Deise wrestle Munster title from Banner’s firm grip

Diarmuid Greene-SPORTSFILE

No stopping her: Michelle Ryan powers past Fiona Lafferty. | Photos: Diarmuid Greene-SPORTSFILE

Waterford 2-14; Clare 2-10 

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Waterford’s ladies won the Munster Intermediate Championship in Bruff on Saturday last when seeing off defending champions Clare in a cracking contest.

Waterford got off to a good start with a point from Linda Wall in the opening minute only for Clare’s Majella Griffin to level the scores shortly afterwards with a free from 30 metres.

Clare continued to press the Waterford goal and an Aine Kelly point in the fourth minute put them ahead for the first time as the Banner settled into the fixture.

Waterford levelled the score after 17 minutes with points from Sinead (two) and Michelle Ryan (via a free).

Within a minute, Clare had goaled thanks to Niamh Keane, who was first to react from close range after Majella Griffin’s shot thundered back off the crossbar.

But back came Waterford and from their own kick-out they swept upfield and got the green flag waving through Niamh Briggs, who added a superb 30-metre point moments later.

In a fast flowing, end-to-end encounter, it was Clare who finished the half the strongest with points from Griffin (a free) and Eimear Considine leaving them 1-6 to 1-5 up at the break.

After the break, Waterford outplayed Clare in all parts of the field and outscored them by 1-7 to 0-2 in the opening 20 minutes, with Briggs leading the way with a 1-2 haul. She was aided and abetted by the three Ryan sisters, Michelle (0-3), Louise and Sinead all contributing to the scoreboard.

With 10 minutes remaining and Waterford seven points to the good, Clare’s Eithne Morrissey ensured a heart-stopping finale, when her pile driver was deflected into the Waterford goal.

This gave Clare new impetus and they narrowed the margin to three points when Griffin scored her third point from a free.

The tension increased even further when Mary Foley had to go off injured after a clash with team mate Michelle Ryan and Eileen Power came on as her replacement.

Nerves were steadied somewhat when Ryan scored her fifth point of the game to put Waterford four points ahead. But the contest remained far from decided.

 

With three minutes remaining, Clare’s Eimear Considine got through on goal, only for Waterford keeper Aimee Jordan to pull off a match winning save.

 

Linda Wall registered the final score of the match to see Waterford deservedly take provincial honours.

 

Munster ladies President Dan O’Mahoney presented the player of the match award to the outstanding Michelle McGrath.

Michelle Ryan accepted the cup on behalf of the Waterford Ladies team and in her acceptance speech thanked Saltan Properties for their ongoing support and sponsorship to Waterford Ladies Football.

 

Waterford: A Jordan; G Enwright, A Dunphy, N Dunphy; A McGovern, G Kennealy, M Foley; M McGrath, E Power; M Wall, M Ryan, L Wall; L Ryan, S Ryan, N Briggs.

Scorers: N Briggs (2-3), M Ryan (0-5, 0-1f), S Ryan (0-3), L Wall, (0-2), L Ryan (0-1).

Sub: E Power for M Foley (53 mins)

Subs not used: R Kirwan, E Wilson, S Power, M Foley, L Hogan, A Barren, M Delahunty and E Cooney.

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