Ladies: Considine goal key as Clare down Roscommon for Division 3 title

April 06, 2024

Clare's Ailish Considine celebrates scoring a goal against Roscommon ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Clare 1-6 
Roscommon 1-4 

by Daire Walsh 

The impressive Ailish Considine grabbed 1-2 at Grant Heating St Brendan’s Park in Birr on Saturday as Clare held off a late surge from Roscommon to claim the Lidl National Football League Division 3 title. 

Having lost out to Kildare after extra-time in last year’s third tier showpiece, Clare got their hands on national silverware in the Offaly venue and will now embark on their TG4 All-Ireland intermediate football championship campaign with renewed confidence.

Unbeaten on their way to this decider — including a group stage draw away to Clare — Roscommon ultimately fell short in their quest for a second Division 3 final success in just three years. 

After their goalkeeper Helena Cummins turned away a couple of early goal chances, Roscommon edged in front with a pointed free from Laura Fleming on five minutes. While Clare found it difficult to keep the scoreboard ticking over facing into a stiff breeze, they opened their account in spectacular style on the first-quarter mark. 

Known in recent years for their prowess in soccer and Australian Rules football respectively, marauding wing-back Laurie Ryan released Ailish Considine for a smooth low finish beyond the reach of Cummins. This was an early set-back for Roscommon, but Ollie Lennon’s charges had restored parity by the 20th minute with a brace of points from the dependable Fleming. 

Although midfielder Aisling Reidy moved Clare back into the driving seat with a point, a fourth successful free from Fleming left the teams on level terms at the break at 1-1 to 0-4 for Roscommon. 

It proved to be an initially cagey start to the second half, but it was the team with the elements behind them that eventually created some daylight. Supplementing a 0-2 salvo from the increasingly-influential Ailish Considine — one from play and one from a free — substitute Ciara McCarthy and Reidy also split the uprights to move Clare four clear on 43 minutes. 

McCarthy followed up her earlier effort with a sublime pointed free off the outside of her right boot inside the final-quarter and this left them a step closer to claiming their first Division 3 crown since 2011. 

An Aisling Hanly goal with just over a minute remaining suddenly brought life back to Roscommon’s challenge, but time ran out for them in their bid for a dramatic comeback triumph. 

Scorers - Clare: A Considine 1-2 (0-1f), C McCarthy 0-2 (1f), A Reidy 0-2. Roscommon: A Hanly 1-0, L Fleming 0-4 (4f). 

CLARE: A Lenihan; A Keane, S Ni Chonaill, G Harvey; L Ryan, J Doohan, R Considine; S Considine, A Reidy; L Griffin, C Harvey, A Sexton; T Collins, F Marrinan, A Considine. Subs: C McCarthy for Griffin (39), O Devitt for Sexton (46), L Griffey for Collins (49), K Mullen for R Considine (56). 

ROSCOMMON: H Cummins; A McGrath, E Irwin, J McDermott; R Fitzmaurice, S Wynne, C Cregg; L O’Rourke, K Nolan; L Fleming, L Shanagher, A Hanly; A MacAuliffe, A Shanagher, A Feeley. Subs: S Farrell for Feeley (13), N Feeney for MacAuliffe (40), E Thompson for McDermott (42), A O’Connor for Shanagher (51), A Gavin for Nolan (57). 

Referee: Barry Redmond (Wexford). 

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