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29 Jun 2022

Back to back Connacht titles has a nice ring to it as Clare sets sights on All-Ireland campaign

Back to back Connacht titles has a nice ring to it as Clare sets sights on All-Ireland campaign

Clare Owens pictured with happy Leitrim supporters after the game in Tuam last Sunday Picture: Willie Donnellan

“It’s brilliant - back to back Connacht titles has a nice ring to it,” was Clare Owens’ reaction  to Leitrim’s 1-14 to 0-14 victory over Roscommon in the TG4 Connacht LGFA Intermediate Final.

“We played the last final less than six months ago and it really did give us a great boost but today is that little bit more special. We had to play three teams to get here, it wasn’t just a one off so we are very proud of everyone.

Typical of the woman, Clare saw the bigger picture of what Sunday’s victory means to Ladies football in the county: “Obviously, winning the title is very much what our panel is focusing on but you are also thinking about what is coming up next and for the young girls here today, seeing Leitrim ladies win something  can only mean good things for the future.

“We had a patchy enough League campaign, we were disappointed to go out at the semi final stage so to come out here and come out on top definitely means a lot.”

It is equally obvious that failing to get out of division 4 this year hurt Leitrim: “Obviously it has been an aim of ours to get out of Division 4 but when you have to win a final to go up, it does make it tricky. 

“Hugely disappointed not to make a final this year but days like today, when you are mixing it with Division 3 winners and you end up on the right side of the result, has to be a confidence boost for us.”

Reflecting on the final, Clare highlighted the role the defence played in the victory: “I thought Michelle Monaghan was absolutely outstanding, her kickouts when we weren’t giving her too many options were brilliant, everything was pinpoint. Those saves she made, that second one was phenomenal. 

“As a back, because you are closer to that action, you appreciate it more. If you have a super goalie like Michelle and then girls like Leah and Michelle in the forwards who can kick scores, you’re onto a winning formula there.”

As for the future, Clare is eager to get going: “We will enjoy tonight, reset and I’m really excited about the Summer, it could be a long one yet.”

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