Clare 3-10 Fermanagh 1-12
Three second half goals sent Clare on their way to victory in the Bord Gáis Energy National Ladies Football League Division 3 final at Parnell Park on Saturday.
Marie Considine netted six minutes after the restart, Eimear Considine struck in the 42nd minute and Niamh O’Dea added the third goal seven minutes from the end.
But Clare, who led by seven points, 3-9 to 0-11, when O’Dea goaled, had to fend off a spirited Fermanagh fightback as Sharon Little’s 59th minute goal brought the Erne County back to within three points of the winners.
But O’Dea, who finished with 1-5, landed the insurance score as Clare, Division 2 champions in 2008, won by four points.
At half-time, the sides were deadlocked at five points apiece as goal chances went begging at both ends.
Shauna Hamilton rattled the Clare crossbar early on while O’Dea and Naomi Carroll were denied by a superb double save from Fermanagh goalkeeper Roisin Gleeson.
Both teams lost a player each to sin-binnings but Clare, operating with the breeze in the second half, netted the crucial breakthrough goal from midfielder Marie Considine, despite operating for the first ten minutes of the second half without centre forward and captain Niamh Keane.
Louise Henchy claimed the player of the match award following an inspirational display at midfield for Clare, on a day when Fermanagh’s Little sisters combined for 1-9.
Clare and Fermanagh will both play in Division 2 of the Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League in 2012.
Scorers for Clare: N O’Dea 1-5 (0-2f), E Considine 1-1, M Considine 1-0, L Henchy 0-2 (1f), N Carroll & A Considine 0-1 each.
Scorers for Fermanagh: S Little 1-4 (0-1f), C Little 0-5f, M Connolly 0-2, A Moane 0-1.
CLARE: E O’Driscoll; C Hester, L Kelly, L Ryan; E O’Connor, R McMahon, L Woods; M Considine, L Henchy; C Corry, N Keane, N Carroll; E Considine, N O’Dea, S Bohannon.
Subs: A Considine for Corry (h.t), K Geoghegan for Carroll (53), S Eustace for Bohannon (55), C Considine for Hester (59), C O’Leary for O’Dea (60+2).
FERMANAGH: R Gleeson; C Woods, N Curran, O Reihill; D Murphy, T Little, T Melanaphy; M Connolly, A Moane; S Hamilton, S Little, L McFrederick; N McManus, C Little, A McBrien.
Subs: K McManus for Hamilton (37), J Doonan for McFrederick (46), R O’Reilly for Woods (57), A Maguire for McManus (58), L Slevin for Melanaphy (59).
Referee: Des McEnery (Westmeath).