Clare's U13 and U15 girls and U14 boys completed a clean sweep at the weekend winning their semi final matches to qualify for the finals weekend at the University of Limerick.
CSSL U15 Girls 2 - 1 Kilkenny Schoolboys/girls League
First up this weekend were Clare U15 Girls who played Kilkenny in a highly entertaining game in great conditions in Newmarket on Fergus on Saturday. Clare had the better of the chances in the first half with Kate Singleton in particular being unlucky on a number of occasions. Enya Kelly and Holly O'Brien were playing well at the back and Eabha O'Driscoll and Hannah Saidi were on top in midfield. Kilkenny were a strong passing side and moved the ball particularly well in possession. Ella Henchy pulled off a spectacular double save to ensure that Clare went in at half time level at 0-0. The second half opened up a bit with Aine Bonfil putting Clare ahead after a good move. After that goal the pendulum swung towards Kilkenny who put the Clare goal under severe pressure and eventually equalised after a bright move down the right hand side. Clare rang the changes to bring on fresh legs which gave the team added impetus but despite creating a few chances were not able to make the break through. With the crowd bracing themselves for a period of extra time Clare launched one last attack which saw the ball break to Kate Singleton who slotted the chance away to put them ahead. Referee Pa Gleeson sounded the final whistle shortly afterwards and the girls celebrated a hard fought victory. Manager Donal Magee and his management team are now looking forward to preparing the side for their Plate final against Limerick County on Sunday.
Waterford 0 - 0 CSSL U13 Girls (after extra time and penalties Clare 4 -Waterford 2)
Clare travelled to Ozier Park in Waterford on Sunday afternoon to the very pitch where the U15 girls had won their quarter final on penalties the week before. Clare had a slow start to the match struggling to keep possession of the ball but excellent defending from Aibhlinn Cotter, Ava Richter, Emily Carmody and Maeve Clancy kept Waterford at bay. Clare started to attack more as the half went on and created a few chances from corners - Ava Richter and Orla Cahill going close. The second half was an entertaining affair despite the lack of goals with both Clare and Waterford keeping each other at bay. Rachel O’Shea, Marykate Cregan and Kate Jones kept on the attack getting up the field but struggled to create chances in the box due to resolute Waterford defending. In the last 10 minutes of the game Clare upped the tempo and Shannon Cagney and Marykate Cregan were both unfortunate not to score. Extra time was a very evenly matched affair with Rhiann Murphy making an excellent save to keep us in the game and take it to penalties. Clare scored all but one penalty with Aibhlinn, Emily, Rachel and Kate all scoring. With Waterford hitting one over the bar and Rhiann making an excellent save to stop one of their penalties, Clare won 4-2 on penalties. Player of the match Rhiann Murphy. Amy Horgan, Sean Cregan and the management team are very proud of the girls performance in a difficult fixture and are very much looking forward to the Shield Final on Sunday afternoon against Sligo / Leitrim.
CSSL U14 Boys 2- 0 NDSL
Doora was the venue on Sunday for Clare's Kennedy Bowl semi final match versus the might of the North Dublin Schoolboys League. A large crowd were in attendance hoping that Clare would be able to continue their good run of form which saw them beat West Cork, West Waterford / East Cork in the group stages and the Carlow League in the quarter final without conceding a goal. Clare's only previous loss has come away to Cork (who topped the group to pip Clare to the Kennedy Cup quarterfinals) where a strong performance saw the Clare team unlucky to lose by a scoreline of 2-0. That Cork sider have gone all the way to the Kennedy Cup final where they play South Belfast.
Clare started a little tentatively with the NDSL taking the intiative. Clare grew into the game however and played the better football overall in the first half creating a few chances and eventually making the breakthrough when good work by Matt Jones led to him crossing the ball for Jack Daly to ghost between two defenders to volley home. Jack was proving a particular thorn in the NDSL side, playing very well throughout. NDSL put some pressure on the Clare goal towards the end of the first half with the best of their chances trickling across the face of the goal without an NDSL boot to apply the finishing touch. On the resumption, Clare continued to play a good brand of possession football and created a couple of chances before Tiernan Adelu latched onto a through ball to score the decisive second goal via the post. Both sides made some changes to keep the energy levels up on the field and towards the end substitute keeper Kyle McInerney earned the thanks of his colleagues with two smart saves that avoided what could have been a very nervous finale. The defence of Aidan Moloney, Kyle Kirby, Conor McFadden and Glen McNamara were particularly solid in a match where the entire team can be proud of their performance.
Davy Wall and his management team of Fabio Messori, Paul Roche and TJ O'Dwyer are delighted with the progress of this group that sees Clare playing in the final of the Kennedy Bowl this weekend in what we understand will match Clare's highest ever finish in the Kennedy Cup competition.
Come on the Banner!!!!
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