GRANAGH Ballingarry retained their Limerick Senior Camogie title and completed their four-in-a-row with a hard fought 0-21 to 1-11 win over Ahane on Sunday. The game was played in front of a sizable and enthusiastic crowd in Newcastle West in great conditions for camogie and the teams served up a high quality game that was fought out with tremendous skill and some really top quality scoring from players on both sides.
Brenda O’Keeffe opened the Granagh Ballingarry account two minutes in but a point from Ahane’s Niamh Mulcahy almost immediately cancelled it out. The game swung from end to end with chances created for both sides but it was Granagh Ballingarry who were more efficient in the scoring zone as points from Rebecca Noonan, Siobhán Enright, Mairéad Fitzgerald and Aoife Sheehan saw them open a five point lead in the first eight minutes.
However, two Niamh Mulcahy frees had reduced the gap to three when Áine Reynolds found the back of the net for Ahane to level the score 1-3 to 0-6. Rebecca Noonan and Pauline McCarthy then exchanged scores leave the sides level at the quarter hour mark.
Granagh Ballingarry then hit one of their purple patches with their midfield duo of Siobhán Enright and Vera Sheehan getting on top. Three points from Aoife Sheehan who was on fire in the final third and a score from Meadhbh Nash saw them open a two point lead at the break with Ahane reliant on Niamh Mulcahy’s accuracy from frees to keep in touch.
Ahane started brightly after the break and some of their younger players, who had been perhaps overawed by the occasion in the first half, started to make an impact on the game. But it was Granagh Ballingarry who found their scoring range first when Mairéad Fitzgerald got her second point of the day. This came after the introduction of Sarah Carey into the forward line for Brenda O’Keeffe.
Granagh continued to build their score with Aoife Sheehan and Rebecca Noonan the main providers. Aoife was to finish with an impressive seven points from play and some of her scores were of the highest quality including one that was taken after she had fallen to her knees.
Ahane kept in touch with Niamh Mulcahy being joined on the scoreboard by minor star Róisín O’Mara who got two excellent scores in the second half. But in truth Granagh were finding their scores easier to come by and as the game progressed and gap between the sides continued to grow Ahane were forced to go looking for goals which just didn’t come.
Fittingly the final score went to Aoife Sheehan and Granagh Ballingarry were crowned champions by a seven point margin. This was widely agreed to have been one of the best finals of recent years and though Granagh Ballingarry never trailed in the game their victory only became certain in the dying minutes as Ahane sustained their challenge to the end.
Granagh Ballingarry captain Vera Sheehan received the Cup from County Board Chairperson Seán Condon to the delight of the team and their supporters.
Rebecca Noonan 0-8 (0-5 frees), Aoife Sheehan 0-7, Mairéad Fitzgerald 0-3, Brenda O’Keeffe 0-1, Siobhán Enright 0-1, Meadhbh Nash 0-1
Niamh Mulcahy 0-8 (0-5 frees), Áine Reynolds 1-0, Róisín O’Mara 0-2, Pauline McCarthy 0-1
Claire Enright, Emer Hickey, Lisa Kelly, Kaylee Stapleton, Niamh Chalke, Fiona Hickey, Theresa Mulcahy, Vera Sheehan (capt), Siobhán Enright, Brenda O’Keeffe, Meadhbh Nash, Emer Morrissey, Mairéad Fitzgerald, Aoife Sheehan, Rebecca Noonan
38mins Sarah Carey for Brenda O’Keeffe
Síle Moynihan, Niamh Martin, Niamh Power, Ann Kennedy, Kate Herbert, Judith Mulcahy (capt), Sarah Crotty, Áine Reynolds, Marguerita McCarthy, Aoife Quinn, Niamh Mulcahy, Róisín O’Mara, Pauline McCarthy, Margaret Meskell, Nora Moloney
56mins Ellen Curtin for Pauline McCarthy
Munster Junior Championship Semi-Final
Cappamore 2-8 De La Salle 3-15
Limerick Junior Plate Final
Knockaderry 6-6 Granagh Ballingarry 3-4
Limerick U16 B Final Replay
Killeedy 3-4 Knockaderry/Templeglantine 1-8
Limerick U14 C Plate Final Replay
Na Piarsaigh 1-2 Ahane 0-2