Clare vs Dublin on 08/03/15 at 14:30 in Clonlara.
In their first home encounter of the Irish Daily Star National League, the Clare Camogie side welcome Dublin to Clonlara eager to get their campaign back on track.
After a disappointing opening round five point defeat to Cork, Clare are hoping to recover at the weekend when the Dubliners come to town and an improvement is essential if the Banner are to have any serious intentions for the year ahead.
On the other hand, the Dubs enjoyed a comfortable 1-11 to 0-03 victory over Derry and they will be eager to continue that form. Six different girls registered on the scoreboard in that clash as they laid down a marker to start the new era under manager Shane O’Brien.
To the surprise of all Clare camogie followers, Clooney/Quin’s Orlaith Duggan failed to make the Clare starting fifteen for the Cork clash and the mind boggles as to why the NUIG student was deemed surplus to requirements in a team that was also without Naomi Carroll, Eimear Considine and the McMahon sisters Claire and Helen.
New Dublin boss Shane O’Brien has brought with him a highly experienced management team with former Dublin senior hurling manager Michael O’Grady along with ex Dublin hurlers Shane Dalton and John Treacey. Former Irish squash international is the side’s strength and conditioning coach. 2013 All-Star hurler and current Dublin senior Danny Sutcliffe serves as the team’s ‘ambassador’, the exact duties carried out by Sutcliffe are unclear.
In a bizarre move, the powers that be have scheduled this fixture with a throw in at 14:30, thirty minutes after the highly anticipated tie between Clare and Tipperary in the National Hurling League. The people behind the arrangement of the camogie fixture really need to have a think about what they want. Is it about picking a random time for the throw in that suits themselves or do they want to promote camogie and allow the Clare camogie team to build up a following, which is impossible at present as they will only come up second best in a battle with the County’s hurlers.
On the field, the Banner will need to be more dangerous in front of goal. One of their flaws against Cork was the few amount of individual scorers in their ranks. Colm Honan and his management will need to have worked on creating and taking chances in order to collect their first win of the year.
Dublin currently sit at the top of Group Two of the National League and will be confident of staying in that position. However, Clare will be more competitive than Derry and this is something the Dubs will be prepared for. They only conceded three points against the Oak Leaf County and goalkeeper Síle Níc Coitir will be far busier on Sunday afternoon, how busier is entirely up to the Clare team.
As they attempt to get their season off the ground, Clare will be looking for big displays from Maire McGrath, Chloe Morey, Laura McMahon, Niamh O’Dea and Orlaith Duggan provided she’s on the field. Louise O’Hara, Emma Flanagan, Rose Collins, Claire Rigney and Alison Maguire are the ones to watch for the Dubs.
A win for Clare is paramount to give some hope of making the knockout stages as a defeat will spell an almost certain relegation battle as a very difficult assignment with Kilkenny looms. In what will be a tricky encounter, the incentive to get things on track may just push Clare to victory.
1: Síle Níc Coitir (Ballyboden St Endas)
2: Catriona Power (Naomh Mearnog)
3: Rose Collins (Naomh Bríd)
4: Deirdre Johnstone (Naomh Uinsionn)
5: Elaine O’Mara (Na Fianna)
6: Alison Maguire (Naomh Uinsionn)
7: Aisling Carolan (St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh)
8: Siobhan Kehoe (Na Fionnbarra)
9: Martha O’Donoghue (Ballyboden St Endas)
10: Ali Twomey (Lucan Sarsfields)
11: Aine Fanning (Naomh Uinsionn)
12: Louise O’Hara (Erin’s Isle)
13: Laoise Quinn (St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh)
14: Sarah O’Donovan (Naomh Uinsionn)
15: Emma Flanagan (Lucan Sarsfields).