Clare’s second half surge against Dublin secures quarter-final slot

by Stephen Findlater

Dublin’s Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship campaign came to a halt at the hands of Clare who prevailed by 11 points in Fr. McNamara Park on Saturday, 1-18 to 1-7. 

It was knockout championship in all but name at the Ennis venue, following Tipperary’s win over both sides in the group already, and the tension was palpable right from the start. 

In a tight opening half, neither side was able to build a commanding lead. St Vincent’s Aisling Maher pointed a brace of frees, Chloe Morey slotted a ’45 between the posts and Eimear Kelly was on target as the first four scores of the game.  

Mairéad Scanlon edged Clare in front but Dublin wing back Niamh Gannon produced a real highlight reel moment when she pushed forward to fire a rousing score with 25 minutes gone, in a game where every score was hard earned. 

The Dubs managed to move in front through Maher, but Clare’s hard running and support play in the forward line tested Dublin’s discipline in the tackle and they edged 0-6 to 0-4 in front at half time thanks to three scores without reply, two of them from dead ball points. 

A commanding performance in the third quarter from the home side effectively settled the contest.  

Player of the match Niamh O’Dea led the way with a dominant display at centre back, anchoring a powerful defensive unit, and gradually they started to pull away with three more unanswered points. 

Mairead Scanlan scored from an acute angle in another moment of sheer quality for the Banner women and while Dublin dug their heels in, Ger O’Connor’s women struck a decisive blow in the 38th minute.  

Dublin failed to deal with an Orlaith Duggan delivery and it was Scanlan who reacted quickest, gathering the sliotar and firing it to the back of the net to move Clare eight points ahead. 

Clare hit four more scores without reply, tightening their grip on the contest and suffocating the life out of Dublin at the same time, with very few attempts on Aisling Corbett’s goal.  

Corbett was eventually beaten in the 59th minute when Sinéad Wilde’s ground pull got the better of the Scariff-Ogonolloe custodian, but it was academic as Clare progressed to the All-Ireland quarter finals, putting their defeat to Tipperary behind them. 

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