A much changed Kildare side travelled to Milltown Malbay to face Clare. The side consisting of ten changes from their last day out in Cavan, romped to a 13 point victory on their third weekend on the road, writes Tara Byrne.
Finishing with 14 players Kildare outclassed, outplayed and out witted a woeful Clare side. This a Clare side that had began their league campaign as favourites for promotion.
For the first time this season Kildare failed to score first with Clare opening the scoring in the 5th minute through a free from wing-forward Ailish Considine in a wind beaten Milltown Malbay. Kildare were not rocked by this as Aine Gately won and converted a seventh minute free to level the scoring for the sides.
With nine minutes on the clock Kildare’s temperament was tested as a fumbled clearence on the line from Kildare keeper Aoife Hederman allowed Katie Geoghagan the opportunity to steal in and toe poke the ball past Hederman.
The Kildare reaction to this set back said a lot about the spirit that is within this side.
From the kick out Brianne Leahy point almost immediately. Moments later Kildare were unlucky not to net their first of the game, a high ball over the top of the Clare defence to the unmarked Aine Gately looked to be Kildare’s levelling score, until Gately took too much out of the ball and seen her shot scuppered wide.
Points from Gillian Behan and Maria Moolick had Kildare level in the 18th minute before Gately pointed in the 20th minute sending her Kildare side into the lead for the first time. From here they didn’t look back.
A 21st minute goal from Behan epitomised a fine team score after great build-up play from Moolick and Gately was finished by Behan.
After this Kildare’s attack had hit the peaks of its power with further points from Behan and Moolick before a late free from Clare’s Considine left Kildare enjoying a five point half time lead.
As last week Kildare took very little time to ready themselves for the second half, again the first to emerge from the bowels of the Milltown Malbay stand. After one minute the was no doubting they had reemerged with a great hunger as Behan and second-half substitute Deirdre Gately pointed. A point from Eimer Considine interrupted the Kildare scoring run before three points from the instrumental Aine Gately.
Clare’s Susan Higgins attempts to stop the rut were futile as Kildare were not in the mood to let Clare out of the fire. This point sparking a reaction as Kildare netted twice in the space of 60 seconds, the first from Deirdre Gately and Kildare’s final goal of the game coming courtesy of a low rasping shot from captain Moolick. Clare ‘keeper O’Driscoll managed to get her hand to the shot, her fingertips not enough as she only served to touch the ball into her own net.
As the clock ticked on to the closing minutes of the battle, centre-back Donna Berry seen yellow after a seemingly harmless tackle, an earlier talk with the ref coming back to haunt her as she sauntered to the sideline without complaint.
This did little to help the Clare comeback as the sin bin served to galvanise Kildare for the final 6 minutes. Out scoring the opposition 2 points to 1 in this period to help Kildare romp to a 13 point victory.
Aoife Hederman; Kiri Lowry, Aishling Savage, Jane O’Donoghue; Aileen Quinn, Donna Berry, Aoife Herbert; Maria Moolick 1-2, Brianne Leahy 0-1; Grace Clifford, Aine Gately 0-7 (2f), Ashling Holton; Dearbhail Kelly, Siobhan Hurley, Gillian Behan 1-3. Subs: Deirdre Gately 1-3 for Kelly, 30; Louise Keatley for Hurley, 30; Michelle Carey for Quinn, 30; Mary Hulgraine for Moolick, 45; Susie Byrne, 52; Rachel Corrigan for Behan, 52; Ashling Curley for Herbert, 52.
Emma O’Driscoll; Rebecca Culligan, Lorraine Kelly, Susan Higgins; Sarah Bohannon, Emer O’Connor, Shauna Harvey; Maria Considine, Fiona Lafferty; Roisin Looney Maria Kelly, Ailish Considine 0-2 (2f); Laura Hanrahan, Niamh Keane, Katie Geoghagan 1-0. Subs: Eimer Considine 1-4 for Geoghagan, 20; Kayleigh McCormack for Culligan, 27; Emer Hillery for Bohannon, 27; Niamh Larner for Hanrahan, 35.