrissey, O’Brien and Ann Marie O’Gorman responded before Eimear Considine slalomed through the Tip- perary defence with a 40-yard run and a fine point.

Just after the break Considine kicked two further scores and gave Clare a one-point lead. After Morris- sey equalled things once more, Aine Kelly responded for Clare to restore their slender lead.

The game was now in the bal- ance and the opening six minutes of the half had been sprinkled with some fine play and some well-taken

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Then, however, Tipperary struck.

Morrissey fed O’Brien, who used he pace to place her in a dangerous position in front of the goal, she shot and the net rattled. Tipperary now led by two, 1-8 to 1-6.

After a pulsating start to the half, a lockdown ensued and 14 minutes passed before the next score, Eimear Considine converting a Clare free.

Now, Clare needed the next score but Patricia Hickey kicked two Tip- perary frees in as many minutes and with two minutes on the clock, Tipp lead by three.

Clare battled on and Louise Henchy managed a point in injury-time. Claire Carroll responded for Tipper- ary and ultimately, Clare failed to threaten the opposition goal in the last five minutes.

Putting things in perspective, trainer David O’Brien said he was disappointed with the result on Sun- day but pleased with the perform- ance.

“The last time we played Tipper- ary they were physically stronger than us, they blew us out of the way, so I was pleased that didn’t happen. We stood up and were counted and

brought the game to them.”

However, he said that getting results still remains the aim.

‘There’s plenty still to play for. Two wins should keep us safe, three can get you to a semi final. So it’s still wide open. We need to put results with performances now.”

Bearing in mind the Clare will play Tipperary in the first round of Munster, O’Brien added that he was looking forward to that game.

“I think we didn’t find out a lot about them that we didn’t already know. If anything, Tipp will have found out more about ourselves. They’ ll know that we won’t stand back, that we’ll battle. That puts us in a good position.”

He added that the more recent additions to the panel had equipped themselves well.

“I’m happy to see the newer play- ers settle in, that they’re hungry for football and hungry for games.

‘Our fitness and sharpness is definitely improving, but now, it’s

results we want.”

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