Courcey Rovers 0-5
SHIRLEY MOLONEY REPORTS
THOUGH her inter-county days may have come to an end, Rena Buckley’s knack for picking up silverware shows no signs of abating.
On Saturday week last at Castle Road, the 18-time All-Ireland senior medallist helped her club Inniscarra to a third straight SE Systems Cork county camogie title as they pushed on in the second half to see off Courcey Rovers.
‘Playing with the club is very special,’ she said.
‘We’re going through a nice patch at the moment and it’s great that we can make hay and have a few cups to show for it.
‘The teams that are out there are fantastic and I keep saying that it’s one of the best championships in the country.
‘I think it’s a brilliant, brilliant championship, it was a new pairing in the final again and we’re delighted, we’re absolutely thrilled.
‘We’ve had some years where we weren’t competitive at all so it’s great to be competitive and it’s fantastic to be bringing home cups.’
While the scoreline would indicate a procession for the mid-Cork side, it wasn’t until sub Claudia Keane scored a late goal and point that they were full out of sight of Courceys, who were playing in their first final.
Ultimately, Buckley felt that the greater experience of Inniscarra was a key factor.
‘We’ve been in the final the last couple of years and that’s definitely a help,’ she said.
‘We had the advantage of watching Courceys and Milford in the semi-final, knowing that we’d be meeting the winner in the final and that’s a help too.
‘Courceys are a good, young team, they have a strong spread of players and a lot of players coming through. I’ve no doubt at all that they’ll be back again.’
In an eight-minute spell late in the first half, Inniscarra put the wet conditions to one side and notched up six without reply to take the lead and hold a 0-7 to 0-2 lead at half-time. Scores had been hard to come by early on and Courceys had had the better start, Fiona Keating twice scoring points, the latter having to be deflected over by goalkeeper Sheila Walsh.
By the 19th minute, Inniscarra were level thanks to Niamh McCarthy and Niamh Dilworth and then they went into overdrive with their purple patch with Dilworth and McCarthy each contributing two points ,while captain Treasa McCarthy also got on the scoresheet.
In the early stages of the second half, with both defences holding firm, it took eight minutes for the deadlock to be broken and it was Dilworth who pointed a 35-metre place ball to give Inniscarra a six-point advantage.
Keating pulled one back for Courceys, when she fired over after a strong run at defence, and Crowley had the Inniscarra lead cut to four on 42 when she pointed a 40-metre free. With the rain continuing to fall, Courceys launched themselves forward, however they could not make any inroads in a defence where Rosie O’Mahony, Rena Buckley and Caitlin Looney held firm.
At the other end, the Courcey rearguard were working hard under pressure with captain Ashling Moloney and Karyn Keohane holding their own. However, the south-east side struggled to mount any formidable attack with Inniscarra duo Katie O’Mahony and Aileen Sheehan controlling midfield and proving difficult to permeate. Sheehan had six between the sides on 47 when she split the posts before Crowley once again pulled one back to keep Courceys in pursuit when she put over a long-range free to make it 0-10 to 0-5 with ten minutes left.
Inniscarra showed their experience in the final four minutes when they struck 1-3 without reply to put the seal on the performance and extinguish a courageous Courcey effort. Two Dilworth placed balls followed by 1-1 from Keane, the goal coming from a probing long ball which dipped under the cross bar to deceive Sinead O’Reilly, ensured that the three in a row was secured. Inniscarra now face Limerick’s Ahane in the Munster championship.
‘We’ll enjoy this,’ Buckley said, ‘the Cork county championship is the main aim and we’re delighted to get that.
‘Certainly, from tomorrow, we’ll look to the Munster championship. You don’t always have a good team but we have a good team at the moment so we’d love to have a crack off it.’
Inniscarra: N Dilworth 0-8 (6f), C Keane 1-1, N McCarthy 0-2, T McCarthy, A Sheehan 0-1 each.
Courcey Rovers: F Keating 0-3, J Crowley 0-2f.
Inniscarra: S Walsh; Á O’Regan, C Looney, R Quigley; R O’Mahony, R Buckley, R Keane; K O’Mahony, E Looney; T McCarthy, N Dilworth, A Sheehan; J Burke, N McCarthy, E Murphy.
Sub: C Keane for Murphy (51).
Courcey Rovers: S O’Reilly; C Hayes, K Keohane, E Moloney; A O’Reilly, A Moloney, O Twomey; Elaine O’Reilly, J Crowley; S O’Donovan, C O’Neill, Eimear O’Reilly; F Keating, L Collins, G Hannon.
Subs: S Hayes for E O’Reilly (45), K Lynch for E Moloney (54), A Hannon for A O’Reilly (54), L Collins for Twomey (55), M O’Donovan for Keating (55).
Referee: J O’Leary (Mallow).