Clare ladies crowned intermediate champions

Clare ladies crowned intermediate champions

Clare 3-10 Fermanagh 1-1

Clare ensured that four Munster teams will take part in the TG4 Ladies Senior Football Championship next year, after the Banner County dug deep for a 3-10 to 1-11 win over Fermanagh in today's All-Ireland Intermediate final at Croke Park.

Deirdre Murphy's charges were in outstanding form as they bounce back from last year's final defeat to neighbours Tipperary.

Indeed for long periods of this contest, it seemed certain that the Mary Quinn Cup would be heading back to Munster. Clare made the perfect start thanks to a second minute goal from Majella Griffin.

Clare were eager from the off and good distribution from midfield to attack was the catalyst for the eventual winners to get on the scoreboard early on.

But the Banner also needed some luck and this also came to them in abundance, with a fourth minute goal from Fermanagh full-forward Sharon Little disallowed after referee Joe Murray gave a free out for an infringement.

Fermanagh battled back with three of the next four points - with Sharon and Caroline Little on target - to cut the gap to a point at 1-1 to 0-3 with six minutes remaining in the opening half.

However, Clare finished strongest before the break with three unanswered points - two pointed frees from Griffin and an effort from play from Louise Henchy. They led by 1-4 to 0-3 at the break.

Clare upped the intensity on the restart thanks to a 33rd minute goal from TG4 Player of the Match Eimear Considine.

Fermanagh kept pushing hard for scores, squaring up the game at 1-10 to 2-7 with nine minutes remaining, thanks to a Caroline Little goal and points also from Aisling Moane.

But Clare were not going to let a step-up to the senior grade slip from their grasp. They got back on top in the closing stages with a second goal from Griffin paving the way for a five-point win.

CLARE: D Walsh; S Eustace, L Kelly, S Hoey; M Delaney, S Kelly, L Woods; L Henchy (0-1), F Lafferty (0-1); M Considine, E Morrissey (0-1), E Considine (1-1); A Kelly, N Keane (0-1), M Griffin (2-4, 0-4f).

Subs used: R Lenihan (0-1) for M Considine, G Lynch for Lafferty, B Kelly for Morrissey, C Considine for A Kelly, AM Callinan for Griffin.

FERMANAGH: D Gilroy; T Hughes-Little, E McGovern, C Woods; A Newell, P Melanaphy, A Gallagher; C Murphy, K McManus; A McBrien, S Hamilton (0-1), A Moane (0-2); D Maguire, S Little (0-3, 0-3f), C Little (1-5, 0-4f).

Subs used: S McGovern for Woods, A McCaughey for McBrien, N Curran for McGovern.

Referee: Joe Murray (Dublin)

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